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The Hobbit (BBC Dramatization) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged


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Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A BBC Dramatization
3 hours 35 minutes, 4 cassettes

Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, is a peaceful sort who lives in a cozy hole in the Shire, a place where adventures are uncommon?and rather unwanted. So when the wizard Gandalf whisks him away on a treasure-hunting expedition with a troop of rowdy dwarves, he's not entirely thrilled.

Encountering ruthless trolls, beastly orcs, gigantic spiders, and hungry wolves, Bilbo discovers within himself astonishing strength and courage. And at the ultimate confrontation with the fearsome dragon Smaug, the hobbit will brave the dangers of the dark and dragon fire alone and unaided.

About the Author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. He is, however, beloved throughout the world as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81.


From the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Abridged edition (September 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807288837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807288832
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,870,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Third, the voice casting doesn't at all match what we've come to expect.
D. Allen
The "original" tapes had a lot of tape hiss, which unfortunately is quite audible on the cassette version I own.
MAFinOKC
If you are looking for an audio work in the same caliber as the BBC's Lord of the Rings DO NOT BUY THIS!!
J. Wachter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The story itself is on four CDs, the fifth CD contains several songs. This audio production won't replace reading the book, but may serve as an overview of the book. The sound effects at times seem a bit overdone - you'll hear a lot of huffing and puffing. As a previous reviewer noted, children may enjoy this set of CDs more than adults and the sound effects can help to hold their attention. Gollum sounds rather spooky, and Bilbo sounds as if he were out of breath most of the time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Fletcher on June 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This wonderful set of audio CDs has been a delight in my family. About 10 years ago we got rid of our television, and we spend a lot of time listening to audio drama and reading to each other. My five children have spent countless hours listening to this series, with its fantastic dramatizations of Tolkien's characters. The music and sound effects are also a real treat. It's also a great companion to the BBC's other Tolkien series, "The Lord of the Rings."
It's my precious!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a disappointing offering from the usually stellar BBC Radio Presents series. The sound effects are so overbearing that they interfere with the dialogue. There is not enough distinction among the voices of the characters - thereby making the story tough to follow. Our family (ages 40 + and 6 and 9 ) were displeased by this present from "Santa." NOTE: This is a review of the BBC audio version only and not the always-wonderful classic story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MAFinOKC on April 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
To the best of my knowledge, there are three dramatizations of The Hobbit extant. A very conventional animated cartoon was produced for American television about 30 years ago, using American actors, including Orson Bean as Bilbo Baggins. There is an American "Mind's Eye" audio production, which I have never heard. And there is this BBC radio production. From what I have read, it was originally broadcast in 1968. Some time later, it was discovered that the BBC had inadvertently destroyed the original masters, and the show was recovered from an off-air taping by a private citizen. The "original" tapes had a lot of tape hiss, which unfortunately is quite audible on the cassette version I own. Turning on the Dolby noise reduction helps, but you also have to turn the volume way up. Modern digital remastering should fix this. However, the poor sound is not the least of the problems of this production. I don't know much about the culture in the BBC radio division in the sixties, but the producers of this show, I think, tried to turn Tolkien into Shakespeare, which was a mistake. The music is Elizabethan or Jacobean in style and performed with period instruments such as krumhorns and viols, with very dissonant melodies that are unpleasant and distracting, not to mention not sung very well. The script is often declaimed in a sort of Globe Theatre style that is not appropriate to the story. The script abridgments sometimes leave confusing gaps in the story, although for the most part it's a straightforward adaptation of Tolkien's book. The director seems to make a point of having the actors mispronounce many of the proper names, putting the accent on the last syllable instead of the first: Thorin becomes Toréen, Gandalf is Gandálf, Gollum is Gollóom, etc.Read more ›
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This telling of the classic story seems to have had good intentions, however the attempt to bring the action to life through the use of actors portraying elves, dwarfs etc. leaves the listener confused as to who is saying what and exactly what is going on in the story. Having not read to book I found myself having to listen and re-listen to certain portions to prevent losing the plot in all the ruckus and jabbering voices. Additionally, many of the main charactor voices sounded so similar that it was hard to know who was speaking. For fans already familiar with the story or children who may enjoy the sound effects this could be a good option, but for those wanting to hear the plot unfold unencumbered the classic reading would definitely be a better choice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This audio version is loud and shrill and often hard to understand. The 5th cd is only some music. I am certain I would prefer the unabridged reading of this novel. This does not deliver the real drama and excitement of the book.
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By JP on February 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Having listened to the NPR "Minds Eye" production umpteen times before hearing this one, I have to admit I have developed a partiality to the voice characterizations of the former (Especially Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf).
But this was a good rendition of the book.

My main complaints are chiefly Gandalf, he sounds far from the authoritarian, quick resourceful old "busybody" portrayed so well by Bernard Mayes in both Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings NPR productions. Instead he sounds like a whiny, self-absorbed smartalic (Note, in the BBC Lord of the Rings, a different Gandalf was used). His "I shall light my staaaaph" skitto, repeated many times through the book, is quite corny. Bilbo is good, although his nonsensical "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!!" giggling, even in the grim face of spiders in dark forests, is just plain cartoonish and often ruins the moment. Thorin and Gollum are also passable, although Gollum sounds much more civilized and intelligent. His "gollum", which is supposed to be a choking rendered eternally on him by Deagols dying attempt to strangle him before he got the ring- is just plain dumb.....youll have to hear it. The forest scene was cut too short.

However, the dragon is better and more dangerous. The goblins and music scores are better done and more entertaining; and this reading sometimes captures the sense of suspense and urgency in the adventure better, even if the storyline is less straightforward- which I could probably attribute to the NPR version's great old time radio style narration by Gale Chugg. The trolls to me in this one were a bit more scary and outlandish. In short, both renditions have their positive points but if I could only own one, I'd choose the former. This is definitely worth listening to; but I would not miss hearing the Minds Eye wooden boxed set.
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