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The Hobbit  By  cover art

The Hobbit

By: J. R. R. Tolkien
Narrated by: Martin Shaw
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Publisher's Summary

Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out onto the floor when he casught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance!

Whisked from his comfortable hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

©1937, 1951, 1966, 1978 George Allen and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd. (P)1993 HarperCollins UK

What listeners say about The Hobbit

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

ONLY 5 chapters

I really should have paid more attention but this is the ABRIDGED version of The Hobbit, I only realized this because of the number of chapters.

I went back and looked at the description, it does not mention ANYWHERE in the description that this is the abridged version. Abridged is written in tiny print along the thumbnail of the title.

I feel like audible should clearly mark abridged vs unabridged.

The Hobbit is a rather short book to begin with, it didn’t really NEED an abridged copy.

81 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

abridged does not mean cut in half

I like the narrator and the story... it's just a shame that this book has been edited down 50% I wish I had noticed that this was the abridged version when buying :-( now I have to buy the regular copy just so I know everything that happens :-(

Do not buy this version buy the full version!

75 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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UNDECLARED ABRIDGED VERSION

Haven’t even read it, I don’t do abridged versions, I should be re-credited because I am going to have to get the unabridged version.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A thrilling tail brought beautifully to life

Martin Shaw is perfectly cast as the narrator for this abridged version of The Hobbit. He reads with great characterisation, giving each their own voice and personality - no easy feat with such a large ensemble cast to portray! I love that Bilbo has a West Country inspired accent (by no means the full Wurzel) which reveals and speaks to his home-loving nature and gentleness while not at all seeming dumb.

Some may be disappointed that this is only an abridged version, but I can find no reason to fault it. Highly recommended, for the new listener to Tolkien's works, or for the seasoned fan looking to return to the Shire.

7 people found this helpful

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GREAT BOOK RUINED BY SKIPPING OF STORY!

If you could sum up The Hobbit in three words, what would they be?

fantasy, war & engaging

What did you like best about this story?

The riddles with Gollum by far! :)

Have you listened to any of Martin Shaw’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

PLEASE DON'T SKIP SO MANY PARAGRAPHS! I WAS TRYING TO FOLLOW ON WITH MY COPY AND IT MADE IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE! NO WONDER IT WAS ONLY 6 HOURS COMPARED TO 9 HOURS OF MOVIE TIME! Otherwise a great reading! :)

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Story

This is my first Audiobook, and I am currently on my fourth hour and I am absolutely loving it. I wish I could find another book that is as good as this one. I have looked around and can't seem to find a book that has a great adventure with diferent races like dwarfs etc,... I looked at the LOTR however when I listened to the sample that total put me off of Dramatised versions, the background music etc is terreble.

The Hobit is fantastic and I highly recommend it, it had a great adventure, many diferent races, and the nerrator just puts the cherry on the top.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A very enthused family of listeners

My children and I enjoyed this very much and would recommend it. It is read by one person rather than multiple readers, but this was not a problem, rather the narrator was excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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Martin Shaw

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes!J.R.R. Tolkien is the best writer out there and Martin Shaw is the best reader of his work.

What did you like best about this story?

Martin Shaw

What does Martin Shaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His inimitable voice and ability to bring Middle-Earth and all it's riches to life!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Perhaps

Any additional comments?

J.R.R. Tolkien shall live forever!

2 people found this helpful

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Not quite what expected but appreciated.

I watched the movies before reading the book. I appreciated Tolkien enthusiasm for poetry and old school English. I did however think that Hollywood's transformation of the novel and addition of characters and happenings in the tale made it 100 times more fascinating and gripping. The performance of the narrator was good but I didn't like how he read Smaugs part. A mighty dragon should have more of a deep bellowing voice then a snake like hiss. I think if one read the book first they would be delighted in the movies.

2 people found this helpful

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Audio quality is frustrating

I bought this version of the Hobbit because the Andy Serkis version was not available to download in my region. My criticism and disappointment with this Martin Shaw narration is the variation in his reading levels which ranges from a very low and barely audible level to a very loud and unbearable level. I found myself constantly having to turn up the sound while the narrator was reading sombre moments and suddenly turning it down during his description of a battle or excitement. It probably wouldn't matter if I was at home listening on a proper sound system, but driving my 10 year old son to school in the mornings for his first taste of Tolkien wasn't the ideal platform for this kind of voice narration. Martin Shaw has a lovely delivery but his range is simply too frustrating when listening on a car stereo system.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 05-27-07

THE HOBBIT (no singing version!)

