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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Review: The Hobbit (Audible Book)

After reading Watership Down to Bowen, I needed a break from reading long narratives to Bowen. I decided to cheat. Instead of reading to him, we'd listen to an audio book together. But which one? I settled on The Hobbit.

The Hobbit is a long book for a 6 year old kid, with a running time of 11 hours and 8 minutes for the unabridged version. (There was zero chance I'd go for the dramatized abridged version) I was worried that Bowen would listen for about 10 minutes and then decide that it was not for him. I shouldn't have.

First of all, Rob Inglis is a great narrator, not only using very different voices for each character, but when it came to the songs and poems (which I tended to skip over as a kid reading the book) he would actually sing! I don't think I could have sang the songs as well as he did, so paying for the book didn't seem like a bad idea. So after just one session of listening, Bowen was hooked. The listening took many many days, and Bowen didn't always have the attention span to listen carefully. But the nice thing about The Hobbit is that not only is it a book and audio book, there are also movies, so we would check out each movie from the library as he finished the section of the book, and as an added bonus we would do comparisons: how was the movie different from the book? Why was it different? Did Gollum look like how you imagined him to look?

The narration is not perfect: the riddles section for instance, was difficult for Bowen to comprehend because of the voice Inglis used for Gollum. But that's OK. We could get out the book and read the riddles, which Bowen loved. I need a good book of riddles.

Needless to say, I can recommend The Hobbit as an audio book for young listeners. I myself can't listen to fiction in audio book format, but I made an exception for this one. I guess I'll make an exception for Rob Inglis' Lord of The Rings next.

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