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The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again [Large Print] [Paperback]

J. R. R. Tolkien
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (912 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 2003
The first new illustrated edition of The Hobbit for more than 15 years contains 150 brand new colour illustrations. Artist Jemima Catlin's charming and lively interpretation brings Tolkien's beloved characters to life in a way that will entice and entertain a new generation of readers. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable and quiet life. His contentment is disturbed one day when the wizard, Gandalf, and the dwarves arrive to take him away on an adventure. Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught 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...
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Amazon

Poor Bilbo Baggins! An unassuming and rather plump hobbit (as most of these small, furry- footed people tend to be ), Baggins finds himself unwittingly drawn into adventure by a wizard named Gandalf and 13 dwarves bound for the Lonely Mountain, where a dragon named Smaug hordes a stolen treasure. Before he knows what is happening, Baggins finds himself on the road to danger. Wizards, dwarves and dragons may seem the stuff of children's fairy tales, but The Hobbit is in a class of its own--light-hearted enough for younger readers, yet with a dark edge guaranteed to intrigue an older audience. In the best tradition of the archetypal hero's quest, Bilbo Baggins sets out on his fateful journey a callow, untested soul and returns--tempered by hardship, danger and loss--a better man--er, hobbit.

This book is the predecessor to Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, and though that trilogy can be thoroughly enjoyed without first reading The Hobbit, much that happens in the later novels is foreshadowed here. A word of caution, however: as Bilbo discovers early on, travel and adventure are addictive things; embark on this journey to the Lonely Mountain with Tolkien's reluctant hero, and you might not be able to stop there. And the road taken to the distant mountains of Mordor in the ensuing trilogy is an even more perilous one. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Between the film release of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, this is the season of the magical movie, and this audiobook is an inevitable spinoff. Countless readers have grown up on the adventures of the little furry hobbits who crave good food and a warm bed, but wind up trapped in caves, attacked by spiders and burdened by a dizzying assortment of treacherous adventures. While the stories are quite intricate, the message of good triumphing over evil is always evident. This appealing theme of the downtrodden overcoming obstacles is what keeps listeners' attention. There is so much action on this dramatization that listeners may often feel pulled in many directions. The narrators, including Ray Reinhardt as Bilbo and Bernard Mayes as Gandalf, are engaging, and the sound effects (including noises in the cave or forest, or the hobbits sitting down to a meal) are also quite strong. But those not already familiar with the story may find it difficult to distinguish between the various characters or keep track of all the action. Listeners will probably want to read the book along with listening, or perhaps listen and then watch the movie. The tapes are presented in a rustic-looking wooden box, making this appropriate for gift giving.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely copy to entice the younguns Nov. 19 2009
Format:Hardcover
A classic, plain and simple. The illustrations are whimsical, sophisticated, and there are plenty of them. A nice copy printed on quality paper, this edition will stand up to many, many readings.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Mike London TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
[This is a review of the 70th Anniversary Edition, not so much of THE HOBBIT itself. I've reviewed the book proper elsewhere, and would rather focus on the actual edition itself.]

THE HOBBIT is one of those few books that I have felt justified to buy multiple copies over the years. It is a book I have read and cherished, and a book I dearly love. THE HOBBIT is a novel that deserves to be bought multiple times over, and I always enjoy looking at new editions of this classic work. So imagine my excitement when I found out they would be publishing a 70th anniversary edition of one of my most cherished novels!

This has been a big year for Tolkien fans. Christopher Tolkien published THE CHILDREN OF HURIN, a newly completed version of Turin's legend, in April. We've gotten (at long last), THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT, expertly handled by brilliant Tolkien scholar John D. Ratcliffe and published in two separate volumes. And of course, we have the 70th anniversary of Tolkien's first primary work, THE HOBBIT, which this edition is published in celebration of that momentous occasion. And does it live up as a major new edition of this fantasy classic?

That's a pretty easy answer. The answer is NO.

First off, here are the positives. The 70th anniversary edition is pretty much how the first edition of THE HOBBIT was actually published back in 1937 with some notable improvements, and conforming to Tolkien's pretty exacting specifications, including how the dust jacket should appear, as well as the art and maps that accompany the text.

