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About the Author-
- J. R. R. Tolkien was born in 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. From 1925-1959 he was an Oxford Professor, first of Anglo Saxon and then of English Language and Literature, but is best known as the author of the fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings.
- The prologue to Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS series is lavishly produced by the BBC. In Middle-earth, an unassuming hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is reluctantly whisked off on a quest for treasure by the mysterious wizard, Gandalf. The actors do a first-rate job. A lot of wit as well as loving care went into the dramatization. However, important aural clues are missing, making the action frequently obscure. The producers went a little overboard on sound and music, further muddying things up. This is best enjoyed by those who already know the tale. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
August 1, 2001
In time for the release of the second installment in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy comes Tolkien scholar Douglas A. Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition. Anderson has incorporated much new information unearthed since the book first appeared in 1988. National author tour.
January 7, 2002
Between the film release of Harry Potter
and The Lord of the Rings, this is the season of the magical movie, and this audiobook is an inevitable spinoff. Countless readers have grown up on the adventures of the little furry hobbits who crave good food and a warm bed, but wind up trapped in caves, attacked by spiders and burdened by a dizzying assortment of treacherous adventures. While the stories are quite intricate, the message of good triumphing over evil is always evident. This appealing theme of the downtrodden overcoming obstacles is what keeps listeners' attention. There is so much action on this dramatization that listeners may often feel pulled in many directions. The narrators, including Ray Reinhardt as Bilbo and Bernard Mayes as Gandalf, are engaging, and the sound effects (including noises in the cave or forest, or the hobbits sitting down to a meal) are also quite strong. But those not already familiar with the story may find it difficult to distinguish between the various characters or keep track of all the action. Listeners will probably want to read the book along with listening, or perhaps listen and then watch the movie. The tapes are presented in a rustic-looking wooden box, making this appropriate for gift giving.
- [Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with THE LORD OF THE RINGS.]--These mythical tales of Middle-earth were bestsellers when they appeared in the 1950s and '60s and are now enjoying a revival of interest including the popular movie LORD OF THE RINGS. These recordings are not readings of Tolkien's novels, but are adaptations of both works for full-cast radio production. If you want all of Tolkien's words, this is not the choice. If you want a full-scale production with sound effects and music, this is a very good choice. While it's difficult to say what a dwarf, an orc, or a wizard should sound like, all of the voices in this production seem entirely appropriate to the characters being portrayed. Some of the sound effects, such as horses endlessly clomping, are repetitive, but in general the sounds add to the sense of atmosphere. R.E.K. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
- www.sci-fi-online.com "The BBC adaptation is well structured and Paul Daneman is incredibly well cast as Bilbo. If you don't already own this, then now is the perfect time to add this wonderful radio play to your collection."
- www.denofgeek.com "anyone who wishes to get an idea of what The Hobbit might be like as one faithful film... should seek this out. It might lack the dynamism of the cinematic adaptation, but the world it creates feels more dangerous and real - www.denofgeek.com, Andrew Blair, 13/12/2013"
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