This review is of the second edition edit of the Hobbit which links it closer to the Lord of the Rings.
In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins. He is taken on an adventure by a Wizard and some Dwarfs to fight a deadly talking Dragon called Smaug. Along the way they encounter trolls, Goblins, Elves and a strange creature called… Gollum
It reads like a children book and is definitely something able to be read by adults. What I mean to say it is written with a view to children and just by reading it you can sense it’s a classical fantasy story from the 20th century written to appease the appetites of young minds before the Internet came along. Reading it is like wearing a familiar old glove. It closely matches the earlier fairy tales from my child hood and it’s like something I have read long ago but in actuality it isn’t. It’s due to Tolkien’s rich knowledge of fairy tales of times past that he was able to create something new but familiar while at the same time drawing on his own experience in that of the first world war (although he himself has stated the hobbit and LOTRs are not an allegory for the real world).
This is my first book by Author JR Tolkien and my first taste of “The Lord of the Rings” adventures in writing. What a pleasing experience it is and an addictive one at that. Having already seen the Lord of the Rings movies I find this story to be on a smaller scale to that story but of the same structure except bigger and far more complex. One might consider this the proto-story of what came later.
Bilbo comes across as a somewhat stuck in his ways person, comfortable with his life and with no interest in the outside world, the experience of this trip makes the character far more of a mature and noble creature but also one who can never go back to the person he was. Gandalf seems to know this adventure will change Bilbo for the better. Gandalf seems to have a sixth sense of most things beyond others but still is a wandering wizard of sorts and when he leaves the group on his own errands I started to truly feel the threat and serious danger Bilbo and the Dwarves faced.
The creature they are on the way to steal and possibly revenge on is Smaug the dragon. A fierce,witty and arrogant Dragon which makes him one of the more interesting characters in the Hobbit.
The attack of Smaug on the village is so delicately describe as it is with Tolkien’s writing you get a real sense of the event happening and I think this is a big help when filming and visualizing it. I can’t wait to see Peter Jackson bring it to life.
The battle of the Five armies is quickly passed over in the story when Bilbo is knocked out but it’s of minor detail to the main themes of the story. I imagine it will be expanded upon also in the forthcoming movie.
Favorite Quote: “Victory after all, I suppose! Well, it seems a very gloomy business.” – Biblo Baggins