Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"The Hobbit" By JRR Tolkien

I read this book in middle school, and got half way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I stopped because I found it depressing and the elven was unintelligible, but now that I am an adult nerd, I feel like I should have all four of them under my belt, and not just the movies. At the library I saw all four in audiobook format and decided I could finally finish the series. 

Summary: This book takes place several decades before the Lord of the Rings series and is not technically part of the series, though it does introduce a few characters and provides a context for the trilogy that comes later.

In this book, Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit living by himself in a nice hole safely placed in the Shire. He is tricked by Gandalf, a mysterious old man known for his amazing fireworks and said to be a wizard, who invites a thirteen dwarves to his hobbit hole. Eventually, Bilbo figures out that he is hosting the planning meeting for an expedition to the Lonely Mountain so that it might be reclaimed for the dwarves.

Bilbo joins Thorin Oakenshield and his dwarves on a dangerous adventure eastward. They meet elves, trolls, goblins and eagles as they navigate through the Mirkwood. At one critical juncture, Biblo finds the Ring which eventually sparks the events in the trilogy.

What I Liked: I am a gamer, mostly Dungeons and Dragons style games. When you are playing D&D there is a certain sort of banter where players egg each other on and make all sorts of comments that make fun or make light of the situation no matter how seriously it is supposed to be. I found it very comforting that the characters in The Hobbit sound like D&D gamers! They stumble around the puzzle built for them by Tolkien, then say and act in ways that are a combination of stupid and wise. It's clear Tolkien was having fun with the story.

What I Didn't Like: Frankly, of the four books, this is my favorite one. The ending is a bit weird, since the hero sort of pops in at the last moment, but whatever. I must say one thing, though. Gandalf is not particularly awesome in this book. He can make fireworks and smoke rings, and shows up then disappears at random times, but there isn't much wizardry yet.

Rating: Must Read.

Also Read by this Author: To come later, since I am rereading them.

Reviewed by: Nick

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