Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
★★★★★ and ♥

Synopsis: (J.R.R. Tolkien’s own description for the original edition) “If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did)—if you do not already know all about these things—much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period.
“For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.”
In A Sentence: A wonderful classic!

My Thoughts: I love the Middle Earth series! These books are right up there with Harry Potter in my list of favorite reads. All fantasy lovers know and adore the J.R.R. Tolkien books. I may not be as huge a fan as those who can speak elf, or who know the complete timeline of Middle Earth, but I still love to read these stories over and over again.
The Hobbit is the first book ever published, and it really shows how a fantasy novel can truly be a beautiful work of literature. Rumor has it that it all began with a single sentence: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” From that sentence grew an entire world of wizards, elves, dragons, dwarves, and or course, hobbits. Tolkien went above and beyond with his world-building, to the point where the majority of what he imagined is not even in the novel, but just mentioned here and there in passing, as though this world was once a real place. This creativity and realism is one of the major reasons this book is so popular and is considered the forerunner of the modern fantasy genre.
The world building isn’t the only thing that makes this story so wonderful. The writing is amazing too. J.R.R. Tolkien is one of those writers who chooses his words with care, the result being a spectacular literary work of art. The lines are almost poetic, they are so well done.
The characters are yet another major reason that people love this novel. Bilbo Baggins is not your typical, archetypal hero; he has no special abilities, nor does he really have any inclination to be an adventurer. He’s your average middle-class hobbit, and because of that, we the reader are able to connect to Bilbo. We can relate to him, and that makes the plot come more alive for us.
I cannot praise this book enough. The best thing I can say is that if you haven’t read this book yet, you must read it at some point. The movies do not do this book justice. Just read the story and judge for yourself whether this is a great piece of literature or not. Strongly recommended for all fantasy lovers and lovers of literature.

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