The Hobbit: Good clean fun

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review The Hobbit audiobookThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is just good clean fun, delightful for children and adults. If you’ve read LOTR and wondered how Bilbo got the ring, here’s the story. I enjoyed Tolkien’s omniscient narrator style in this book — somewhat like Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and more recently Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norellwhich I suppose he adopted because he was writing for children. I think it’s charming.

I highly recommend the audiobook, read by Rob Inglis. He’s a Royal Shakespeare company actor and the best audiobook reader I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard a lot of them). He has a different voice for each dwarf, and he does a great Gollum, too. He actually sings the songs (nice voice!) and he even belches up ponies. The scene with the trolls is especially well-done. Mr. Ingliss could probably make one of Terry Goodkind’s later books sound exciting, but The Hobbit actually is exciting and I highly recommend it for adults and kids.

The Hobbit — (1937) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Written for J.R.R. Tolkien‘s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when first published more than sixty years ago. Now recognized as a timeless classic with sales of more than 40 million copies worldwide, this introduction to Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Wizard, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth tells of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo — alone and unaided — who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside…

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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  1. Sunday Status Update: January 6, 2013 | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews - [...] story by Kenneth Grahame. Lastly, while travelling, my family and I re-read The Hobbit. The audiobook version read by Rob Inglis is really…

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