Title: The Hobbit (Tie-in Edition)
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format / Length: Paperback / 388 pages
Publisher / Date Published: HarperCollins Publishers / August 17th 2012
Category / Genre: Classics / Epic Fantasy
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Description: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further then the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag-End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day, to whisk him away on a journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…
I had no idea what to expect of this book — so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I loved it. I have a little confession to make to you all: I read about . . . I don’t know . . . the first twenty or so pages of The Lord of the Rings, and I put it down. (My excuse? It had to go back to the library!) And now I think I will have to give it another chance, because I enjoyed this. It was adventurous, quick read that left me smiling on several occasions.
Here is the thing, though: there is something about classics that are just hard to read. For me I think it’s a mixture of the older language used and he punctuation that seems, to me, to halt the story’s flow at some places. But, I thought, as one of my reading goals this year were to read more classics, that I should start with a genre that I was already comfortable in. And Tolkien seemed like the obvious choice here. He writes with such a loveable voice that — yes, takes takes some getting used to — but also managed to engage the reader into the story, at some points using a direct reader-addressing technique that usually I wouldn’t be fond of, but that Tolkien carries off quite nicely.
I also loved the first lines / paragraph.
My major concern I had with the novel was in the numerous drawves. I adored the storyline, okay? But . . . there were so many of them and it was so hard to keep track of them all. Thorin was the only character who was characterize enough to be memorable; and I did find him really quite interesting. On the other hand I adored the allusions to The Lord of the Rings, meeting the book version of Gollum (which I think the LotR films NAILED), and how Bilbo discovered the ring to begin with — and the surprising amount he used it during the novel. (No idea why this came as such a surprise to me — I mean, turning invisible is a pretty handy ability when you’re in tight situation.)
So while I didn’t think The Hobbit was an incredible, breath-taking read, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I can’t wait to pick up another Tolkien book — hopefully soon.
Have you read The Hobbit? Let me know what you thought of it!