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Audio Editions of Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings The Hobbit    The Silmarillion other works

 
 

The J. R. R. Tolkien Audio Collection
 
Compact discs:  ASIN 0694525707   |   Cassettes:  ASIN 155994675X
This is a delightful set of recordings and a great value as well.  Consisting of 4 cassettes or CDs, it includes the 1952 Caedmon recordings of the Good Professor himself reading selections from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.   These recordings were made on an early Ferrograph at the home of Tolkien's friend George Sayer in Malvern, Worchestershire prior to the actual publishing of LOTR (thus there are slight differences between the readings and the published works) .  The set also includes recordings of Christopher Tolkien reading selections from The Silmarillion.

Note that there are differences in the cassette and CD versions:  The cassette version includes the Caedmon release "Poems and Songs of Middle Earth" which features songs from The Road Goes Ever On with musical accompaniment.  The CD version does not include this but includes additional readings from The Silmarillion by Christopher Tolkien ("Of The Darkening of Valinor" and "Of The Flight Of The Noldor").  Either way, you get all this for only $17.50 online or $25.00 in-store!  Highly recommended.
 
Cassette Contents: Compact Disc Contents:
Cassette I
Christopher Tolkien reads his father's The Silmarillion: Of Beren and Luthien. 68:04

Cassette II
J.R.R. Tolkien reads and sings excerpts from The Hobbit 29:47, The Fellowship of the Ring 16:04

Cassette III
J.R.R. Tolkien reads and sings excerpts from The Two Towers 21.01, and The Return of the King 20.26

Cassette IV
J.R.R. Tolkien's Poems and Songs of Middle-Earth, Directed Howard Sackler: J.R.R. Tolkien reads from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil 18.02, The Road Goes Ever On, Sung by William Elvin 15.31

Disc 1
J.R.R. Tolkien reads and sings excerpts from The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring 49:42

Disc 2
J.R.R. Tolkien reads from The Two Towers, The Return of the King, additional material from The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil 71:52

Disc 3
Christopher Tolkien reads from The Silmarillion: Chapter 19, Of Beren and Luthien 68:15

Disc 4
Christopher Tolkien reads from The Silmarillion: Chapter 8, Of The Darkening of Valinor, and Chapter 9, Of The Flight of the Noldor 60:38

THE LORD OF THE RINGS
Recorded Books Unabridged, audio book
This is the only unabridged audio book (rather than a dramatization).  Read by Royal Shakespeare and Royal Court Theatre actor Rob Inglis.  The reading of The Fellowship of the Ring includes the Foreword and the Prologue, and the reading of The Return of the King includes Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers.  Excellent reading.  Inglis brings all the characters to life in a veritable one-man performance without overdoing it.
 
Compact Discs Cassettes
Total time
The Fellowship of the Ring 0-788-78981-3 0-788-78953-8
20 hours
The Two Towers 0-788-78983-X 0-788-78954-6
17 hours
The Return of the King 0-788-78984-8 0-788-78955-4
15 hours
The Lord of the Rings
Gift Set (all three books)
1-402-51627-4 1-402-50520-5
52 hours
BBC Radio dramatization (Pub. by Bantam-Doubleday-Dell)
 
Compact discs:  ISBN 0553456539   |   Cassettes:  ISBN 0553472283
Recorded in 1981.  13 hours.  Abridged.  There are two radio adaptations or dramatizations available.  This is the one preferred by most Tolkien enthusiasts.  The performances are convincing and the production is first-rate. Although the story as presented is abridged, the packaged product is the complete radio performance, which has caused a bit of confusion as some online vendors were indicating that this was an unabridged edition.  Includes Map of Middle-earth, a cast list, and a brief bio of J.R.R. Tolkien.  13 CDs or cassettes.
Mind's Eye dramatization (Pub. by Soundelux Audio)
 
Compact discs:  ISBN 1559351209   |   Cassettes:  ISBN 0881422703
9 CDs or 12 cassettes.  Abridged.  This is the dramatiztion heard on National Public Radio.  While this version has its merits, it is plagued by very bad acting and poor casting choices.  Packaged in an attractive branded wooden gift box.
THE HOBBIT
Recorded Books Unabridged, audio book
Compact discs:  ISBN  0788789821    |  Cassettes:  ISBN  0788789562


Unabridged audio book.  Read by Royal Shakespeare and Royal Court Theatre actor Rob Inglis. 7 CDs or cassettes.

BBC Radio Presents (Pub. by Random House Audio (CDs) and The Listening Library (Cassettes))
Compact discs:  ISBN  0553455621    |   Cassettes:  ISBN  0807288837


Radio dramatization produced by the BBC (see entry for The Lord of the Rings above).

Mind's Eye dramatization (Pub. by Highbridge Audio)
Compact discs:  ISBN  156511552X    |   Cassettes:  ISBN  1565115511
Radio dramatization heard on National Public Radio (see entry for The Lord of the Rings above).
THE SILMARILLION
Bantam Doubleday Dell, audio book, 1998
 
Compact Discs:  ISBN  0553456067    |  Cassettes:  ISBN  0553525409
Unabridged audio book.  Read by Martin Shaw.
OTHER WORKS
Farmer Giles Of Ham And Other Stories
Houghton Mifflin ISBN 0618114807
Unabridged audio book.  Read by Derek Jacobi.  Also includes readings of "Smith of Wootton Major" and "Leaf By Niggle." 
Sir Gawain and The Green Knight
HarperCollins ISBN 0-001-05373-6 
Abridged.  Read by Terry Jones.  Tape 2 includes bonus material, not listed on the packaging, of Tolkien's background essay and introduction to the work. 
British audio products
For recordings such as Tales From the Perilous Realm, and J.R.R. Tolkien: An Audio Portrait, please visit the Hard-To-Find British Tolkiens items page.
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