Book Review: The Hobbit

“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.”

Rating:

Written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien and originally published in 1937, The Hobbit is a children’s fantasy set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”. Centring around the character of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who is sent on a quest by the wizard Gandulf, alongside Thorin and his band of dwarves, to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug.

On their journey, Bilbo and the dwarves encounter numerous creatures, including trolls, goblins, and rock-throwing giants, as well as elves, gigantic eagles, and a strange creature called Gollum. Through Rivendell, over the Misty Mountains, and through the black forest of Mirkwood, the story comes to an end as dwarves, men and elves must band together in the Battle of Five Armies.

The following post is a review of the book only. You can read my reviews of the three film adaptations, An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of The Five Armies, in comparison to the book, by clicking the above links.

Written by Tolkien before he went on to write The Lord of The Rings trilogy, which was actually intended to only be a sequel, The Hobbit remains a classic even today. It is a story that many of us are likely to have read whilst growing up, or were at least forced to during education, with the novel and its adaptations now being a part of one of the biggest film franchises to date.

Full of fantasy and imagination, The Hobbit is an epic journey that centres on bravery, friendship and loyalty. It’s one of the most original stories ever crafted, and it’s no wonder that it remains hugely popular even 80 years later.

Filled with exhilarating characters and fantastical monsters, the book is filled to the brim with both action and adventure. But there’s also a lot of laughter along the way, as we follow a host of extravagant and eccentric characters from wizards to dwarves, werewolves to trolls, rock giants to elves, and even a dragon.

And what a fantastic hero Bilbo is. We would all prefer the easy life but, at the same time, everybody has that spark of adventure in them. As Bilbo pushes himself through this tiresome journey, it’s this relatability that ignites with every reader as we laugh along with every twist, riddle, and skilful escape.

Although a seemingly light-hearted story and quite simply written, originally intended to be a story for children, the story is still incredibly complex and there’s so much depth to Tolkien’s creation that he had to go on to write The Lord of The Rings trilogy to bring all of his phenomenal ideas together.

Tolkien’s books are some of the most awe-inspiring of all time, and if you haven’t read this book yet, you need to change that pronto.

The Hobbit has been adapted and split into three films, released between 2012 and 2014, which you can watch the first trailer for below:

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