Book Review 129 // The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien


Ever had an itch that you just couldn't ignore? Well, that happened to me this week, I had a need to visit Middle Earth once more and I felt it was right to give the Hobbit a re-read. The last time I properly read this title was about 10 years ago, in preparation for the film's release. I remember enjoying the title and being disappointed by the film ha! Let's see if that is still the case.

The Hobbit

In 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.

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. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

Kindle Pages: 322

Well, I am glad to revisit this classic. It is hard to review a classic like this because what can I realistically add that hasn't been said? I guess the main point of note is that you have to read it in the first person. You become Tolkien to narrate the tale of a group of Dwarves and a Hobbit named Bilbo, as they travel across Middle Earth to confront a dragon.

The story introduces us to characters that will become important in other tales like Gandalf, the Eagles and Gollum, but the main focus of the tale is Bilbo. A hobbit who unknowingly was searching for adventure and ultimately finds his true worth, whilst under the employ of Thorin. 

Thorin and his company of misfit Dwarves are a fun cast, though an important part of the story, they never overtake the lead. They are a displaced line of dwarves, chased from their home by a dragon, who claim their fortress as its new nest. They have roamed from place to place selling their strength and skills to earn a living, but now this group of 14 unlikely heroes, hope to sneak in and retake the fortress and their gold from the mighty dragon. Seems like a terrible plan ha. It is also worth noting at this point, that when compared to the film, the book has a lot less hacking and slashing happening, and is in fact a lot more realistic tale.  The group is attempting to get from A to B, with as little attention drawn to them as possible. Of course, this doesn't happen otherwise we wouldn't have a story lol. Most of the book comically is them getting into trouble and solving how to get out of it in one piece. They sneak around whilst attempting to distract their enemies, this seems like a more realistic choice in the events described, and it is comical to watch them lose everything in their first encounter. They are like a bad D&D group stumbling from one natural 1 roll to the next. Yes, Thorin is a great warrior, but in no way are these an elite unit of Dwarves, made up of old-timers, youngsters and cooks!

I also love how Tolkien describes the landscape and throughout the story, we visit some amazing locations. Like the Misty Mountains, the home to trolls, goblins and Stone Giants. Then scary Mirkwood, which is the home of Spiders and paranoid Elves (no Legolas and no Dwarf/Elf love stories), before finally reaching Laketown and the Dwarves home. It is these locations that sparked my hobby love, especially Mirkwood and are possibly the reasons I am such an Elvish fan nowadays.

It is a book that people either adore or dislike, for me, I adore it and I have so many memories attached to it. Why I hadn't read this in over ten years is unknown to me. But I am very excited to introduce this book to my children in the coming years, and I hope I can spark their imagination as it did for me.

My itch is definitely itched. Such a great refresher for me, don't think I am ready for LoTR just yet but I can only assume it is in my future soon. As always cheers for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to sign up to get notifications and use any of these links to support me (any amazon link gives me a kickback...Thank you).

Kindle Edition: The Hobbit

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