I have just finished reading “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, having read almost all of “The Lord of the Rings” and being curious about the beginnings which lead to Bilbo Baggins having the One ring, and also seeing the publicity for the film version of “The Hobbit” everywhere for the last few months.

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

At first, i found it a little bit boring waiting for the excitement to start. Then Bilbo, Gandalf the wizard and the troupe of Dwarves set off on their journey and it started to get more interesting as they found themselves in various trying situations.

I was glad when they finally got to the Lonely Mountain and started trying to find their way inside and killing the dragon guarding the treasure. I did feel that the description of the battle at the end was hurried a bit and so it felt like the interesting bits were very short and the more boring bits were quite long-winded.

However, the bit where Bilbo meets Gollum and finds that all important ring is good, what with all the riddles they challenge each other with. Gollum is described very well and sounds rather horrible!

The descriptions of everything are fairly good, which is important in a fantasy novel like this one, with different histories for each species, and detailed descriptions of the landscape and the characters themselves.

The characters are good, with Bilbo Baggins seeming like the most unlikely participant in such a quest after the inital descriptions of him being well-fed and happy living a comfortable life in his little sheltered hole. However, the hints of his  ancestors, the Tooks, become more substantial as he grows into his role as a burglar and becomes very good at making up plans and having useful ideas and becoming generally more accustomed to the life of an adventurer.

I found it weird how Gandalf kept disappearing off during the quest, leaving Bilbo and the dwarves to fend for themselves, and then suddenly coming back at vital moments: it felt like he was cheating!

I can’t say i loved this book, even though it improved towards the end, but i will give it 7/10 because it is full of fascinating elements and the later half of the book is more interesting than the first half.  I also managed to keep reading it without giving up (although i did skip through the songs in the book), and i now want to re-read (and properly finish) “The Lord of the Rings” while i’m still in the Middle-Earth mindset! If you haven’t read these books, then you should!

  1. Geoff W says:

    It was definitely a slow start and then all of the action seemed rushed and jammed into smaller spaces! I agree with Gandalf disappearing, but one thing the films are doing is filling in that space from Tolkien’s compendium of Middle Hearth/The Hobbit related information.

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