Andy Serkis Will Record a New Audiobook Edition of The Hobbit

In May, Gollum actor Andy Serkis powered through a 12-hour reading marathon (a Hobbitathon) of the entirety of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Now, he’ll go back behind the microphone to do it again, for a new edition of the fantasy novel’s audiobook.

This new edition is slated to be released on September 3rd from digital audiobook retailers, and will come out as a physical CD on September 17th. Speaking to The Bookseller, Serkis notes that he has “such vivid memories of first reading The Hobbit, when I was on the bus going to school, aged about nine or 10.”

This won’t be a re-release of that Hobbitathon charity stream: Serkis notes that the experience prompted him to chat with HarperCollins about the possibility of doing a new audiobook, and that he’ll be working over the course of four days to create a polished version of the story.

Andy Serkis reads from The Hobbit

We are delighted to announce the release of a brand-new audiobook of The Hobbit, read by award-winning actor, director and author Andy Serkis! This magical new recording arrives this September and is now available to pre-order: In May, Andy Serkis embarked on his #Hobbitathon, a live, cover-to-cover reading of The Hobbit, in an 11-hour sitting with the intent to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts. Inhabiting each character as only he can, Andy’s narration enthralled more than 650,000 fans across the world as he took live storytelling to a new level, raising over £300,000 for charity. Andy Serkis has donated his fee to The DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee) who are providing global assistance to those countries seriously struggling with the effects of the pandemic. HarperCollins has matched Andy’s contribution.

Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien on Thursday, July 2, 2020

Serkis read The Hobbit in May as a way to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, netting more than £300,000. According to the official J.R.R. Tolkien Facebook page, he’ll be doing the same for this new recording—he’s asked that his fee (which HarperCollins says it will match) go to The Disasters Emergency Committee, a charity designed to aid countries hit with major disasters.


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