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The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien | BBC Radio 4 | Dramatised Audiobook | Review

Listening to dramatised audiobooks seems to be becoming a habit.

This is the third BBC Radio 4 dramatised production* of an audiobook I've 'read' now, and, much like the others, it didn't cease to entertain.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my favourite books; I remember being read it as a child of probably 8 or 9, going on to re-read it for myself, then having it as an English book one year in high school (I got all high marks for my assignments because I both loved the book and knew it so well already). Since the high school reading, I've probably read it once more, but have been meaning to re-read it for the past few years. When I spotted this BBC Radio 4 dramatised version of the audiobook at the library, I thought it would be a fun way of 'reading' it once more.

This audiobook was a joy to listen to; while there aren't as many voices as there are characters (there are 13 dwarves for goodness sake! That would be a huge cast!), it's done in such a way that you don't really notice it at all. There's a narrator, of sorts, and Bilbo does all his thinking out loud for the benefit for the listeners. Dramatised versions, if you're not familiar, also include things like sound effects and music to fill in some of the scenes when written descriptions or visual aid would normally be used. This means it's basically like watching a movie version, just without the visual aspects.

There were some parts which were a bit odd to me - like some of the pronunciation of names - and some voices which didn't seem quite right, however, on the whole it was a very enjoyable production, once again, from the BBC Radio 4 team.

The dramatised version is abridged, so it's shorter than the 'normal' audiobook, coming in at just 3hours 42minutes, so you can easily get through it in a day.

You can actually listen to the full production for free online, or check out your local library to see if they have a copy on CD or Overdrive.

Have you listened to The Hobbit? 

*Check out Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and also Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. 

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