Monday, February 18, 2013

Audio Review of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The HobbitTitle: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Narrators: Multiple
Published by: HighBridge Company
Length: 4 hours; 14 mins
Source: Library
Format: Audio

Summary from GoodreadsWhisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole by a wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of a large and very dangerous dragon.

I'm the type of girl that when I see a movie adaption of a novel is coming to theaters, I will rush out and read that book, even if it didn't seem interesting before.  That happened over ten years ago when I first saw a preview of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  I was never interested in fantasy books before, but the movie looked really good so I had to read the books.  I ended up devouring the trilogy even before the first movie came out, but for some reason or another I never ended up reading The Hobbit.

Well low-and-behold, a few months ago I saw previews for The Hobbit and the same cycle repeated itself.  Only this time I decided to try the audio.  I did a little research and I found out that this version from HighBridge Company was supposed to be one of the best adaptations.  The version was originally broadcast on National Public Radio and featured many narrators to dramatize the lives the main characters and the novel itself.  I've listened to audio books before where there were multiple readers and I've enjoyed them immensely.  However, this version was a little different.  It was read as though they were putting on a play only I couldn't see anything.  The main characters all said their lines (without the he said/she said parts), and the narrator filled in the story line, but it wasn't read in the style of the actually writing of the book.

I had a really hard time listening to this version of The Hobbit.  I was often confused and had to re-listen to parts.  Surprisingly, I think I actually enjoyed the book less because of this version of the audio than I would have if I had actually read it (which is a bit unusual for me...I almost always enjoy the audio more).  The characters themselves were fun and I loved seeing how part of this epic quest all started.   Though because the novel was so short, the story often felt choppy and pieced together.  The resolutions to many of their conflicts happened too fast and without much detail. 

I'm not sure that I can give this novel a fair rating because I'm sure most of my bias comes from the audio instead of a mixture between the audio and the story.

Have any of you read The Hobbit?  If so, what did you think of it?  Or has anyone listened to a different version of this iconic novel?  If so, which one and did you enjoy it?  

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry the weird audio version ruined this one a bit for you. It sounds like it would have confused and annoyed me.


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