J.R.R. Tolkien Reads From the Hobbit Dec12


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J.R.R. Tolkien Reads From the Hobbit

The second installation of the Hobbit film franchise – 3 films, total screen time equal to or longer than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy! – opens tomorrow. That’s right: Friday the 13th. Despite the ominous date, I’m optimistic…if only because I don’t think it can get any worse than the first outing!

The problem with the last film? An entirely bloated script that tried way too hard to make us remember the look and feel of the Lord of the Rings instead of simply telling the story at hand. After sitting through more than two-and-a-half hours of plodding plot lines (both the Hobbit proper and as much back-story to LOTR as they could possibly cram in), my son quipped that he could have probably read the first third of the book more quickly. And he was right! At the time, I suggested that this was evidence of why criticism is essential to creativity. A year later – after more tie-ins, promotions, and 3D stunts than I can count – I wonder if it’s simply a matter of greed.

Either way, I have run into more than a few folks that absolutely loved the film, and that actually encourages me. But whether you loved the film or, well, didn’t, if you saw it you are probably a Tolkien fan. And so in kinship with the extended Tolkien tribe, and hoping the second installment is much better than the first, I thought I’d share these two readings of extended passages of the Hobbit by none other than J. R. R. Tolkien himself. Enjoy!


Notes: 1) If you are receiving this post by email, you may need to click the title of the post at the top to watch and listen to the video.
2) You can find out more about Tolkien’s readings from Open Culture, where I found these videos.