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The Hobbit Hardcover – September 21, 2007
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For those who care about such things, the printing is based on the 2004 corrected text, with even further corrections. There are updated introductions/forwards by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, authors of the authoritative "LOTR Readers Companion," as well as by Douglas A. Anderson, who provides a detailed publication history of the Lord of the Rings. The full appendices are included.
Two-page red and black maps of Middle Earth and of Gondor/Rohan/Mordor adorn the front and back covers, with a map of the Shire before the first chapter. Also present are other essentials such as the Doors of Moria and the Tomb of Balin. The only drawback is that the facsimile pages of the Book of Mazarbul was not included, which I found to be surprising and a bit disappointing Also, the ring inscription and the Gandalf "rune" are printed in black rather than silver and red. Probably the main issue is the clear plastic slipcover, which is barely bigger than the book itself, and it is difficult to slip the book back inside it after taking it out. You are more likely to scuff the corners of the book. That being said, these are far from dealbreakers, and the joy to be received from owning this edition far outweighs these issues.
I'll keep it brief, this is not a review of the actual story but of this specific edition. I have attached many pictures that I hope help you decide if this is an edition you want to buy.
- The font is big and easy to read.
- 65 beautiful illustrations by Alan Lee that bring the story to life.
- Slipcover is an opaque plastic, whit a modern look that I think doesn't complement the book.
- One or two blank pages before and/or after each illustration.
Overall I think this is a great edition and it's worth buying.
My only issue is that with the Kindle version, the footnotes seemed to be messed up. Many of them only bring up a page number (with no link), which may be how it was in the original books, but others seem to apply to footnotes further down the page, or just not at all to the thing they're noted from. Frustrating.
All the artwork is wonderful to look at. Some of the drawings are very light, but a close look reveals so much intricate line work. There are very ethereal images, but also beautiful examples of architecture and engineering, and even mundane objects. Alan Lee mentions at one point that he is still "trying to prove something" to his former professor of technical drawing, who was less than impressed with his school efforts---I think he has succeeded.
The book itself is very nicely made. If you hate dustjackets, you can remove this one and still have a lovely book cover with glossy type and illustration on a matte background. The little golden bookmark-ribbon is a nice touch as well. Inside front and back cover show map drawings---although it's the same both front and back, a minor disappointment. It would have been nice to have this book in a larger size as well.
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Great seller also. Fast and book was in excellent condition!