Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Hobbit

I recently finished reading “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien for a book club I am in called “The Inklings” (if you are familiar with the world of Tolkien you will know that “The Inklings” was originally the name of a club Tolkien was in along with C.S. Lewis). I have seen all of the Lord of the Rings movies, but his is the first thing I have actually read by Tolkien. It was a short book in comparison to Tolkien’s other works, but it still took me a while to read though maybe just because I’ve been more busy.
     I am ashamed to tell you that The Hobbit was the first Tolkien book I have read. I have seen the Lord of the Ring movies, and loved them but I simply haven’t gotten to reading the books, so I can’t very well tell you how they compare. I have however listened on audio to part of the Silmarillion, which seems completely different from LotR and The Hobbit.

     So, from what knowledge I have of Tolkien’s works I have, I can tell you that while The Hobbit is not at popular as LotR (though the tides may change a bit with the upcoming movie) I think you ought to read it if you like LotR, as it is a necessary history to get the fullness of the story.

     The Hobbit is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and is all about Bilbo Baggins and his development from an “old fogy” to a heroic hobbit. Bilbo is perfectly content to spend his days quietly and safely in his warm hobbit-hole, but Gandalf the wizard (or Istari as the LotR Junkies know) gets him to go on a quest with a band twelve dwarves to reclaim treasure from the dragon Smaug. Most of the book is taken up with the journey to Lonely Mountain, where they travel through the Valley of the Elves, the Misty Mountains, Mirkwood Forest, and more! Along the way they encounter goblins, wargs, trolls, man who can turn into a bear and giant spiders along the way!
     I have to say, I completely, positively LOVE the character Bilbo Baggins! He is a wonderfully creative character. Usually the hero of an adventure story is some tall young buff guy, but in the Hobbit it’s far form that! Bilbo is probably no more than three and a half feet tall, somewhat plump, fifty years old, and lives a very normal life to begin with. I think that it is a wonderful message that you do not have to be some kind of Superman to have an adventurous life!
     Not to mention Tolkien’s WONDERFUL writing style. Tolkien’s classical humorous writing is an attribute that I adore. It’s interesting how he keeps a dramatic situation by telling things in an amusing fashion. I also love how he at times addresses the readers- it feel like you’re over at his house and you’ve sat down in his living room to hear him tell you a tale from long ago. He tells it like it’s real, but also like it’s a story- kind of like historical fiction.
     As for negatives, there really aren’t any! But it would be nice to see a female character, though this doesn’t really bother me much, and is made up for with some lovely female characters in The Lord of the Rings, witch of course, I must read when I can get to it.
     I went on IMBD to get information on the movie that’s coming out called “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”. It is supposed to come out Christmas of 2012 and is directed by, of course, Peter Jackson. Though it’s not in the book, I was pleased to hear that Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom will be seen in the movie. Martin Freeman will be playing Bilbo Baggins (as seen in above photo), and in my opinion he looks absolutely perfect for the part! I am once again amazed at these people’s supreme casting abilities.
     I certainly recommend you buy this book and read it! Nobody can have a decent life without having read one of Tolkien’s books! And you must hurry before the movie comes out!

Criteria 1-10
Creative Characters: 10
Excitement: 8
Plot: 9
Interest: 8
Well-Written: 10
Emotional Involvement: 7
Mature Content: 0