by J R R Tolkien
There are many editions of The Hobbit to choose from. This hardback version—published back in 2012 for the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication—is nicely done and includes all of Tolkien’s drawings and colour illustrations.
Recommendations from our site
“The Hobbit is such a richly imagined fantasy that, especially as a child, you can live in it. It is so completely immersive.” Read more...
Cressida Cowell on Magical Stories for Kids
Cressida Cowell, Children's Author
“This one book, which was published in 1937, defined so many variables for the fantasy tradition that are still in place today. Tolkien’s extraordinary achievement was to recover the epic landscapes of Anglo-Saxon myth, bring them back to life, and then to take us through them on foot, so we could see the details up close, at human scale.” Read more...
Lev Grossman, Novelist
“I have always thought that The Hobbit was a better book than The Lord of the Rings.” Read more...
Children’s and Young Adult Fiction
Melvin Burgess, Children's Author
BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author Andy Serkis expertly narrates JRR Tolkien‘s prelude to the Lord of the Rings epic. Andy Serkis is the narrator on all the original LOTR books (in the UK and US). For listeners who have already seen the films, Andy uses the same characterful, evocative voice for Gollum in the audiobooks.
Narrator: Andy Serkis
Listening time: 10 hours and 24 minutes
The Hobbit introduces the creature known as a hobbit, about half the height of a human, beardless, and with hairy feet. In particular, the book introduces the figure of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit in his 50s who enjoys eating, smoking his pipe and taking it easy, and who is very emphatically NOT in search of an adventure. Unfortunately, a visit from Gandalf, a wizard, and 13 dwarves changes all that. Mr Baggins is dragged off from his comfortable home on a quest to recover a treasure.
The Hobbit is fun and light-hearted but has a slightly two-dimensional feel—featuring elves, goblins and dragons: creatures you might expect in a magical story for kids. It does not yet have the epic and ‘real’ feel of The Lord of the Rings. However, it’s in The Hobbit that a magical ring first makes its appearance, as does the creature who is obsessed with it—called Gollum because of the strange noise he makes in his throat when he talks. It’s clear that the ring’s power and the role it would play in the narrative of The Lord of the Rings had yet to take shape in Tolkien’s mind.