Wednesday, 29 August 2012

REVIEW 'The Hobbit' by J. R. R. Tolkien

Today's review is The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien which I actually read as a child, but since I couldn't remember the plot very well I decided it was time for a re-read before the first film is released.  I will be comparing it with The Lord of the Rings which is one of my favourite books, and by the same author, as I'm sure everyone knows (unless they've been hiding under a rock!)

What's it about?
A hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is roped into an adventure with thirteen Dwarves by the wizard Gandalf. Their aim is to  reach the Lonely Mountain in order to rescue the treasure and old home of Thorin the dwarf from Smaug the dragon. It is set in the spectacular world of Middle Earth, and the reluctant hero has many adventures and meets a whole host of colourful characters on his quest to defeat Smaug.

What did I think of it? 
The Hobbit an incredibly charming children's adventure story. Bilbo Baggins is a fantastic character, and far more likeable than Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. He is full of charm and very amusing! The host of Dwarves each have their own personality, though you don't learn too much about them. Every character in The Hobbit was a joy to read about and I'm looking forward to seeing them portrayed on screen in a few months. I think Bilbo would have to be my favourite character but there are a whole host of characters in this book who are almost as wonderful.

The book is told by a narrator in episodic fashion, which is something I really enjoyed. Each chapter, especially in the first half of the book recounts a little adventure or meeting of a new character. This leads to Bilbo having an action packed trip to the Lonely Mountain, and perfect for bedtime reading, as each chapter reads almost like a mini story. The writing is less complicated than The Lord of the Rings, as The Hobbit is clearly written for children. The writing style gives such charm to the book. I found it a little slow going at first, and I know a lot of people are put off but as it continued I found myself getting more absorbed and reading for pleasure rather than duty.

The plot of The Hobbit is very basic in principle but nonetheless enjoyable. Many unfortunate events take place during the quest which keep the plot fresh and exciting. The sense of danger that is portrayed in Mirkwood is fantastic, and the spiders were terrifying!

I really recommend this book, especially for children. For me, it wasn't as good as The Lord of the Rings plotwise (I'm a plot driven reader!) but the charm and style of The Hobbit is makes it something special. I would have given it three stars but I feel that I'm a little old to enjoy it fully, and there is something magical and special about this book so I gave it four.


Goodreads Reading Challenge
This book is number 10 out of 50

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