The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

February 1, 2010 § 21 Comments

This is my first try with Tolkien, and I dare say, the fantasy genre. I’m not all that into dragons and elves and weird magical creatures. But I guess there’s only so long I can run away from reading Tolkien, before I get chased down by my own friends, pinning me down with evil stares and Tolkien’s many books.

I like my stories to start where they’re supposed to, so as much as I was tempted to jump straight into the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I knew I’d be picking up The Hobbit and reading that first. More like trying for taste, and deciding to see if fantasy really was my thing.

And besides, the LOTR Read-Along button is just too beautiful to be resisted. (I am, however, not taking part in this read-along)

I had a lot of fun with this book. For some weird reason, I had imagined the language to be impossible to read and follow, but it was definitely not the case here. Maybe because the initial intended audience was for children, the story was told in such an innocent manner, I really did feel like a child, having a good time getting lost in a magical world where bravery and courage prove to be assets.

I loved the fact that this is the book where Bilbo Baggins is introduced. I’ve watched the LOTR movies, and Bilbo Baggins doesn’t really feature much. But it was interesting to read about Hobbits in general, and about the adventurous side of Bilbo, something very rare in Hobbits indeed.

And, crazy though it may sound, I actually love Gollum as well! I loved the way he talked to himself, the way referred to himself when talking to Bilbo, the way he referred to Bilbo. There’s a scene where Bilbo and Gollum are having a riddle-game, and I just loved it. Bilbo asks Gollum a riddle, for example:

A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

To which Gollum answers: “Eggses!”

“Eggses!” he says! I just love the way Gollum speaks.

The elves and Rivendell didn’t feature as prominently as I had thought they would. I wonder if there are any other books by Tolkien that explore the elves a little more, just like this book explores about hobbits and dwarves. (Any Tolkien fan out there can help me with this?)

*

I think this means that I’ll be reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but maybe not so soon. I’m still very new into this genre, and so I’m thinking of trying out Pullman’s His Dark Materials next. And besides, my friends are already jumping for joy that I’ve finally started what they deem as ‘compulsory reading’. I’ll have no lack of people willing to loan their copies of LOTR to me. =)

Rating: 4

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§ 21 Responses to The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Vishy says:

    Nice review! Nice to know that you are exploring Tolkien now. I was a late starter too with respect to Tolkien, but fell in love with the magical stories and Tolkien’s beautiful prose. Hope you enjoy ‘The Lord of the Rings’ too.

  • Susan says:

    It’s a lovely surprise when a book exceeds your expectations!

  • claire says:

    Yay for Tolkien! I’m not very well-read in fantasy but I love the genre and wish I had more time to read them. But sad to hear you are putting off LOTR for His Dark Materials. 😦

    • Michelle says:

      I take it that you’ve read the LOTR trilogy already? =) I hope to get to the trilogy proper a little later in the year, let Mr Bilbo Baggins sink in a little.

  • I haven’t read Lord of the Rings (yet), but I did love this one. It was easy to read, and incredibly enjoyable as well.

    I have read His Dark Materials and I absolutely adore it. Read all three books in two days, and then wasn’t happy as that was the end of that!! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • Aimee says:

    Um. His Dark Materials is one of my favourite trilogies EVER. I’m so excited for you to read it and so worried that you won’t like it, all at the same time!!

    as for LOTR – I read The HObbit a few years ago and last year attempted to read TFOTR…but still haven’t gotten through it. Its not that its difficult language, its just so long!

    x
    Aimee

    • Michelle says:

      It gets like that, doesn’t it? You want everyone who reads a book you loved to love it too, but you’re worried that they might not. Hehe..

      I think that’s why I’ve been putting off LOTR for so long, because of it’s sheer length!

  • mee says:

    I have The Hobbit and LOTR and His Dark Materials on my shelves, waiting to be read. I watched the first LOTR (and a bit of the second one) and wasn’t really into it much. I think it was because there were so many characters and I just couldn’t distinguish who was who (I’m bad at people’s faces). The books should be the way to go for me. I might be reading His Dark Materials first too before LOTR 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      Haha. It did get kind of confusing for me at the earlier stages, but after a while, I just let the story flow. Funny, but I don’t think I quite remember all their names though..

  • aloi says:

    This is what started me in the fantasy genre, and I actually had a secret crush on the young Bilbo as a kid. Heehee. Glad you enjoyed this one as an intro! As for His Dark Materials, it pretty good! Don’t think about the movie version though, the books are waay better.

  • savidgereads says:

    I have never really fancied The Hobbit, I tried LOTR and just didnt get on with it, maybe this would be a better way in and a better way of getting into Tolkiens world?

    • Michelle says:

      Well, it works for me. I’ll admit to having *tried* to read LOTR a long while back, but I didn’t even get past the second page! I think The Hobbit is less confusing, a simpler plot to follow, and perhaps does a good job at introducing LOTR.

  • Tony says:

    ‘The Hobbit’ is a bit of a kids’ book compared to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (which – call me a blasphemer – is notable not for the execution but more for the overall mythology: I don’t find the writing that amazing really). Now you know why Bilbo Baggins had the ring – and you can watch it on the big screen soon too 😉

    • Michelle says:

      It did read a lot like a children’s book. And funny, because I actually didn’t know they’ve made The Hobbit into a movie! (2 movies, it looks like..)

  • chasing bawa says:

    I think The Silmarillion is about the elves, although I found it a tad difficult to get into when I tried reading it many years ago. But I loved LOTR, books and movies both. And you can probably find out a lot about the elves in the footnotes and endnotes of LOTR.

    • Michelle says:

      Do all the different editions of LOTR have those footnotes and endnotes? There are just so many different ones out there right now…. But it sounds great, those footnotes. =)

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