Summary (From GoodReads) : Tolkien’s famous saga, the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, has all the ingredients of fantasy and adventure: dwarves, elves, goblins and trolls, a fearsome dragon, a great wizard, a perilous quest, and a dramatic climax. This radio dramatization became a classic when it was first broadcast on BBC Radio, and it continues to delight today. Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, is a peaceful sort who lives in a cozy hole in the Shire, a place where adventures are uncommon—and rather unwanted. So when the wizard Gandalf whisks him away on a treasure hunting expedition with a troop of rowdy dwarves, he’s not entirely thrilled.
Thoughts: It has been a while since I read the Hobbit and I think I’ll have to read it again. In this adaptation, most of the characters annoyed me and it was next to impossible to tell any of the dwarves apart. There are just so many of them and they don’t have particularly distinctive personalities. I had trouble following what was happening. Part of this is because I think it is hard to convey action in radio-theater. I kept asking myself why things were happening and wondering if I really wanted Bilbo and the dwarves to succeed.
Moments I Loved: When all the dwarves show up to discuss the adventure and Bilbo is all “What is going on? Why is my house full of dwarves who want to fight for treasure?”
WTF Moments: Bilbo finds something that he knows is important to one of the dwarves and decides to keep it. While he grows in a lot of good ways throughout the course of the book, this scene marked that change goes both ways and you can start doing bad things even while becoming a stronger person.
Performance: The cast did a great job, but overall the production stressed me out. There is a lot of action and fighting, which is hard to follow. Listening in my car, I was surrounded by the sound of clashing swords and yelling men. Most listeners will probably think this adds to the performance, but it made me feel overwhelmed and I sometimes had trouble following what was happening.
Overall: Definitely worth a listen for die-hard Hobbit fans, but I wouldn’t recommend it as an introduction to the story if you haven’t read the book.