A new, unabridged audiobook version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings is coming this fall! HarperCollins will publish the three-part audiobook, which will be narrated by none other than Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.
According to The Bookseller, Serkis hosted an event called #Hobbithon last year. He performed a “live, cover-to-cover reading of The Hobbit in an eleven-hour sitting.” Serkis’ goal was to raise money for COVID-19 relief funds and the event raised over £300,000 (over $413,000). Serkis also performed another recording of The Hobbit audiobook under the direction of Garrick Hagon at ID Audio; this recording was executive-produced by Fionnuala Barret, HarperCollins’ editorial director for audio. These individuals will collaborate once more “to bring Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to a new generation of listeners.”
Serkis says he considers himself someone who “likes a challenge.” He reflected that revisiting Middle-Earth twenty years after he first experienced it “has brought in equal measures of pure joy, sheer madness, immense pleasure and a level of psychological and physical fatigue [he has] never quite experienced the like of before.” Except this time, Serkis is predominately by himself in a sound booth, rather than shooting on a movie set.
Serkis added that he feels as if he really has lived through Tolkien’s saga, and therefore has understood the writer’s “profound understanding of and connection to nature, love, war, truth, hatred and altruism.” While reading the audiobooks, Serkis claims he experienced many “ups-and-downs” that often concurred with the characters’ progression through the story. Ultimately, Serkis says, “I realise what a phenomenal privilege it has been to have had the opportunity to read this sublime work once more. My only hope, now, is that I have done it justice, and that the listening experience conveys the power and beauty of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece.”
The Bookseller stated individuals can download the audiobooks from all audio retailers beginning on September 16th, while the CD version will be made available on October 14th. HarperCollins UK released a special preview video on YouTube, which you can view here!