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Hobbit Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
The illustrations that are presented in the book are a thing of beauty. Not only are there a great many (every two or three pages or so) but they are incredibly colorful and really pop when you look at them. I do think the illustrator's style is to appear more colorful and simple at first glance, but at the same time you will look at the illustrations carefully and see the amount of time and effort that she put into this work. I love this style of simplicity and use of color. Though not the exact same style, I feel like it reminds me of illustrators like William Steig who just have this incredible knack for bringing out amazing details with small illustrations. In fact, I truly and desperately hope that Jemima Catlin will be commissioned for Lord of the Rings. If you happen to read this Jemima, I just wanted to say thanks for putting so much passion and hard work into this book. I look forward to reading this to my children someday and plan on using your version when I do! As a side note, I should mention that some of Tolkien's original maps are included in the front and back of the book.
Lastly, it wouldn't be an appropriate review of The Hobbit without mentioning how amazing this story really is. If there is any part of you that believes in things like magic, risk-taking, adventure, friendship to the end, finding faith in the smallest of people or things, and good triumphing over evil, this is the book for you. I fell in love with the characters of this story and am thankful for authors like J.R.R Tolkien for having that God-given ability to captivate readers through these characters and the adventures they set out on. Every time I read this book I feel like I'm a kid again and that in itself is a great thing in my eyes. However, as an adult this book not only brings about those childhood feelings, but also strengthens my personal faith, and leads me to believe that those who truly live life to the fullest are those who go against the flow, take risks despite the fears or consequences when they know that it's in the name of doing what they feel is right inside of there hearts. I think there really is some of Bilbo Baggins in all of us and we learn a great deal from his adventure.
If you cannot tell, I love this book. It is saying a lot for me that this is my favorite edition of the book so far. This truly is a high-quality, gift edition that you will be very proud to own. Don't hesitate to purchase! Thank you J.R.R Tolkien and Jemima Catlin!