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Andy Serkis unabridged Hobbit Audiobook

2 Jul, 2020 (edited)
2020-7-2 12:04:41 PM UTC

HarperCollins is releasing an unabridged audiobook of J R R Tolkien's The Hobbit, read by Andy Serkis who starred as Gollum in the blockbuster movies.

Released in September, the audiobook comes after Serkis embarked on Hobbitathon, a live, cover-to-cover reading of the classic book, in an 11-hour sitting to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts. More than 650,000 fans tuned in, helping to raise over £300,000.

Serkis explained: “I have such vivid memories of first reading The Hobbit, when I was on the bus going to school, aged about nine or 10. It was the first ‘grown up’ book I remember reading, and I’d often miss my stop because I was so engaged in the thrust and power of its storytelling, the beautifully drawn characters, the majesty of the epic journey.

“After having performed it all in one take for the Hobbitathon, and with experience freshly under my belt, HarperCollins and I talked about the idea of creating an audiobook version, one that would encapsulate the spirit of the Hobbitathon, except this time I would have the opportunity to refine the performance over four days in the studio.”

The actor has donated his fee to the Disasters Emergency Committee and HarperCollins has matched his contribution.

Deputy publishing director Chris Smith said: “HarperCollins is proud to be the official publisher of the works of J R R Tolkien, and we consider The Hobbit to be one of the brightest jewels in our crown, a book that generations of readers have grown up with and continue to love for its charm, imagination and sense of adventure. We are delighted that we have an actor of the calibre of Andy Serkis who can bring these qualities to life so brilliantly for a whole new audience, and the support of the Tolkien Estate in bringing about this exciting project.”

The audiobook will be available to download from all audiobook retailers on 3rd September and on CD on 17th September. Recorded Books will publish in the US. ... bit-harpercollins-1208925

Audible pre-order ... rd_r=6VXVXKVRMJFQ65TKAZ0H

10_5efdcd3ce86e7.jpg 1079X1067 px
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 12:33:46 PM UTC
Very cool. Also, is that the upcoming edition of The Hobbit that he is holding?
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 12:45:19 PM UTC
Yes, it is. Not sure when the paperback is released, but the picture is from HarperCollins so makes sense for them to plug the new book as well.
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 1:06:07 PM UTC
I saw the announcement from the Tolkien facebook page earlier. To me, pre-ordering something that is available digitally (no physical stock) seems a tad pointless to me - however one does get automatic delivery, usually.

Also, going by this photo, it looks like the Nat Geo-style editions look to be like the 'tall' paperback style: what that is, is that it's a paperback that's more tall and narrow than usual. The Dune books got new covers last year, and the new American editions of The Wheel of Time are similarly shaped. I also remember a co-worker reading Jim Butcher's Codex Alera in those style, and I think the Girl with the Tattoo trilogy also got released like that. I hope I'm making sense haha - I don't know what the proper term for that trim size.

Can anyone confirm that owns them? Once masks aren't needed is when I'm going to bookstores, etc again, despite them being open now.
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 2:32:27 PM UTC
I'll purchase this. I may only listen once huts a cool thing that will help people. And in a personal note I love Andy's hoody, being a variant of the Joy Division album Unknkwn Pleasures. Very cool.
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 2:35:16 PM UTC
Also, I noticed weeks ago that The Hobbit was listed on amazon UK for release on audible but I just assumed it was the existing version. Never clicked to read the blurb.
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 3:44:40 PM UTC
Here is a bit of additional information for USA people. I will update if I can add more on digital availability (these do not show up in Amazon at the moment, for example).

CD - unabridged
Audio (10 discs)
Product Number: C06594
Released: Sep 21, 2020
ISBN: #9781705009031
Narrator: Andy Serkis
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.

eAudio - unabridged
Product Number: Z17367
Released: Sep 21, 2020
ISBN: #9781705009048
Narrator: Andy Serkis
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 6:54:07 PM UTC
I’ve always found it odd when they have “unabridged” editions. Like who would want an abridged edition of ANY book? ?
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 7:03:03 PM UTC

@Eorl wrote:
I’ve always found it odd when they have “unabridged” editions. Like who would want an abridged edition of ANY book? ?

Personally I'm with you 100%, but there appears to be a large market for abridged books (audio and print), i.e. Reader's Digest magazine has a circulation above 10 million (if you are familiar with that magazine).

Here's a good article. Pull quote (in reference to site)

Abridged audiobooks account for just 4% of the site’s 125,000 audiobooks, and make up only .5% of sales.

Down from an industry peak of 34% in 2004...
2 Jul, 2020
2020-7-2 7:36:37 PM UTC
Abridged editions are, in my opinion, not intended to be 'the book, but read out loud' but rather 'a reading of highlights from the book.' Much like those recordings of Tolkien and Christopher reading - those are abridged (as they don't read the entire book they're reading from), yet still worth a listen.
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