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Book Review

Book Cover

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Chronicles - Creatures & Characters (Hardback)


Author: Daniel Falconer
Harper Collins
RRP: £25.00, US $39.99, Cdn $39.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 748726 4
Available 04 April 2013

Explore the cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson's film adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and films stills, this comprehensive book goes species by species, character by character, through the film's huge ensemble of characters and bustling menagerie of creatures, both physical and digital, telling the stories of how each came to be realised for the film...

This coffee table book is incredibly well designed, putting many an art book to shame. Compiled by Weta workshop designer Daniel Falconer, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Chronicles - Creatures & Characters is an essential purchase for hardcore Hobbit fans as well as those interested in the movie and effects industry.

If I had one complaint it's that a lot of the photos from the movie are incredibly dark - which is no doubt a true reproduction of the film images, but while it give the book a dark and broody (albeit cool) feel, some pages would have benefited from a little lighter imagery.

The book takes us through the races and species in the movie, concentrating on individual characters (where appropriate) and the process undertaken to create each one. There is also additional information on challenges the design team had to overcome; thoughts by various members of the production staff; and plenty of behind the scenes photos and information.

This isn't just another one of your quickly thrown together movie cash-ins. This book is a lovingly crafted souvenir keepsake that's an essential purchase for hardcore Hobbit fans.


Nick Smithson

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