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Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien's haunting 1952 reading from The Hobbit

Contributed by
Jun 4, 2013

Here's your chance to hear the master himself read from the legendary novel.

Back in 1952, J.R.R. Tolkien was visiting a friend when he had his first encounter with a tape recorder. Tolkien was excited by the idea that he could record his own voice and hear it played back so easily, so his friend persuaded him to do a reading from The Hobbit as a demonstration of the device. Luckily for us, Tolkien chose to read from what has become one of the novel's most famous chapters, "Riddles in the Dark," in which Bilbo Baggins first encounters the creature known as Gollum.

Take a listen to the clip above, and get ready for a chill or two when Tolkien slips into his rather creepy (though not at all like Andy Serkis) Gollum voice.

(Via YouTube)

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