Sunday has come again, and I am here to force my opinions on you guys. Today I will be discussing The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, which I HAVE FINALLY READ! HURRAY! FINALLY!!
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.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. (Goodreads)
The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is used to a life of comfort, and how he reluctantly becomes the hero in an adventure, working alongside 13 dwarves and a powerful wizard named Gandalf in attempt to reclaim land and treasure from a dragon named Smaug. This book is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I loved this book. After reading it I can understand why it is such a renowned classic. I was captured from the first page and from the first sentence. It is simply a fantastical, adventurous, whimsical, captivating tale jampacked with so many exciting moments, fantastical creatures and some British humour which made me chuckle throughout.
This book was written by Tolkien for his children, and I think that knowing this adds to the overall charm of the novel. This novel, while providing fantastic entertainment for children and adults alike, also holds a universal message about heroism and development of the hero. Baggins shows amazing character development throughout the story, and goes from being unadventurous, timid and an unlikely hero to brave and crafty. However, despite this he still thinks fondly of his simple life and looks forward to returning to it. He portrays a realistic hero, who wasn’t necessarily born heroic, brave etc., but instead becomes those things through experience.
“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours’ respect, but he gained -well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.”
I found myself throughout this book comparing Bilbo to a stately, middle aged, upper middleclass Englishman, and how I’d imagine gentlemen of the 1930s and 40s to be. Upon research into this book after reading it, I found that a few people had commented on how Tolkien was inspired by the middle class suburban Englishmen surrounding his life. I found Bilbo’s humour and the humour in the narrative very pleasurable to read and I chuckled quite often at the words created by Tolkien himself, and the very stereotypically British ideals that were sometimes evident in the narrative. Tolkien as an author describes settings, characters and all aspects of the story in such vivid detail that I could picture myself in the world. His writing style was whimsical and fun and often read like a riddle.
“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
“All of them at once,” said Bilbo. “And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain.
“Good morning!” he said at last. “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.
“What a lot of things you do use Good morning for!” said Gandalf. “Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won’t be good till I move off.”
“Where did you go to, if I may ask?’ said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.
To look ahead,’ said he.
And what brought you back in the nick of time?’
Looking behind,’ said he.”
“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.”
“Quite apart from the stones no spider has ever liked being called Attercop, and Tomnoddy of course is insulting to anybody.”
I am hoping to now carry on and read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and once I have done so I would like to do a then and now review of The Hobbit, as there are references to characters from the trilogy such as Golum and references to (what I can only assume is) the ring itself. I can’t wait to see how the stories intertwine and I look forward to more of Tolkien’s writing.
All in all I loved this book. The ending was not quite as I would have liked, however I loved it all the same and would still recommend this to everyone. I always had it in my head that you belonged to one of the two main fandoms: Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. They are two main cult followings in literature and there is often a divide (or so I have noticed). I am pleased to be sailing the line between the two, as I cannot wait to sink more into Middle Earth and the tales of Tolkien.
Until next week friends. 🙂