Thursday, July 15, 2021

Andy Serkis's LotR audiobook

So, I was pleased to hear that Andy Serkis, Smeagol extraordinaire, has recorded an unabridged audiobook of THE LORD OF THE RINGS in three parts (FR, TT, RK), due out September 16th. This is welcome news in that the old Rob Inglis recordings have been long overdue for replacement and also that I expect Serkis to do a bang-up job of it. Here's a sample Smeagol vs. Gollum track:

I hadn't realized until checking some links in connection with this story that Serkis has already released a complete recording of THE HOBBIT almost a year ago. Clearly it's time to update my JRRT audiobooks, my current holdings being a melange of cassettes, cds, audiofiles, and records. I also see there's now an audiobook of UNFINISHED TALES which I hadn't known about. So there's some new to discover and much older material to renew my acquaintance with. More later.

--John R.

--current reading: THE THIRD INKLING (up to 1936, when Williams and Lewis made contact)


Unknown said...

An interesting note about Serkis' audiobooks is that despite the fact that they are advertised as being unabridged (and I have no reason to believe that is not true) they are much shorter in running length than the ones read by Rob Inglis. Apparently the same was true about The Hobbit. I guess Andy reads considerably faster than Rob did. The respective running times of the three "volumes" of LOTR are:

FOTR - 19 hours and 7 minutes versus 10 hrs and 59 mins

TTT - 16 hours and 40 minutes versus 10 hrs and 16 mins

ROTK - 18 hours and 19 minutes versus 12 hrs and 54 mins

I first saw this noted at The Tolkien Collector's Guide:


Paul W said...

I found this curious: "This is welcome news in that the old Rob Inglis recordings have been long overdue for replacement..."

Why? I mean, I don't believe anything in particular is missing from the Rob Inglis recordings, and I find his voice nigh perfect for the work. If there is no change or revision to the text, why does there need to be a replacement?

I do understand why they've chosen to do this, Serkis is a gifted reader, well known from the movies, and certainly this new audiobook version will sell well. I hadn't planned to get it myself, however, it just feels like a waste of money. But I am open to being convinced otherwise, hence my question. :)

As for the differing length of the works, I find it impossible to believe that they are the same with those running time differences. Something must have been cut, I've never seen such large discrepancies in reading times for readings from identical manuscripts. Perhaps the Serkis versions is missing foreward, preface, or appendices?

John D. Rateliff said...

I've always found Inglis lacking: monotonous. So I'm glad to hear that a new recording, by someone whose voice-acting work I admire, is about to come out.

Once it does it shd be easy to resolve the length issue.

--John R.

Paul W said...

That's a fair answer. I find Inglis and Martin Shaw (for the Silmarillion) sonorous and relaxing, but Serkis will definitely bring more energy to the reading 9and, I imagine, if this sells well he will do the Silmarillion eventually as well).

I hope folks let us know asap if their are content differences. I'd be excited if they were longer, because Inglis' version doesn't have as much of the Appendices as I would like.

I adore the new Unfinished Tales audiobook, which I just listened to when it came out this year. It was wonderful. I do wish we had one book that brought everything Tolkien wrote on Numenor under one cover.

Luke N said...

I’m ripping the audiobooks from CD to iTunes right now and I’m noticing that the content for Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers I The The Númenórean Kings (ii) The Realms in Exile seems to have just been skipped over entirely. Andy announces the title of the section, says a few words, then immediately launches into the title of the next section (iii) Eriador, Arnor, and the heirs of Isildur. Anyone else noticing this?