Nicol Williamson reading The Hobbit

Discussion in '"The Hobbit"' started by Merroe, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

    Feb 14, 2016
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    No question here: just me sharing some information.

    I got hold of the digitized version of said reading and here are some impressions just in case it would interest somebody.

    With great results, the speaker simulated (many!) different voices to differentiate between characters in the story. I just loved his voices for the trolls and for Roäc, incidentally! His Gollum-rendering somewhat fell off, to my personal appreciation (very subjectively said). All the same it is expertly rendered; a pleasure to listen to. The technical quality is excellent, too.

    On the downside, the recording (of a total size of 3h 33min) was announced as "abbreviated" as follows:

    Nicol re-edited the original script for the abridgement, removing many occurrences of “he said”, “she said”, as he felt that an over-reliance on descriptive narrative would not give the desired effect.

    That's not all that was eliminated though. The story was more abbreviated and canonic hardliners here won't like that.

    A typical example where abbreviations lead to inconsistency? The feasts and lights of the wood-elves causing the Thorin Company to leave the path against earlier advice were omitted. Yet, after Bilbo saved the dwarves from the spiders, the spoken text mentioned Bilbo showing the dwarves the direction towards the earlier elf-fires... euh - which what? :confused:

    Also, some smaller details (which I nevertheless quite liked) fell out. For example, when Bilbo jumped over Gollum on his way out of the Misty Mountains, I'm missing the line: "Indeed, had he known it, he only just missed cracking his skull on the low arch of the passage". There’s a lot like this but I did not make systematic notes of those. That would have been difficult, while I was driving my car, incidentally. :oops:

    No more bean-counting... here are my own quick conclusions for the interested among you:

    • If you've already read TH, if you like it and if you are familiar with it, then I'm confident that you will enjoy and appreciate Nicol Williamson's brilliant reading no less than I did. I recommend it if some fun is wanted behind a lonely steering wheel.
    • If you haven't read TH yet, you may still enjoy it... but you cannot really claim that you know TH after having heard it.
    • Excellent rendering by a great artist of vocal expression. That must be mentioned - definitely.
    • No "book-rape" like the TH movies: it's abbreviated, as said before, but with no abominations added, whatsoever.
    PS - these audio files are offered for free nowadays. :)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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