As a bonus extra surprise gift last Christmas, I was really pleased to receive a copy of the Official Hobbit Movie Guide on The Desolation of Smaug which is the second movie in this series. At the same time, I also received several other books on my all-time favorite fantasy book and movie. Although reviews are a little mixed on the actual filming (with some die hard fans not liking the transformation from the legendary book to the big screen) I happen to mostly love how this tale has been brought to life by, Peter Jackson, the director.
The official guide books let me enjoy reading up on much more information from behind the scenes with snippets on costume, make up, filming, locations and more. Guides like this give fans like me the extra information that they crave – plus they make lovely keepsake items too.
You can get this edition in either hardcover or paperback which is great. With the first book in this series, there was only the option of a paper version. Since I don’t happen to buy many paper books now (I like my Kindle ebook reader too much) I do prefer to get hardcover versions of the collectible types of books that I do buy. So this was a smart move by the publisher.
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Review of the Official Hobbit Movie Guide Book
After having plenty of time to read and enjoy my gifts, I’ve decided that it was the book written by Brian Sibley that I really enjoyed the most. This same author has an official movie guide based on the 1st movie An Unexpected Journey which is available to buy as well as the latest 3rd guide called The Battle of the Five Armies Official Movie Guide. These books were is ideal as part of my festive Holiday reading. I was still buzzing from seeing the Hobbit dragon, Smaug, on screen with the 3rd movie so I purchased that one too.
My biggest gripe initially, with the first Hobbit official movie guide, was that it only came in a paperback version. For a collector and fan like myself, that is not ideal since you want items to be kept in pristine condition and also hard covers look better on the bookshelf. When the second one came out, it was offered in hard cover too. That makes me feel like sometimes publishers listen and respond to what the buyers are asking for since this was a common complaint in the reviews for the first book.
The second guide comes stocked with plenty of photos from the making of this epic fantasy. One of my favorite photos inside is where the dwarves are all cloaked in spider webs and they are laughing along with Peter Jackson and clearly having a great time. Thranduil is a favorite character for me so I was glad to find a whole section devoted to him and the other major elves, Legolas and Tauriel. So the guide does look at some of the newer characters which is great.
My only real disappointment with this edition was that there are no great photos of the Hobbit dragon, Smaug. There is a whole section that’s been devoted to this ancient creature but the photos in that section are just not what I was hoping for. When I mentioned this in a review on another site, the author himself stopped by to comment and he explained that the book photos need to be approved by the filmmakers/film company. So the author himself was ultimately not responsible regarding which photos were included. I’m glad he cleared that up.
Overall, it was a very good book and it does come packed with lots of information and is a pretty riveting read – the same really cannot be said of many movie guides which can be really dry and boring. The author is a really good writer who conveys a whole lot of enthusiasm for this fantasy world. I’d like to collect some of his other books based on what I’ve read by him for this series. It is a great companion to what I think is a fab movie.
Smaug has to be the greatest fantasy dragon of all time. A little more expensive than the official guide is this stunning hardcover book on Smaug called Unleashing the Dragon. This is just the kind of book that I like to dip in and out of when I’m putting my feet up. If it’s anything like other similar books I’ve seen, it will be lavishly illustrated.