REVIEW: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

REVIEW: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Original Publication Date: September 1937

The version I read was based on the edition published in 1995

A great modern classic and the prelude to THE LORD OF THE RINGS
 
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. –Amazon
I chose this book for many reasons:
  1. I love fantasy.
  2. I love dragons.
  3. I love Lord of the Rings.
  4. I’ve seen the Hobbit movies and the LOTR movies.
  5. Many of my students recommended this book.

I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read this book, especially because it has a great reputathe hobbittion and is a classic book of my favorite genre. I give this book FOUR STARS out of five. For some reason, I struggled with this book. I wasn’t always turning pages, on the edge of my seat, craving the adventure like I had though I would. There are a lot of moments that move slower and combined with the narration style, I felt bored. About three-fourths of the way, I really got into it and couldn’t stop reading. I was disappointed it took that long for me to really get into it, but I did love the ending and thus, the book overall.

Things I loved:

  1. The vivid descriptions.
  2. Chapter One-in its entirety. Tolkien did a fantastic job setting the stage with his humor. I really liked the dwarves because of how much of a nuisance they were!
  3. The theme of food. Bilbo is constantly thinking about food. The dwarves too.
  4. Tolkien’s humor.
  5. The riddles, poems, songs.
  6. The consistent, conversational style of narration. It is a different style of writing and pretty entertaining (for the most part.)
  7. Bilbo’s growth as a character.
  8. The illustrations and maps-all books should contain beautiful drawings.

Things I didn’t love:

  1. I didn’t learn enough about each dwarf. I gathered which ones were most welcoming to Bilbo, which helped a little. But overall, I felt disconnected with the dwarves.
  2. The storytelling style (which I said I loved above) was great, but sometimes I wanted to be in someone’s mind, in their character, in the action. I wanted more than a character who knows what’s going to happen and foreshadows a lot.

My favorite quotes:

  1. “Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!”-Bilbo to himself
  2. “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -Thorin to Bilbo
  3. “May your beards never grow thin!”-Bilbo to the dwarves

 

I would definitely recommend this book to fantasy and adventure lovers. Let me know your thoughts.

 

Thank you for reading!

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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