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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

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

Unless you have lived under a rock (or in a hole in the ground), you will have heard of The Hobbit! So there isn't much point in me giving a brief synopsis, but for the sake of completion... The Hobbit focuses on the adventures of a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins, who is invited to take part in a journey to help some dwarves travel to the Lonely Mountain in order to reclaim their treasure. However, the treasure is currently being guarded by the dragon, Smaug.


"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."

And so began my journey back into Middle Earth. This book has always been one of my favourites since childhood. However, it does bring back some dark memories of losing my uncle's beautiful leather-bound edition he had let me borrow... but the less said about that, the better. If I'm being honest, I much prefer The Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit, possibly because LOTR is the adult story, and The Hobbit is pretty much a children's fantasy tale. I almost think of The Hobbit as the appetiser before the main course.

First of all, it was good to be back in Middle Earth. I watch the LOTR movies constantly, I often have them on in the background while I do some work or even read, and I recently watched The Hobbit movies, so I do visit Middle Earth quite regularly, but I haven't read these books for years. The Hobbit is a strange book in that not much really happens when you sit back and think about it. Like, sure, there's the Battle of the Five Armies towards the end, but really it's all about the literal "journey" of the group on their adventure, as well as the development and maturation of the main character, Bilbo Baggins. He starts off as a hobbit used to his comforts and routine, and quickly finds himself in unfamiliar, and often scary, surroundings. The dwarves give off this impression of being brave and proficient, when really it is Bilbo who is the most capable and heroic. He even ends up taking on a leadership role over the dwarves, much to their surprise.

A lot of the excitement in this book is meeting all the different creatures in Middle Earth, and learning about their particular traits or quirks. From the goblins to the trolls to the spiders. However, it's really Gollum that steals the show for me, as in the movies.

It's a simple story really, tracking the journey of Bilbo and the dwarves to the Lonely Mountain where Smaug inhabits, but it's what happens along the way that matters. Often like in life - we should focus less on the destination, but on the journey there instead. This will always be a five star read for me. The nostalgia and sense of adventure is overpowering, and its a story that will always be passed on throughout the ages.

Johann
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2 comments :

  1. Oh cool, a forest tunnel!! ��

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey this is luciquila from Instagram -
    I love your blog! I can totally relate to your preference for long, character-invested novels, and this review is great. King is the only short story writer that can get me hooked on the story without the involved character development. After I finish Different Seasons I may just start on this...

    ReplyDelete

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