Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: YA Fantasy
For: fun and movie prep
From: our personal library, my husband's 1970s copy

I remember trying to read this book probably in junior high or early high school. It just didn't grab me, you know. And now, I'm wondering what the heck was wrong with me back then! This was delightful!

I must say though, I don't think I would have liked Lord of the Rings either back then. Then, I grew up (sort of) and then I saw the first LOTR movie, and THEN suddenly I was interested! I read all three of them before the second movie came out and found myself curious about The Hobbit again. But I never managed to get to it.

Until now... again because of a movie!

What a fun story about Bilbo who suddenly gets a bit forced into an adventure thanks to Gandalf. The dwarves, I guess, need his help. At least Gandalf thinks so and it turns out, he does do much to help them, and all that despite his inexperience in adventures! I love that.

Bilbo is funny and humble and simple, as all hobbits seem to be and what a great character. Then there's the dwarves lead by Thorin, all with their separate personalities that you can't help but love. They are off to reclaim their treasure that the mean old dragon has stolen. Along the way the have to deal with trolls, goblins  Golem, elves (I didn't know elves could be so mean, but they turned around in the end thankfully!) , wolves and finally the dragon.

My only complaint was that the dragon bit was quite anti-climatic. Maybe the movie will spice it up? And the return journey took about two sentences, even though much adventure was still to be had. I guess that's why they call this one a kid's book because too much more adventure and the attention span would have been lost.

And I wasn't sure the significance of the ring was totally portrayed except for this one sentence, just after he found the ring, that I absolutely loved: It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. 

The whole time I was reading this it I thought about how wonderful this would be as a read aloud. And I know many people have done just that. I'm thinking since I missed doing it for my own kids, perhaps future grand kids? I guess we'll see.

Bottom line: Loved it!

Other Reviews:

The writing is beautiful, at times very funny and witty and always brilliant. From Sarah Reads Too Much

I wished there would be more showing and much less telling, and the adventures did not have the same magic that I remembered them having when I was a kid. From Book Addiction

That magic ring sure is coming in handy, isn’t it? From Unputdownables

It really is a must read for fans of Fantasy and literature in general. From Val's Random Comments

I'm not going to review it but you all need to know that it's one of my favourite books, like, ever. From Just Add Books


  1. I'm reading this right now, actually--or listening to it on audiobook, actually. There are some read one-liners; I love that line when Bilbo comes across the Precious, too.

  2. I didn't know this one was considered YA. Obviously I haven't done my research! Perhaps that will entice me to read it. I love the LOTR movies, but couldn't make myself read the books. I know, that's awful. But it's the truth. Anyway, this was a helpful review. Now you've intrigued me to maybe check it out. ;)

  3. Check out the Unabridged audio book, it's BRILLIANT!

    I read this book as a kid, I think I was 10, and read the trilogy right after.

    I'm delighted with what I have seen in the previews, can't wait to see the movie! Tomorrow at 8:55!

  4. For some books we just have to grow up to be bale to like them. I'm glad you enjoyed it! You're right, the ring is dealt very lightly with in The Hobbit, but I actually love it, because Tolkien disguised it so cleverly - for those who start with the hobbit, it is just an adventure novel for kids, meanwhile those of us who are already familiar with LOTR can recognize and appreciate all the tiny hints about the Ring's true nature and the greater history of Middle Earth. I'm babbling, sorry. I just love this book! I can't wait to see the film next week! Great review!

    BTW, I agree, The Hobbit would be awesome read aloud.

  5. Seriously, wish I'd read this before I see the movie. Maybe I should try one of those awesome audios (my husband gave up after the first 2 minutes because he couldn't STAND it :)

  6. The Hobbit is one of my favorite books, and I personally think he gets better with each re-read! I am currently reading it with my son! He's loving it!!



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