I usually buy unabridged books but having skimmed most of the songs sections while reading The Hobbit (over the years) felt that I did not really want to listen to all the songs/rhymes etc. included in this book. I love The Hobbit and this recording was exciting and wonderful to listen to at bedtime or while travelling. None of the essence of the adventure is lost and I would really reccomend this book. My 14 year old son enjoyed it too.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul S
  • 01-05-07

The Hobbit

Listened to this in the car with the kids (8 & 13) & we all loved it. In this abridged version the story cracks along at a good pace & the narration by Martin Shaw is just right (it also has no singing which is a big plus!!).

21 people found this helpful

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  • Salter
  • 12-01-14

Superb...!

What made the experience of listening to The Hobbit the most enjoyable?

Martin Shaw masterclass. I'd have Shaw and Roy Dotrice reading all my books if I could!
Much better than the films. So much more depth to the story..I was right there at times...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Has to be Bilbo

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Great ending to the story..

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were a few laughs along the way...

Any additional comments?

Well worth a credit!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha
  • 05-18-06

all good ;-)

this is a book everyone should have hear, read and share with all the family.
Have a listern it will take you on a far away journey.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Evey
  • 05-23-15

sweet

I loved every minute of this book on audible..
made work so much more fun.. Not easy to get to visit middle earth while being stuck at work but i did and it was amazing :)

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Farrow
  • 04-13-13

good old fashioned fantasty

the hobbit is a fantasy story, but it is not an epic tale; its quite a simple story, but one you cant help but love. it is essentially a children's book, and is not as intense or dark as the lord of the rings, but it still draws you in as an adult. it offers up lighthearted humor with a fun and captivating story- and also there is Gollum to enjoy!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-04-17

It's abridged!

Great narration. It's a pity that the book is abridged as then it would be perfect!

4 people found this helpful

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  • zerosprite
  • 02-02-15

Established classic

Martin Shaw makes a great storyteller, I enjoyed his interpretation and the original version bears comparison against the film trilogy.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe
  • 02-24-15

Good apart from the voice of gollum

fantastic story, brilliant narration aside from the bits with gollum.Good god it made my ears hurt.I had to skip through it it got so bad.His voice was SOO screechy

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ronan
  • 07-11-13

Great

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this to a friend as it is an very interesting book and in my opinion better than the movie

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gandalf because he always comes in to save the day and he is confident but not arrogant

What about Martin Shaw’s performance did you like?

I thought his reading on the book was brilliant, each voice for each character were easy to distinguish between

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I wouldn't say it moved me but I found the bit with the trolls very funny and interesting

2 people found this helpful

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  • Samuel
  • 05-12-20

Abridged

Nowhere on the store page is it stated that this is the abridged version. more than half the book is cut out.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dale
  • 09-19-18

fantastic story even after 50 reads.Great narrator

i have read the Hobbit many times growing up and listened to this exact audio on tapes as a kid. The story is still just as good. Somewhat less of an information overload like LOTR books but no less enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-20

Abridged - WHY?

It’s very disappointing to discover that the book is abridged,
Such a delicate piece of fantasy, withers under the editorial eraser,
I wonder - to what end?
Certainly not as an improvement.
Ron


1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-20

Best rendition

Such a great reading by Martin Shaw. Brilliant. I have been waiting to hear this for 10 years!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mandy
  • 11-11-19

Magical, transforms you into the book!

This book is an absolute classic of course & the reader is amazing, he reads this book so brilliantly. His voice is so suited to the Hobbit & brilliantly performs all the characters, like being transformed into the book 📖 😍

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annaliesa Rose
  • 09-07-17

Love this book & Martin Shaw

Great edition and presentation. I love Martin Shaw and his reading of this was great.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Micky Smith
  • 03-02-22

Love Martin Shaw, but VERY abridged

it is not stated in the title deatils of this that this book is heavily abridged. still very much worth it but it would've been nice to know before purchase as about half the book is cut out. disappointing because I love Martin Shaw's performance and characterisations of the book's cast. it makes the story more real and engaging to listen to, so I wish we had an more unabridged version by Martin Shaw.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-23-21

not the full story

very disappointing to much left out bought and paid for he hobbit not condensed version