First of all, I want to give some of my background with JRR Tolkien. I'm definitely a fan, though not as religious of a fan as some others may be. I saw Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters and immediately was spellbound into the world of Middle Earth and thirsting for more. I got my hands on probably the biggest book in my collection save for an Encyclopedia of the world, which included all three parts of Lord of the Rings as well as the Appendixes. I do really like and appreciate the books and the whole world of Middle Earth, though I struggled with The Two Towers and sort of took a two year break in the middle of it. I'm sorry but I was getting pretty bored and sick to death of Aragorn and company boringly chasing after Merry and Pippin for so long. I also have all three movies on extended version DVDs (watch the special features! they are amazing!!!). I have also seen the very old 1977 TV animated movie of The Hobbit, which is actually kind of funny to be thinking about in the background of your mind as you read the book. With December 14th coming up fast, I knew I had to finally buckle down and read The Hobbit to hype myself up for the movie and prepare. Yes, I am also a big movie nerd as well as book nerd. And so, this brought me to read The Hobbit on my trip to Indiana.
The first thing that I noticed about The Hobbit? The writing style. I was absolutely surprised about how easy the reading style was in The Hobbit compared to Lord of the Rings. Now, it has been some years since I read Lord of the Rings, and perhaps I am more mature now and could read it better, but the writing style is much more laid back and in a teasing way in The Hobbit compared to Lord of the Rings. I almost feel like it is Gandalf that is the narrator in the way that they will mention that a certain character has other stories about them, but they are not important currently, or in the way that the narrator explains things that reader might not know, like how they describe hobbits at the beginning of the book. The writing style made me feel like I was interacting with the narrator and made getting into the book even easier.
All in all it is the characters who really make the book. Especially Bilbo. Bilbo makes me think of the quote: "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." -William Shakespeare. Bilbo is all these things. He is born great, but does not know it. He achieves greatness, quite reluctantly. And he most certainly has greatness thrust upon him. Bilbo does not even want anything to do with adventures when Gandalf first shows up at his door, but Gandalf sees more in him than he can even see in himself. Bilbo beyond proves himself by the end of this tale. I really feel like all of the characters, though important themselves in other ways, are really all there in this story to shape Bilbo into the hobbit he was meant to be. He is very much the focus. Each of the other characters are certainly interesting and important, especially Gandalf, who is very much an architect of many things going on, and Thorin, the other twelve dwarves, Bard Gollum, and many others that they meet along the way.
The Hobbit is a beautifully intricate story about the adventures of the reluctant adventurer, or burglar as he is referred, Bilbo Baggins. There are dangers, both magical and not, other-wordly creatures, treasure, dragons, revenge, magical rings, sure-death situations, and even some war action. A quiet and boring hobbit transforms into a worldly and traveled hobbit on the fringe of his own kind, that surprises everyone and especially himself.
All in all, I think that everyone should read this book. It is such a classic story that I feel anyone would enjoy and I highly recommend it.
Five Star Approved.
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