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
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Publication Date: July 29, 1954
Number of Pages: 320
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.