Friday, 6 May 2016

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

The HobbitBilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than 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 an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.

I have never read LoTR but vaguely remember reading The Hobbit in year 5, so when I was about 10. I did have the movie version running through my head rather than any memories of reading it the first time, so things did get a little puzzling.

Bilbo is somewhat manipulated into an adventure, to join the dwarves on their quest to their old home of the Lonely Mountain and win back their treasure from the dragon, Smaug. Everyone should know this already but I think I was expecting too much from the movie; the book is much simpler. It is very much a children's story - nothing's too graphic or brutal, things move along at a steady pace and nothing is left too open.

Having said that, I did still enjoy it. Maybe a bit different to what I expected, but it's still a good story, easily recognisable, and very nice to read. Definitely a modern classic.

Published 2nd November 1998 by Harper Collins. First published 1937.

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