Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit
It's been more than 10 years since I first read The Hobbit. I was young, amazed from just finishing The Lord of the Rings, and quite inexperienced when it came to reading in English. But read I did, because I needed more (MORE!!!!). And now, with the movie being shot somewhere in New Zealand (2012 why don't you come?), I decided it was time for a re-read.

So, there I was, back again in the hole where a hobbit lived, Mr. Bilbo Baggins. It was easy to immerse myself in the world of Middle Earth, my image of them now very much influenced by The Lord of the Rings movies.

But back to the story. Mr. Bilbo Baggins, a decent sort of hobbit, much fond of good food, and blowing smoke rings on his pipe, and not at all prone to adventure, finds himself in just that: an adventure. To blame is Gandalf, who brought to his step 13 dwarves: Thorin, Balin, Kili and Fili, Dori, Nori and Ori, Oin and Gloin, Dwalin, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur (yes, I had to look them up, I could only remember 11). The dwarves are in need of a burglar for their expedition, and Gandalf thinks Bilbo is just the man for the job (although he has never done any burglary before). The Dwarves are going to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim their rightful treasure from Smaug, the dragon (and get rid of him, but it's mostly the treasure part). And Bilbo finds himself agreeing to this. And off they go to have adventures, with trolls and elves and goblins and wargs and all kinds of magical creatures (and all the while Bilbo wishes he had never left his cosy hobbit hole).

The Hobbit is great fun – there is a tone to the entire things that just makes you smile and chuckle. Also, there is something in the writing that just makes you leave the pages and go to Middle Earth. I knew I loved this book, I had the first time, and I was sure I would love it now as well.

There were, of course some differences, I found it easier to read now, and was a bit shocked at the amount of death in the book – a book I regard as young adult and/or children's literature. But I think I ended up loving it more (I wasn't sure it was possible). I think I was reminded that I not only loved the story, but also the way it was told, its puns and twists of language, the songs (The songs! The part that I least liked in Lord of the Rings but that I loved in The Hobbit!), and the complaining and bickering of dwarves and hobbit.

The parts that I recalled with fondness were still there, and I found myself loving them more still. The riddles in the dark, the entrance of Beorn's House, the escape from the Elf King... I looked forward to those scenes and they didn't disappoint.

I can't wait to see the adaptation in the big screen, The Hobbit is a favourite of mine. Worth reading, even if the world of Lord of the Rings seems too daunting. And totally worth re-reading it!


Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews: Libri Touches

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