By: J.R.R. Tolkien
306 pages (Mass-Market)
Published: July 12, 1986 by Del Rey Books
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Although quite reluctant to take part in this quest, Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar! Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant success when published in 1937. Now, in 1997, this special new edition, illustrated by Alan Lee, commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of a great classic.
“out of the frying-pan and into the fire”
Never would have expected this book to end up being a 4 star rating from me. For many years I have declined the offer to watch or even read The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings. I figured it wasn’t my type. I was very wrong and, even though I don’t read fantasy, I enjoyed this book a lot. I’m going to describe what I didn’t really enjoy about the book first since that will be a much shorter list.
- The last 60 pages were very boring. After Smaug was defeated, absolutely nothing happened. I know that there needs to be a wrap up to the book, but I was expecting a little more excitement. That doesn’t mean I don’t like how it ends. It’s cute and I’m happy that Bilbo made it back in one piece. This was the only part of the story that made me drop the rating a quarter of a star.
- This book also made me very sad because not all the dwarves made it home. You go throughout the book with these ten dwarves, not including Thorin, and end up loving them with all your heart. That didn’t really affect my rating though. I just wanted to let out all my feelings.
- I hated that when Bilbo returned home, his belongings were being auctioned because they thought he was dead. I wanted to climb into the book and slap everyone that took something from him. It says he didn’t mind, but I know he did. (Again, this doesn’t affect my star rating.)
Here’s what I did enjoy:
- Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit. He was such a wonderful character who tried his hardest throughout the whole story. He was witty, smart, and he knew when to put the dwarves in their place. He was brave enough to go on this journey with Gandalf, the wizard, and he prospered.
- Bombur, the fat dwarf, was absolutely hilarious. He was always either eating or sleeping and I could totally relate. He was always chosen last and at one point he just said that somebody else can have a turn at being last. I always felt bad because they had to basically haul him around everywhere.
- The trolls were another favorite for me. The best part was when William called Tom a booby. I honestly can say that I laughed out loud. When I’m reading I don’t usually do that. I just wasn’t expecting them to be so funny.
- The world building was incredible. I know it feels like a long story but I just find the majority of it to be necessary. It’s supposed to be a journey, and do you think the quest they were on was short? NO! I found it to be accurate.
- The writing was also beautiful, even though some parts I just couldn’t quite understand. I loved the songs that the dwarves sang, and the riddles that Gollum and Bilbo made up. The writing was clever and well thought out.
- I loved that each character had a very distinct personality. I could completely understand how they were feeling towards one another. They all showed incredible emotion and it really helped me put myself in the story. I wanted to connect with the characters in person, which is a bummer because they are fictional.
Overall I fell in love with this book. If you don’t read fantasy, please give this a try. It’s easy enough to follow and very funny. You will fall in love with the characters and the world. I’ve learned that fantasy isn’t all that scary and I should definitely give it a chance. I am moving on to Lord of the Rings next and I have never been more excited. I’d say it was a success and will probably end up being one of my top 5 favorite books of 2018, and it’s only January.
If you have read The Hobbit, let me know what you thought down in the comments. If you enjoyed reading this post, give it a like and follow me for future blog posts if you don’t already. I will also be doing a book to movie adaptation, so keep an eye out for that in the next week or so. Be respectful and happy reading!