Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings #0
Illustrator: Alan Lee
Published: 1997, HarperCollins Publishers (originally published 1937)
My Grade: 5 out of 5
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.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
I was thirteen the first time I read this book. At that time, I was devouring books like I can’t even imagine today. But I do remember not thinking that this was a children’s book. Probably because I was a child and The Lord of the Rings as a whole is marked as adult fantasy. This time I could tell. Focus only lay on where the action was, the journey was not described in words at all (which I remember the first two of the trilogy had lots of (I was too young to be able to even begin the third)). The dialogue was also very easy. Well, short and old-fashioned maybe. Fitting for the age in which it takes place. But sometimes, because of the dialogue, it didn’t feel like a children’s book at all.
The reason I wanted to read Tolkien’s works again is because I don’t feel like I was mature enough to appreciate it when I was thirteen. And also, I’ve seen the movies countless times and want to know more. And since I have many of them illustrated now, I figured it was time.
I kinda don’t want to bring in the movies in this review, but I have to say, the full story of the book is represented in the movies. With a lot more of course! But it’s all there. I remember being initially disappointed over this relatively short book being turned into a trilogy on screen. But adding Gandalf’s part of finding out about the Necromancer and his council with the white wizards was great.
Anyway, the movies are great because they are adapted from a great book. 5 out of 5.