In between re-reading The Lord of the Rings, and listening to the great audiobook of The Silmarillion right now, I’d just remembered that Andy Serkis (who portrayed Gollum in the films) was the narrator on a new audiobook release of The Hobbit this past September! (for a quick sample of Serkis’s style, tap the play button on top of the image)

And I was pleasantly surprised!

Is it better than the previous audiobook?

Yes…. and while I haven’t listened to the whole book yet, I’m definitely finding this a much more comfortable listen than Rob Inglis’s version originally released in 1991 (which isn’t bad at all). The audio quality is noticeably better, and the timbre of Serkis’s voice is more pleasing–though, I’m sure the improvements in audio recordings over the last 30 years also play a role.

While I ended up purchasing the audio book for myself for Christmas , it might be a better–and more Hobbit-like–idea to get it for another Tolkien fan in your life.

Is it better than the movies?

Hmm… Well, there’s no Galadriel in Rivendell! Or Tauriel! Or white orcs! Or Legolas! Or Saruman! Or… you get the idea…

The book is just under 10 1/2 hours long, which is only about an hour more than the length of Peter Jackson’s films! Listening to the original will be time well spent.


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