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The Annotated Hobbit Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Annotated edition (August 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618134700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618134700
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Not only fascinating, but useful. It makes of The Hobbit a kind of Tolkien handbook.
The Washington Post

Hobbit fans will treasure it.
The Denver Post

About the Author

Douglas A. Anderson, a leading American Tolkien scholar, is acknowledged as the worldwide expert on the textual history of The Hobbit. He has contributed the text notes for all Houghton Mifflin Tolkien editions for more than a decade. He is also a bookseller, formerly in Ithaca, New York, now in northern Indiana.


J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892-1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This newly published, annotated version of THE HOBBIT is excellent for fans of the book.
Matt Howe
The background information regarding some of the sources of inspiration for Tolkien while writing the story are most enlightening.
Andrew Wyllie
It can be busy sometimes, but you can just look right past the extra stuff and read the book if you want.
Sarah Lilleboe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

390 of 416 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pollock on February 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so I say that this is the best way to read The Hobbit. And I am dead serious.
I know that annotated books can be difficult to navigate, filled with useless, pointless, or just plain boring information, and can be grossly oversized. That is not the case here.
So - here's the scoop.
The original story is very nicely presented, with all original illustrations in color when possible, and in black and white elsewhere. The type is nice and clear, very easy to read. (Many cheaper editions are also rather hard on the eyes. Check the print before you buy, folks!)
The illustrations are printed very clearly, and with very good notes on what they are.
And then the annotations - useful, engaging, and very well done. You will WANT to read these. We discover how the book was written, and what was changed between editions. (There were many changes made so that The Hobbit would conform more easily to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.) There are fascinating tidbits about Tolkien's life and the experiences that made their way into the story.
The forward tells about the writing of the novel, and the appedices give additional details about the text.
There are also many illustrations from other editions of the book. These are varied, from thought-provoking to not-provoking.
And the book is not too big. Some editions are simply too big to be read, but this book is reasonably sized so that you can actually READ IT! In fact, I have not read any other edition of The Hobbit for years, since the original annotated version came out.
The new edition is very much worthwhile. Enjoy!
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96 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Matt Howe on September 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This newly published, annotated version of THE HOBBIT is excellent for fans of the book. It may be TMI ("too much information") for the first-time reader. The text of THE HOBBIT settles in the center of the book while Doug Anderson's notations appear in the outer margins. At times it's a bit busy - but there's always fascinating reading! Tolkien fans are sure to get excited over this one.
Doug Anderson includes lots of sources in his notes. He quotes Tolkien's own letters, other fairy tales and legends that may have inspired Tolkien, as well as previous versions of the section he's noting. The Gollum section ("Riddles in the Dark") is interesting. Tolkien did some tinkering with the original Gollum story as its follow-up (LORD OF THE RINGS) was taking shape. Seems that George Lucas is not the only person who's revised previously released work! Tolkien was his predecessor.
Also interesting are the many black and white illustrations that Anderson includes, many from foreign editions of THE HOBBIT. Some of the art is hilarious, as it does not resemble Tolkien's characters at all! There is a nice color section of illustrations in the center of the book.
THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT is a handsome, interesting book to own if you're a fan of Bilbo and his adventures with the dwarves (or dwarfs? That's covered in the book as well!)
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80 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Larry D. Curtis on November 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This version of the Hobbit is a pleasure to long-time fans but will also serve new readers well. Anderson released the original "Annotated Hobbit" years ago but this new format with the annotations in the column most often directly next to the orginal book text is supurb.
Included are Hobbit illustrations around the word, a rich addition, but the real joy of this book is learning background and details about The Hobbit, author J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord Of The Rings. At times the footnotes are scholarly and at other times they are amusing gems.
Anderson has compared all of Tolkien's revisions and has researched the 'whys' 'hows' and 'whens' that helps reveal to reader the meaning of the text and the personality of the author.
My favorites are anecdotes about Tolkien's personal life that involve his family and personal history. They are facinating and at times touching.
WIthout rambling on too much, I can confidently recommend this version of "The Hobbit" as the best available.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
`The Annotated Hobbit', annotated by bookseller Douglas A. Anderson is published by J.R.R. Tolkien's American publisher, Houghton Mifflin (important because it means the cover of this book uses the same art as the cover of the most popular hard-covered American edition of the Hobbit, published in the 1960's).

Let me be perfectly clear that this is first and foremost a review of the Annotation, not of the novel, `The Hobbit' itself. I have an almost reverential respect for the original novel, having bought my first copy of this work on a cold February day in 1965 in the Lehigh University bookstore. I began reading it on the bus on the way home from my college classes at about 1:00 PM, and simply could not put it down. I finished reading it at about 8:30 that evening. The experience is not unlike some cinematic versions of experiences like Dorothy's opening the door of her Kansas house to step out onto the grass of Oz. I am totally unsurprised by a statement in this annotation that says that the entire first page of `The Hobbit' has been reproduced in `Bartlett's Familiar Quotations'. There are few more magical or evocative openings to novels I have read in my whole life. And, while I can appreciate that there are adult readers, my Hemingway loving uncle being one of them, who simply `don't get it', I am often driven to the point of dispair when I can't interest young readers or listeners in `The Hobbit'. Like `Winnie the Pooh' and `Alice in Wonderland', I really think these are books designed much more to bring back memories of childhood in adults than to engage young readers. And oh how much I enjoy reading `The Hobbit' aloud!

But back to this Annotation'.
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