Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Series: prequel to The Lord of the Rings
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 7th November 2013 (first published 1937)
Read Date: 6th January 2015
Tagged under: 2015 read, 2015 favourites, fantasy, classics, favourites, book review, 5, book to film adaptation
Check It Out: @Amazon, @TheBookDepository, @Goodreads

Book Summary

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-holes 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 an unexpected journey "there and back again". They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon... 
The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.

Book Review [Spoiler-Free]

J.R.R. Tolkien is a giant among the fantasy genre and with The Hobbit, it is not difficult to see why. This is a fantastical tale of dragons and dwarves, puzzles and treasures, good and evil, journey and comradeship, and so much more! To put all my feelings for this book down on to the screen is a challenging, if not impossible, task.

It reads, to me, like a childhood tale. The language, the poetry, the way the story sets itself up and unfolds, are all so beautiful and lyrical. It is simply a pleasure to read. It took me quite awhile to finish this book, despite it being only 351 pages, but I didn't mind it at all, In fact, I enjoyed taking the time to enjoy the prose and the journey.

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, follows a very unassuming hero, Bilbo Baggins, who is quite content with his life in Bag End. But one day, Gandalf the Grey and his company of thirteen dwarves came knocking on his door and before he knows it, he's off on a grand adventure to raid a dragon's pile of treasure.

This book contains a lot more than just a tale about a gang of would-be-thieves off to steal some treasure. The theme of good and evil prevails throughout. Bilbo's role as the main protagonist is a highlight and it is quite a remarkable transformation from a content-at-life hobbit into a clever quick-thinking hero. The value of comradeship and friendship is also one that is a central theme to this story.

One word of advice I would offer would be to go into this book knowing that unlike The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is a lyrical tale that Tolkien wrote for a young audience. Some readers may be put off by the seemingly slow paced style of writing, but I really enjoyed it and I wouldn't have The Hobbit any other way.

Overall: 5/5

This is definitely going to be one of my favourite books for this year if not for all times. I absolutely love Tolkien's style of writing and having finished this book, it makes me want to read The Lord of the Rings all over again!

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