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The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

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“Confusticate those dwarves!.” – Bilbo Baggins

I first read The Hobbit at the grand old age of eleven and, at the time, thought it was one of the very best books I had ever encountered. Interestingly enough, more than 25 years later, it still remains a marvelous piece of work in my eyes. As a matter of fact, I just finished re-reading it with my six-year old son and the re-read brought with it the added joy of watching something you grew up with light up your child’s eyes.

Chronicling the intrepid journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of the Shire (with just a little bit too much Took in him for his own good) who is shanghaied from his own tea party by a group of thirteen treasure-seeking dwarves and one irascible wizard, The Hobbit is a delightful read. Bilbo is recruited by the wizard Gandalf to become the official “burglar” for Thorin Oakenshield and his twelve dwarven companions, as they journey across the Edge of the Wild to the far distant Lonely Mountain to face the implacable malevolence of the dragon Smaug.

From troll-hollows to the dreary spider-infested forest of Mirkwood, Tolkien has woven a wonderful adventure, leavened with character, humor, spark and a thread of a greater darkness tracing through the story, evident in the hissing fury of the riddling Gollum and in the deep and abiding malice that lurks behind the conversational tone of Smaug.

It is particularly different to revisit The Hobbit after having read Tolkiens’ larger, more mythic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, which expanded the world of Middle-Earth exponentially and, to a certain extent, removed it from Bilbo’s more comforting adventure and warmer tale.

All in all The Hobbit is about as close to a perfect bedtime read for the kids as you are likely to find on any shelf.

While The Lord of the Rings has been brought to vivid life in the theatres, The Hobbit is apparently tied up in legal wrangling over the movie rights. Here’s hoping that Peter Jackson gets the chance to bring The Hobbit to the silver screen in the near future. In the meantime, I recommend the 1978 animated feature which was a solid (if short) adaptation featuring Otto Preminger and John Huston among others.

Visit the Tolkien Society, or to learn something more about the creator of Middle-earth, read J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator.

Here’s a real-world hobbit that has scientists puzzled and intrigued.

And here’s a dragon to boot.

There are absolutely tons of websites dedicated to the Lord of the Rings films but for the best info, check out theonering.net. Tour Middle-Earth at this site

You can also find a movie trailer for The Hobbit at iFilm patched together from various sources. No, as far as I know it isn’t real …yet.

For more reviews visit BookLinker today!

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  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    “Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!” is the way I remember Bilbo’s outburst, but I do not seem to have a copy handy to check the reference for exactitude.

    To properly appreciate The Hobbit in relation to the later trilogy, remember Tolkien portrays Bilbo himself as the author of it. Somewhere around the famous birthday-party, when the Ring passes into Frodo’s hands, is also the point where Frodo takes up the task of writing down the story.

    This subtle device is how Tolkien explains the different of narrative styles found in the two stories.

  • http://n/a Ann

    The Hobbit is an okay book. I actually had to read it for my A.P. English class. I’m a senior at Tolleson High School. I really didn’t get a chance to finish reading the book but, for the parts that i read, it was pretty good. i myself, i’m not really into goblins, dragons, elfs, and dwarfs, and wizards but that’s just me also. but from reading that book, the little parts that i read, it was okay. Sit down and read the book sometime. Bilbo Baggins is the protaginist in the story. they needed him to be “the theif.” which he was. He also was the reluctant leader. think about. the more you read the deeper the altercations got or situations got right? the more it was like that Bilbo Baggins got stronger and wiser. I’m only putting down my comment for those who didn’t really read the hole book and have questions. don’t wait to the last minute and read it, read it as soon as you get the book. it’s worth your time. oh, i almost forgot, the riddles if you’re wondering, are Battle of Wits.

  • Shelly

    The hobbit is an okay book. kind of boring but if you really pay attention to it you will like it. i read it for my english class and i enjoyed it.

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