Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit
By J.R.R. Tolkien
Reviewed by Jeff
Published:August 15th 2002 (first published 1937)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 365
ISBN: 0618260307 

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. (Goodreads)
I have read a fair amount of fantasy epics and novels in the fantasy genre in general. I must unfortunately admit though that this is the first time I have ever read a work by Tolkien. He did not disappoint. A lot of the gripes I have with subpar fantasy writers is their inability to engulf me in the world they are developing. The converse being the author that spends too much time describing the world they are within. Tolkien is a master at having a delicate balance of world shaping and character development. I absolutely loved this book and am sad that I didn't discover this work as a kid. Bilbo is a great character to follow, and there was an adequate amount of adventure and plot twists to keep me going. The only minor flaw I noticed was that I felt there was a ton of buildup, with a relatively quick ending. I would have liked the ending to have been a bit more enticing. The brief time spent on Smaug's demise was a bit disheartening, and I wish some more time was spent on the battle of the five armies. However considering that Tolkien has written three other novels among some others, I can forgive this small complaint I have. Great book, obviously recommended to any fantasy reader!

5/5 Carls

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