Friday, 7 December 2012

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

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien. Website
Published: This edition: 12 March 1981 (Unwin)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 285
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Own

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Bilbo Baggins is a reasonably typical hobbit: fond of sleeping, eating, drinking, parties and presents. However, it is his destiny to travel to the dwarflands in the east, to help slay the dragon Smaug. His quest takes him through enchanted forests, spiders' lairs, and under the Misty Mountains, where he comes across the vile Gollum, and tricks him out of his 'Precious' - a ring that makes its bearer invisible, and wields a terrible power of its own.

My Review:
This book has been on my shelf forever. It's my mum's copy and I first attempted to read it as a kid, but just couldn't get into it. Now I'm older and the film is coming out soon, I've been given that kick up the backside to read it! The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins who finds himself on an adventure with a group of dwarves, as they set of to reclaim the dwarves' lost treasure from the grasp of a dragon.

The writing style drew me in very quickly. What I loved were the quirky things that made the writing stand out, including the little poems and riddles that Tolkien dotted throughout. They made it feel a bit more special and magical! There's also the unusual habit of addressing the reader through the second person which was really effective. It made me feel even more involved in the story. There's some great humour weaved throughout the book as well which kept me entertained!

I loved Bilbo as a main character. He likes him home comforts; his house, his food and his own routine, and he doesn't seem suited to adventure at all. This makes the journey he goes on throughout the book even more engaging because we get to see his character evolve.

I'm always aiming to read more fantasy, as it's a genre in which I've had trouble finding books I like. The Hobbit definitely won me over. I loved the world it took place in and all the different magical creatures, from dwarves to elves to dragons to wizards. I loved that each of these of these creatures had their own set of personalities and traits which made them interesting to learn about. My attention was held throughout the story and I loved all the descriptions that made me feel really immersed in the settings.

There was a lot of action and drama which made for a tense and exciting read. This being a slightly older book I had a few places where I struggled a bit and had to go back and re-read sections, and there were a few times where I had to really focus to get exactly what was happening. I think waiting til I was older was a good move, though, and I was able to really appreciate this book for what it is. It's why I never rule out going back to that I've struggled with in the past! If you're planning to check out the film then you definitely need to read the book.

Rating: 4*
What to read next: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tokien
Books like this: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Related news: Watch the film trailer for The Hobbit right here! In cinemas on 13th December 2012.

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