The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (#.5 Lord of the Rings)

The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Originally Published: 1937

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, is a classic children’s story. As with all good children’s stories, it is a must read for adults.  In my case,  re-read every few years.

Yes, I love it.

It is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, who has been minding his own business, when Gandalf the Wizard stops by.  The next thing you know, Bilbo has a dozen dwarves in his dining room, and has been invited to help them on their adventure.  They are off to fight a dragon and reclaim both their treasure and the Lonely Mountain.  Of course, as any hobbit knows, adventures are out of the question if you want to maintain your self-respect.   But……Bilbo tags along, and though he receives constant complaints on his performance, he outshines them all.  Along the way he encounters a shapeshifter, trolls, spiders, orcs and wargs, and elves and men.  All leave a lasting impression.  But his encounter with Gollum and his riddles leaves him with a special ring.  Bilbo gains a lot of perspective, confidence and maturity on this adventure, and it particularly shows at the end during the Battle of the Five Armies.

This book is the introduction to Middle Earth, and to some of its inhabitants.  It makes way for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (which is a much bigger and harder read).  It can be read as an intro to the trilogy, or as a stand-alone novel.   The Hobbit is considered a classic in children’s literature.

Note that the book has recently been split and made into 3 movies, and although different from the book, the movies are well done, and highly entertaining.

 

Favorite Quotes from The Hobbit  (yes, I found many):

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”

“He wished again and again for his nice bright hobbit-hole. Not for the last time.”

“He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it.”

“He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath.  “I will give you a name,” he said to it, “and I shall call you Sting.”

 

Re-Read: December 2016

 

About the Author:  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, (1892-1973) was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor.  The Hobbit was written for his children, and not originally intended for publication.  His massive Lord of the Rings trilogy came about as a simple request for a sequel to The Hobbit.  After Tolkien’s death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts.

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