This month I set myself the challenge of reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was mostly for a Tolkien loving friend and the fact that she recently introduced me to the first Hobbit movie, which I loved. I am happy to report I made it through The Hobbit in a few hours! Here is what I thought of the first Tolkien book I have read.
Title: The Hobbit
Author: JRR Tolkien
Genre: Classics – Fantasy – Adventure
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers (my copy)
Release: October 27, 2011 (my copy)
First Published: September 21, 1937
If you are craving magical adventures, The Hobbit is a book you should consider reading!
The plot was incredible! A journey made by a hobbit accompanying a group of dwarves across Middle-Earth with occasional assistance from a wizard to reclaim a mountain that was invaded by a dragon 150 years ago. Tolkien did an amazing job of creating a world full of beauty, magic and adventure. There are so many different species and personalities that all have their place and it all sounds amazing.
Our main character is the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and he is the most adorable creature. It is clear from the start of the novel that adventures are not something hobbits usually do so Bilbo is obviously considered an odd hobbit. He spends the majority of the novel torn between enjoying his adventure and missing the comforts of home. I love how Bilbo’s character grows through the novel to reflect what has learned on his adventure but his original values are still there. Plus, I love that Bilbo loves books, a good cup of tea and sitting in front of the fire!
Gandalf is the only partially helpful wizard that seems to only show up when it suits him. He pops up at some key moments, but there are other times I questioned Gandalf’s purpose to the story. Sure, he assists a some of the occasions that the group find themselves in a pickle, but he is nowhere to be found when the dwarves or Bilbo really need him.
Thorin is the main dwarf, for want of a better term, and is the rightful King under the mountain. He is the one who wants this adventure to be successful most, but not just for himself. Although he is sometimes harsh and borderline cruel, deep down he cares about his fellow dwarves and their home.
Their journey followed a realistic timeline which I am thankful for. I dislike when books have this huge journey full of many roadblocks but it has only been a few weeks at most. At least in The Hobbit we go through a few seasons and there is mention of lengths of time when things go wrong instead of the problem magically being fixed in a few hours.
The storytelling is probably the only thing I had an issue with it, unfortunately, bothered me a lot. It was like listening to an elderly man tell you about his time in the war – interesting to begin with but the story trails off to many other little stories so you have to really focus on what is the main story and what is a little extra. Maybe I just was not in the mood for this type of narration but, by the halfway point of the book, I wished I could just read the cliff notes and move on.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Although I won’t be calling it a new favourite book, I did love the story and some of the characters so it is a solid 4 stars. I just wished I found it more enjoyable to read. I have already been told the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a harder read, so let’s not expect me to finish those in a hurry.
Have you read The Hobbit?
What are your thoughts on the book?
Until next time bibliophiles!