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The Hobbit (Read by Martin Shaw)

Released on 06 November 2000

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

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Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services - as a burglar - on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's life is never to be the same again.

The Hobbit became an instant success when it was first published in 1937, and more than 60 years later Tolkien's epic tale of elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins, myth, magic and adventure, with its reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins, has lost none of its appeal.
  • 5 CDs Abridged

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 The Hobbit (The Adult Edition)

| | See all TibleyBobley's reviews (56)

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It's become the fashion in recent years to produce 'Adult Editions' of children's books. This normally involves nothing more than giving the book a different cover and charging a bit more for it. In the case of this reading of The Hobbit (which doesn't actually claim to be and adult edition), the description would have some real meaning. I've listened to 3 different audiobooks of The Hobbit. This is the most adult-orientated. It's expertly read by Martin Shaw, using realistic voices - never over-doing it for effect. The abridgement is so good that I had to check with my book to see what had been left out. If you would prefer to listen to an unabridged reading, the Rob Inglis version is also very good, but is possibly more suitable for children. It's a children's book after all, so we mustn't grumble about that. The 3rd version, from BBC Radio's dramatised collection, is aimed squarely at the very youngest audience and some of the characters have screechy, exaggerated voices that will probably not appeal to many adults.

So, if you're an adult who (like me) enjoys some children's literature, this audiobook definitely provides the most mature reading of the bunch. It's about 6 blissfully relaxing hours long.

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AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
NarratorMartin Shaw
Duration (approx)