The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) Book Review

The Hobbit Book Review, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit. I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this for a while. The Hobbit is one of my favourite books. I think that Lord of the Rings series is a little better, but the Hobbit is a bit lighter and funnier. It’s an easier read all round. It’s also an excellent introduction to the LotR series.

In The Hobbit (as I hope you all know), Mr Bilbo Baggins, a very respectable hobbit around these parts. Until, that is, he is drafted into a most unexpected adventure. To the last Homely House then on, on under mountain and over hill. Over the river and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where old Smaug the dragon sleeps on stolen gold.

And what an adventure it is, let me tell you. There’s dragons, there’s Dwarves, there’s elves, there’s shape-shifters, there’s wizards, there’s goblins, there’s giant spiders, and of course one (slightly slimy) Gollum. Seriously, Tolkien has managed to cram in many, many different fantasy races here. As the Dwarves, Gandalf plus one reluctant hobbit trek through their adventure, we see examples of every creatures under the sun. Surprisingly, the plot itself does not feel crowded or rushed. The plot is not intensely fast paced, it takes itself very seriously, and takes its time over the events. The way Tolkien has the company flow through their (mis)adventure(s) is truly magical. Their are intense, exciting times like the mountains, and Mirkwood. There is also relaxed atmospheres where we can relax, and enjoy the literature Tolkien has provided for us, like in Rivendell, Bjorn’s house and Laketown. I think every character gets a moment to shine: Gandalf in the cave, Bilbo in Mirkwood (and elsewhere), Fili throwing the rope and Thorin leaping from the mountain. Tolkien does not make the mistake of becoming betrothed with a character in his plot, and the book feel well spread out between them. The plot of The Hobbit is one I know very well through many a re-read, and it is definitely a favourite.

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The characters in The Hobbit are meticulously crafted to blend across the spectrum of personality. Bilbo, the unexpected and often confused hobbit, Gandalf the wise wizard, Thorin the much-too-important-for-you Dwarf, and Balin the helping hand. Bilbo is the shining beacon though. He stands (metaphorically) tall in his development as a character. At first, he isn’t really sure why he’s part of the adventure (as Gandalf had bustled him out of the door quite early, before he could collect his wits to refuse). As he goes on, he accepts he can play a role in the adventure, having sharp eyes and silent feet. However, when he gets the ring, he sees that he can become a vital part of the adventure. He doesn’t play on this though, and follows his heart humbly through his adventure. Tolkien’s other characters are fun to read about too, especially Gandalf. Gandalf’s dry sense of humour is a gem, I love it. Finally, commendations to Tolkien to thinking up Gollum. I think he was presented very well; it worked well that we don’t really know who or what he is. <!–more–>

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I’d just like to take a moment to compare The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings. What I think very good about the two, is that they work harmoniously together, but also work perfectly as individual novels – the stories do not rely on each other. Indeed, The Hobbit was published before Tolkien had even thought of LotR (fact). The Hobbit is a much easier read than LotR, and I think it’s a great introduction to Tolkien’s style of writing, as it is slightly more classic than many other modern authors.

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The Hobbit is one of my favourite books, just as Tolkien is probably my absolute favourite author. The Hobbit is a wonderful introduction to middle earth, and Tolkien’s writing style is the icing on the cake. You can now buy The Hobbit in a pocket-sized edition. Now, the only other book I can think of being important enough to have a Pocket edition is the bible. The Hobbit is a wonderful piece of literature that I think everyone should have read, so if you haven’t, rectify the situation!

The Hobbit, you say? 10/10. I love this book. It’s perfect in my opinion. I was happy with the ending, the beginning and all of the wonderful events in between.


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