Last year, Andy Serkis raised money for charity by reading The Hobbit live for fans to listen to. Now, HarperCollins has tapped the actor of Gollum to narrate their new unabridged audiobook version of J R R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The audiobook will be released in September in three parts and is sure to be absolutely incredible. Talking about the experience, Serkis said:
I would consider myself someone who likes a challenge… Walking back into Middle-earth over 20 years after my first life-changing adventure there, and experiencing it all over again (this time for many weeks alone in a sound booth) has brought in equal measures of pure joy, sheer madness, immense pleasure and a level of psychological and physical fatigue I have never quite experienced the like of before.
I actually feel like I have lived through Tolkien’s saga, and felt his profound understanding of and connection to nature, love, war, truth, hatred and altruism. Each day I genuinely went through ups and downs, often coinciding with the progress of the ring-bearer and his companions. On more than one occasion I was sure I wasn’t going to make it to the Crack of Doom! Having now completed the quest and been ‘There and back again… again’, so to speak, 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.
Deputy publishing director Chris Smith added:
HarperCollins is proud to be the official worldwide publisher of the works of J R R Tolkien, and we consider The Lord of the Rings to be one of the defining books of the 20th century, a book that has captivated generations of readers with its sweeping sense of adventure and the inspiring message that even the smallest can effect the greatest of changes. We are delighted that we once again have an actor of the calibre of Andy Serkis who can bring these qualities to life so brilliantly for a whole new audience.
Fans will be able to enjoy Serkis’ reading of The Lord of the Rings starting September 16 digitally from all audiobook retailers and on October 14 if you like CDs. Recorded Books is publishing the audiobook in the US.
Via: The Bookseller