Retail pak Listening Library 2000
CS ISBN 0807288837 $25.95 Four cassettes
This version, a full-cast performance of the fantasy classic, is a dramatization that abridges the story while adding music and realistic sound effects for large crowds, bugles, and animals. In a slight departure from the original, Bilbo Baggins actually speaks to the narrator from time to time. Unfortunately, the accompanying sounds and music prove distracting, making the book confusing. Lost lines make it harder to follow the story. In addition, the screenplay omits important transitional events, furthering the confusion. The performers, however, give vision to each of the characters. Bilbo grows from a quiet, nervous, worried Hobbit to a gallant, inventive, and courageous adventurer. The dwarves, although hard to differentiate, are solid and stubborn--fixed on their goal. A querulous Gandalf is hard to picture at first, but he slowly warms to the story. A straight reading with this exceptional cast would be a joy indeed. W.L.S. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 01]
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