The Hobbit by Tolkien

I’m ashamed to say I have never read the Lord of the Ring series before (I may have started one once but didn’t like it and put it back down) and even after seeing the movies, which I did enjoy, I still didn’t dive into Tolkien’s world. Well I decided to remedy that and picked up the Hobbit, the prequel of sorts to the Lord of the Rings series. I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed. It was an inventive story for sure, and Tolkien had a lot of imagination, but there were a lot of flaws in this book in my opinion.

We are introduced to Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit that likes to make sure meals are regular and a comfy chair exists in his hole in the ground. He is surprised one day by the wizard Gandalf who brings thirteen dwarves to meet his acquaintance. They tell him he is to come on a journey and help the dwarves so that they may regain their homeland and treasure from a dragon who has stolen it all. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems though and they encounter many hardships and perils on the road. Not a lot of people seem to like this merry band of travelers and they are constantly fighting for their lives and freedom. But some other things do happen, and a lot changes when Bilbo finds a very mysterious ring.

The characters in this novel are well developed. I was glad to see Gollum as he is my favorite character in the movies and he was well written in these pages. Bilbo was also done splendidly and you were able to get a good sense of what Hobbits are like from him. Even the dwarves, as many as there were, had distinct personalities.

The writing is where I found some faults. This book is extremely rushed! It seems like they were no sooner getting into trouble than they were out of it and into some different sort of trouble. Because of this, there didn’t seem to be any suspense to the novel and it would have been nice if Tolkien had settled on a few instances and described them well, then had many that hardly got any description at all. He seemed to repeat himself too with our heroes getting captured at least four times, although I stopped counting after awhile. That being said, even the violence in this novel was tame and nothing was offensive that I could find so it is appropriate for all readers.

I wish I would have enjoyed the book more. I do hear that this is the weakest out of the series so I will continue on. I just hope they get a little better as right now I’m not sure what all the hype is about.

The Hobbit
Copyright 1937
306 pages