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Anyone reading/read "The Hobbit"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Henry Carmona, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Does anyone know which Audio Books of The Hobbit and LOTR i should pickup?
    Are ther different ones? I have not had hardly any time to read lately [​IMG]
    Where can i get them?
    Thanks.
     
  2. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Oops, sorry Rob, it was a typo... I swear!! [​IMG]
    Re: the troll vrs Balrog, that's not really my perception of what a troll would look like but OK...
    Re: audio books, my sister gave me a sample CD of an audio version of the LOTRs, it's published by Random House (2001) and if I could find the little case that it was in, I'd be able to tell you more... but my sister is a store manager for a Barnes and Nobles so perhaps you could stop by and see if they have any more of them. I think it's a British troupe of voice actors doing the parts too. I only listened to like 3 minutes of it, but it sounded decent although its weird hearing gollum talk.. used to reading his hissing...[​IMG]
    Jay
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Jay, it sounds like you might have heard a bit from the BBC radio dramatisation from the early 80s. This is a magnificent piece of work and features some excellent voice acting. Frodo is voiced by Ian Holm (Bilbo in the films), Gandalf by Michael Hordern (and I am having doubts that even McKellen will get the voice as good). Gollum was voiced by Peter Woodthorpe, who also played the same role in Bashki's animated effort from 1978.
    I'm not sure about availability in the US, but the Amazon UK details are here:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...947458-3854249
     
  5. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Though the BBC version is not to be listened to if you've not read the books (IMHO), as it's obviously been edited down. There was a discussion about this a while back. Do a search on Rob Inglis (who reads the complete and unabridge versions) - I think it was actually in 'Software' that it came up.
    I'd also take issue with Rob about Michael Horden. He is a good actor but I thought he brought too much of the 'old man' to Gandalf, a character who I always felt was meant to be much more 'active'. Also I didn't think Gollum was Peter Woodthorpe. If I remember who I thought it was I'll get back to you. My recordings off the radio are long since dead, however. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Rob, Henry, et. al., I did a bit of housekeeping last night and I did find the CD cover for it. It was in my CD player and I misplaced it. Yup, it's Ian Holm and a cast of 25 performers. It doesn't list any of the other cast members by name though. It says that it's a 13-CD (or cassette) set for $69.95 (or $59.95 for cassette). They also have The Hobbit and also The Silmarillion available too.
    I'm listening to it right now, they're doing the first part of the Fellowship with Bilbo/Frodo's birthday party where Bilbo disappears....
    And like TheoGB mentions, it is a dramatization, not a literally reading of the book... with sound effects too. Although the loud crash and bang when Bilbo disappears is strange, I always picture it as a puff of smoke and without all the whizbang but maybe that's just me. [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  7. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  9. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    No one has mentioned it yet, but another must read in my opinion (after LOTR and Sim.) is "Unfinished Tales".

    As the title suggests, these are stories Tolkien worked on about Middle Earth, but never published... so they are a bit raw. But the story of Turin is still one of my favorites of all of Tolkien's works.
     
  10. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  11. Stacey_V

    Stacey_V Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, now I'm geared up!
    This thread has got my curiosity peaked, and now I guess I'm gonna have to read these books! I have absolutely no time to do so, but maybe I can squeeze a chapter or 2 in on my lunch hour. I haven't read any of the books mentionmed above. Should I start with the Hobbit, or go straight for LOTR? What book is the movie based on?
    Thanks guys!
    Stacey
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Theo, no Richard Griffiths (unless he's uncredited).

    Here's the cast list:

    Frodo -Ian Holm

    Gandalf - Michael Hordern

    Aragorn - Robert Stephens

    Gollum - Peter Woodthorpe

    Bilbo -John le Mesurier

    Sam - William Nighy

    Merry - Richard O'Callaghan

    Pippin - John McAndrew

    Legolas - David Collings

    Gimli -Douglas Livingstone

    Boromir - Michael Graham Cox

    Denethor - Peter Vaughan

    Faramir - Andrew Seear

    Théoden - Jack May

    Éomer -Anthony Hyde

    Éowyn -Elin Jenkins

    Saruman- Peter Howell

    Grima Wormtongue -Paul Brooke

    Elrond - Hugh Dickson

    Galadriel - Marian Diamond

    Celeborn - Simon Cadell

    Treebeard - Stephen Thorne

    Butterbur - James Grout

    Farmer Maggott - John Bott

    Lord of the Nazgûl - Philip Voss

    The Mouth Of Sauron - John Rye

    Narrator - Gerard Murphy
     
  13. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Wow, cheers.
    Wasn't James Grout in Morse? The one who played his boss? It's been bloody years since I watched one of those. I will have to get a set of the BBC's CDs I suppose, but the expense! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Jay, Rob,
    Thanks for the info.
    I really want to get these tapes/CD's, but now im feeling that it may not be a good idea since it isnt an actual reading from the book.
    Do you think ill miss anything?
    If not, ill shoot on over to B&N an see if i cant find them.
     
  15. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Henry, in some ways the radio play is closer to how the movies will be. The journey from Hobbiton to Rivendell is much shorter than in the books. No Bombadil, Barrow-Downs or Wood-Elves. It really depends what you want, but the play stands up on it's own and is quite brilliant in places.
     
