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

I was prompted to read this book when I saw the trailer of its film adaptation in Youtube. I have long planned to read this, along with Lord of the Rings, but I never got quite to starting it.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I simply picked it up from my stacks of unread books, and read it to my wifey (and to our baby, too, who is now 5 months old inside her womb). It turns out that she, too, long wanted to read this book…

And we enjoyed it. We enjoyed the tale, the adventure, the characters, Tolkien’s prose, and his great sense of humor (I didn’t expect it would be funny, since the Lord of the Rings films were dark and serious). We sometimes took turns reading it to each other.

A sketch of the plot

The Hobbit tells the story of one hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, of Bag End. This is his adventure. But it’s not his alone. It’s also the adventure of thirteen dwarves and a wizard. The leader of the dwarves is Thorin Oakenshield. The wizard is Gandalf.

The hobbits are fond of food, peace, and comfort, and Bilbo is no exception. He loves his hobbit-hole in The Hill. Who wouldn’t? It’s a beautiful house, fully furnished and well-stocked with food. Bilbo especially loves breakfasts and tea-time.

Gandalf and the dwarves came unexpectedly to his house. In short, they were an unwelcome party. But nevertheless they invited themselves into his life and took him to an adventure (which he hated very much at first) that he will remember for the rest of his life.

This adventure took him to far-distant lands, to misty mountains, across highly-dangerous and enchanted forests, and into a lonely mountain inhabited by a great dragon. Along the way they encountered trolls, goblins, stone-giants, evil wolves, great eagles, a skin-changer (a being who looks like a man but can change into the shape of a bear), giant spiders, and elves. They only have one goal, to retrieve the great treasure that Smaug, the dragon, stole from their ancestors, and reclaim their kingdom in the Lonely Mountain.

Personal thoughts

As I’ve said, we love the story! The characters are also often very funny. Tolkien’s prose is rich yet easy to understand. I enjoyed reading it aloud. I enjoyed telling the story as the narrator, and shifting between the voices of Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves, and Smaug.

We plan to read the Silmarillion next, because we want to know the history of Middle Earth first. After that, we’ll dive into the world of The Lord of the Rings. Then, we’ll be in time to see the movie adaptation of The Hobbit. It will be in December, so we have plenty of time.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Date Read: December 31, 2011 – January 11, 2012

One thought on “Book Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s