Fantasy Book Reviews

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

I had been meaning to jump into the Middle-earth universe for quite some time and reading the book made me realize that I had been missing out. It has been ages since I’ve read a good, pure fantasy book and The Hobbit was a delight.

The backdrop is everything I expect from a high fantasy world, the characters had personality and were likable, the adventures exciting, and finally a dash of humor to round everything out. The story starts off with Bilbo, a reluctant hobbit who doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of the rest of the adventurous Baggins family. He is dragged along anyway and as the story progresses, he comes to realize his own abilities and the excitement of danger. The plot twists and turns as the party are thrown from one bad situation into the next, at times straying away from the original goal: Smaug and reclaiming the Kingdom under the Mountain. Sometimes these plots even seem to be disconnected until a certain point near the end of the novel when everything is pulled together. I don’t know why I was so caught off guard, but I couldn’t help but laugh and smile at the surprise.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

My favorite part of the book was undoubtedly Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum and the game that they play. I love riddles, and I honestly would pause reading to figure out the riddles as they were asked before continuing onto the answer. Gollum was also a lot scarier than I had imagined, my initial impression of the little creature was full of the Gollum I know from the movies, who I found to be very cute. I like the scary Gollum much better.

The Hobbit is one of the best fantasy adventure books I’d ever read. It is an average length book, not too terribly long, yet somehow I found myself taking a while to finish it. Normally I take a week, maybe two to finish a book of the same length, depending on time and if I’m really into it I can knock a book out in just two or three days. Somehow it ended up taking me over a month to finish The Hobbit. It was not the fact that I wasn’t into it, I suppose maybe it was because it was so saturated with constant adventure that I kept finding myself tuckered out and needing to put it down.



Title: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
Series: Middle-Earth
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: July 29, 1954
Number of Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
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Synopsis
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

2 Comments

  • Jennifer

    It is really a classic book. I haven’t read any of the Hobbit/LOTR books, and honestly I don’t know if I will. They are so long, and I am such a slow reader. But it does seem to be a story that transcends the genre. I remember some kid from school, who was kind-of a “bad” kid (you know baggy pants, listens to rap/heavy rock, poor grades, etc) but he was reading the Hobbit, and was REALLY into it. He even got our English teacher to play the terrible animated version of Hobbit during a half day.
    Jennifer recently posted…Appetite for Reduction ReviewMy Profile

    • Jamie

      Haha, that’s actually pretty funny that the tough guy was really into The Hobbit. It was my father’s favorite book too and he was a big chief in the Navy that was super into sci fi. The Hobbit just seems to be one of those books that’s very readable, it’s a fun and funny adventure story that can be enjoyed by any range of ages.

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