  16. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I liked Tom Bombadil, seemed enough of a goofball to me. [​IMG]
    Stacey, The movie is based on the The Fellowship of the Rings which is like the first "book" of Lord of the Rings so I presume the only book you need to finish before the movie comes out Dec 19th is just that section. I think it's about 2-3 hundrd pages or so but I'm not sure cause the book is not in front of me. The Hobbit, at least for me, was a real quick read, took me like a week to finish it and I am typically a slow reader. However, if you're really rushed for time, you can probably skip it til later, knowing that Bilbo Baggins was the main hobbit in that book while Frodo (and Sam, Merry, and Pippen) is the main Hobbit in LOTR. You can even read a summary of it if you wish to find out the characters who reappear in the LOTR, such as gollum (Smeagol) and Bilbo as well as some other characters who are mentioned (such as some of the dwarfs on Bilbo's journey like Gloin, etc). You do get a brief flashback during the Council of Elrond halfway into the Fellowship.
    Jay
    I hope I spelled those names right!
     
  17. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I would advise seeing the movie before reading the book. The first movie will probably be the most cut (unless there really is no Shelob [​IMG] - I hope that was just a rumour) but its one of those cases where it won't matter (I imagine) to your viewing pleasure if you've not read the book yet.
    If you read the book first then you'll just spend the whole movie seeing what's different and changed. I've deliberately not re-read before the movie for this reason.
     
  18. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Henry, please, please, I beg you, do NOT read the Silmarillion before reading the Lord of the Rings.

    It's important to remember that all of these stories are various ideas that came from different places, which Tolkien then decided to smush together into one universe.

    Tolkien was a master of languages, and decided to try writing his own. He reasoned that every language must have a mythology behind it, which would include the creation of the world and the history of the people who spoke the language. These people would come to be Elves, and their language Elvish, which, I believe, will actually be spoken in the upcoming film (I heard Liv Tyler, who plays Arwen, talking about it on Conan O'Brien's show) . Tolkien proceeded to jot down various notes and stories on the conflict of gods, the migration of Elves to Middle Earth, the awakening of Men, and the search and fight over the powerful silmarils.

    Later on, Tolkien, in a burst of inspiration, wrote something about little Hobbits living in holes in the ground, and so forth. CS Lewis and other peers encouraged him to run with it. This became the Hobbit.

    He decided to put the story of the Hobbit in the same universe as the myths he developed in his earlier notes about Elves and such. The story of the Hobbits and Lord of the Rings takes place thousands of years after the events of his earlier notes.

    One of the most magnificent things about Lord of the Rings is that, since there is a universe already fleshed out, complete with histories, languages, geology, calendars, etc, he is able to reference it and provide a wide, literary scope for the story.

    Some of the aforementioned notes were collected and published by Tolkien's son, Christopher, after his death as the Silmarillion. Since then, scores of other similar volumes were released, containing various versions of older stories and poems. The Unfinished Tales is one such book, as well as perhaps a dozen volumes of the Lost Tales.

    If you read the Silmarillion before LotR, you lose that sense of mystery and wonderment. For example, when the Hobbits come across Elves singing a song which mentions gods of old and vague legends, not knowing exactly what they're singing about makes it interesting. All that stuff is explained in detail in the published notes, so it may be of intereset after reading the novels. The Silmarillion gives you a background, but the wrong background.

    The Silmarillion is only enjoyable if:

    1) You really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings

    2) Are curious to find out lots more background info on Middle Earth

    3) Like mythology: Norse, Greek, etc. Norse especially highly influenced the Middle Earth mythos and language.

    Also, keep in mind that the tone of the Silmarillion is worlds apart from LotR. Wereas the latter reads like a proper novel, the former is a collection of various tales, presented in a more mystical light. The characters aren't fleshed out, and are presented more as legends than real people.

    If you do find yourself into this stuff, then you might want to check out the Unfinished Tales as well. It explicitly details the story of Galadriel and what led her to become the person she is in LorT. I can't wait to re-read the part where Bilbo offers her the ring with this knowledge.

    I, for one, happen to feel that it's not necessary to read the Hobbit to enjoy LorT. The only part relevant to the narrative is how Bilbo got the ring, which is explained tine the Prologue to Fellowship anyway.

    I'm going to start re-reading Fellowship tonight to "prepare" for the movie. I'm not too worried about going to see it, as I never see movies on opening weekend, and it will probably be in January when I finally get around to seeing the movie.

    So, my reading Tolkien reading list:

    1) The Hobbit- optional

    2) The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King- you have to read this to be cool

    3) The Silmarillion- very optional. Warning: if you read this, you will have become a Tolkien nerd.

    4) The Unfinished Tales- more wonderful, useless nonsense.

    5) The Lost Tales- No you're just getting silly.

    Re Tom Bombadill: I believe his inclusion into the LotR was a symptom of placing Tolkien's various tales into one universe. He is usually the first thing to go in any abridgement of the story, and I for one will not miss him in the movie. He represents another aspect of Tolkien's writing that is good, but doesn't fit the darker, more somber tone of LotR.
     
  19. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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  20. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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