Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rereading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The HobbitThe Hobbit: or There and Back AgainIn a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

I actually really love The Hobbit; it's a great classic fantasy novel. I'm planning to re(read) the Lord of the Rings soon. "Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent."

J.R.R. Tolkien's writing is so distinctive. Some people hate it, others love it, and I think I belong in the latter category. It can be so funny and so clever. I think the humor is the best thing about the writing. It's certainly not laugh-out-loud, but it is pretty hilarious and entertaining. 

Of course, the other great thing about this book and the Lord of the Rings is just the world. Tolkien creates all these strange creatures (first and foremost, the hobbit) and populates his Middle Earth with them. There are dwarfs and elves and wizards and goblins, and flying eagles. How can you not love it if you enjoy fantasy? I can see why it's not for some. I'm not actually sure whether I'll enjoy The Fellowship of the Ring, but The Hobbit is certainly an amazing book. All of the adventures in it are creative and entertaining, from Bilbo's encounter with Gollum to what befalls them in Mirkwood Forest, to what happens when they finally arrive at Smaug's lair. I love the conversation between Bilbo and Smaug.

And lastly, the characters are amazing. Gandalf the Grey is definitely one of my favorites; also Bilbo of course and Beorn, the bear-man who they stay with at one point. Apparently, Tolkien himself was a very dull history professor, but his stories are not dull at all. I don't know where it all comes from, but I'm glad it came.  The Hobbit is an amazing classic fantasy. 

Somehow, it didn't inspire me to write a long review (in fact, this review is positively short), but I still love it. The movie looks terrible though. The book isn't very long, and it's being made into three 3-hour movies? I'll skip it. I love the book though. 

Read The Hobbit
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like Tolkien
  • if you're looking for a finely imagined story 
255 pages. 
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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