These are the notable differences between the first edition and this edition. Due to cost, Tolkien was not able from a production standpoint to have the book appear exactly as he envisioned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There And Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday July 22 2012
By Dave_42 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Hobbit or There and Back Again" by J. R. R. Tolkien was published on September 21st of 1937. It is the success of this book that paved the way for "The Lord of the Rings". "The Hobbit" is definitely geared towards younger readers, and it received favorable reviews from papers in the U.K. and the U.S., and it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, as well as the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1938.

"The Hobbit" is often over-shadowed by "The Lord of the Rings", and this is especially true when one treats "The Hobbit" as the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings". To consider it as such is both fair and unfair. It is fair, because clearly the events in "The Hobbit" took place prior to, and are key to the "The Lord of the Rings", and of course there are common characters in both stories. However, it is also not fair in that "The Hobbit" clearly was written for a younger audience, and even when reading one of the revised editions, where some passages were altered to better fit with "The Lord of the Rings", the overall tone of the work is much lighter. There was a brief attempt by Tolkien to rewrite "The Hobbit" in the same style, but he soon gave it up because it destroyed what was so good about the original. As a result, it would be better to consider "The Hobbit" as the children's telling of the events which took place prior to "The Lord of the Rings" and not attempt to hold it to the same standard.

Another thing that people have noted about the two stories is that at a high-level outline the two stories are very similar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic! Jan. 1 2012
Format:Paperback
I remember reading this when I was 10, and I just read it again about a decade later for a class in University. I still loved it. I don't think it matters what age you are, this book is great. If you're a fantasy-lover, this is definitely something you have to read! This version is really cute, too, I loved the little pictures at the start of each chapter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review April 16 2004
Format:Paperback
Book Review of
The Hobbit written by J. R. R. Tolkien
By Scott Koors
The Hobbit is a very interesting and exciting book. The main character, Bilbo, is a little dwarf person that doesn't wear any shoes that they call a hobbit. Bilbo and a great wizard, Gandalf, set out on a great adventure together. The two of them overcome some unbelievable hardships. They also make some new friends and at the same time some new enemies.
This book allows you to let your imagination run wild. I found that I was putting myself into the different character's shoes during the story. I just imagined how scary, but at the same time, how exciting it must have been for them. Even though there is a lot of science-fiction things in the book, I could still picture all of the scenes and settings. The book wasn't too abstract. I also felt that the book was very detailed. I could almost paint a picture of what was happening in the book in my head.
I have always enjoyed reading adventurous books and this one was no different. The book kept me entertained the whole time. I found it hard to put it down, I just couldn't stop reading it. I had to keep reading just to find out what happened next. This was pretty unusual for me, since I don't really enjoy reading that much. The Hobbit was just an all around good book that keeps your attention, while at the same time allows your imagination to run wild. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventurous book, that is written very well by J. R. R. Tolkien.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
SON IN LAW LOVED IT
Published 3 days ago by Carol Droeske
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, a lot easier to read when its in ...
Amazing, a lot easier to read when its in large print and I just cpuld not put it down
Published 3 days ago by Emily Sawatzky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 25 days ago by Rob Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the hobbit
It is the hobbit, what isn't to like? I purchased it because my other copy wore out and it was cheap.
Published 2 months ago by Shaun Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good price
Sometimes its a pain to find books in a book store but Amazon makes it easy to get those ones that you want.
Published 4 months ago by robert hartl
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifull
This edition is a hardcover more vintage looking version of the classic. Amazing feeling of quality right down to the printing paper used. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maximilien Dzikonski
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Keepsake
I purchased this book as a birthday present for my young nephew. It is a beautiful book and has an elegant feel to it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robinf
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful copy!
bought as a christmas gift for the Tolkien fan in the house, he LOVED it! wish I would have waited for the box set though :(
Published 6 months ago by harmony pastoor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I tried very hard to find this specific book cover as a christmas gift and they sent me the right one! Excellent.
Published 6 months ago by Paige Delaney
5.0 out of 5 stars a very great story
This is a classic story that I have read and reread. It will always be a classic work that all should take the time to read.
Published 7 months ago by bookworm
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