01 August, 2017

REVIEW: THE HOBBIT by J. R. R. Tolkien

Title: The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Series: Middle-Earth Universe #1
Genres: Fantasy, Classic
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release: September 21st, 1937
Source: Paperback
Pages: 389

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BLURB: This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected...

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further then the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag-End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day, to whisk him away on a journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...

EXPECTATIONS: As a fan of the movies I wanted to try reading the books. I decided to start with The Hobbit since it's the one with less pages. People warned me that the writing was very descriptive and not so much focused on states of the mind or events happening. I thought I was ready but... apparently not.

THE WORLD: Who doesn't know the fantasy world of The Lord of the Rings? Nobody. It has elves, dwarfs, humans, hobbits, magicians, trolls, orcs, and pretty much every single creature you can imagine.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Bilbo Baggins (Frodo's uncle) and this is the story of his adventure, how he battled an army and a dragon, and eventually how he found The Ring. That one ring, yes. Apart from Bilbo we have Gandalf, the magician, and 12 dwarfs from which the only one relevant is Thorin (because he's the heir of some dwarf kingdom or something). Anyway, Thorin wants to take back his castle under the mountain from the Dragon who stole the land and the treasure. Dragons love to herd gold apparently. Thorin takes trustworthy dwarfs and seeks Gandalf's help and at the same time Gandalf decides to involve Bilbo. Why? We'll never know. Gandalf is like Dumbledore... they know everything and always have a plan. From that point on the book just narrates the story and their adventures.

ROMANCE: No romance. It's not needed anyway.

GOOD: The story itself. The adventures! I love all the adventures Bilbo and the dwarfs go through. I also like Gandalf... he's not always reliable but always appears in the decisive moments.

BAD: The writing. Nothing wrong with it but it's just not my style. It makes me slow down my pace consequently the whole book slows down and I get bored. I know it was published in 1937 and it was probably how novels were written back then but I just cannot get used to it.

OVERALL: 3 stars. It's a classic, the world and characters are great... but the writing just kills it for me. I just have trouble digesting this type of writing. I am a fan of it regardless and I also like the movies. I won't try reading LoTR though, if this small book was such trouble reading then the others will be death.

What do you think about THE HOBBIT?


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