A review by zurpel
The Hobbit, Part 2 of 2 by Rob Inglis, J.R.R. Tolkien


This review covers both audiobook-parts.

It seems a bit redundant to give a summary to The Hobbit, but it feels wrong to start a review without having first given at least a short overview over the book's content, so here we go. Bilbo Baggins is a typical hobbit ... until the wizard Gandalf enters his home and sets a series of events in motion that will make Bilbo a very special hobbit. Gandalf invited a dozen dwarfs and made them believe that Bilbo is a master-thief who could help them in their current venture. Thus Bilbo sets out with the dwarfs. During their travels to the Lonely Mountain where they intend to retrieve their treasures from the dragon Smaug, they have to face numerous dangers.

The Hobbit is a typical adventure story, intended for a younger audience (I'd say older children into the early teenage years). The heroes, i.e. Bilbo, the dwarfs and sometimes Gandalf, have to face difficulties on their way to reach their goal. The main focus lies on Bilbo. The fact that Bilbo is not, of course, a real master-thief, but only a Hobbit leads to some interesting and sometimes quite funny situations for our hero. It is always a pleasure to see how Bilbo manages to "save the day" without having to relay on strength (Hobbits usually aren't that good at fighting). Instead he manages to come up with good ideas.

During the course of the book Bilbo grows as a character and he leaves the story as another person than when we first encountered him in the beginning.

I've first encountered this story by listening to the German audiobook. That is a wonderful dramatized production, but sadly it is also abridged (it fits on four CDs, so nearly half the book has been cut). After years of break from the story I decided to listen to the unabridged audiobook edition and I'm glad I did so. Rob Inglis is a wonderful narrator. He also narrates all three books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Thus I was already acquainted with his voice and was instantly drawn into Middle Earth. While I found Inglis' voice sometimes difficult to understand when I originally listened to his interpretation of the Lord of the Rings years ago, I really enjoyed his narration this time. He has a deep, calm voice that gives the impression of being told a story while sitting before a nice, warm hearthfire. Still he manages to give every character its distinct "voice". After listening to The Hobbit I count Inglis among my favourite authors and this has made me want to re-listen to The Lord of the Rings (of course narrated by Inglis).