Tag Archives: tolkien

Book Review: The Hobbit


Second review of the year!

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Genre: SF/F

Summary (from Goodreads): 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. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

Review: I wanted to read this before I saw the movie. Also, this was my first Tolkien. I wanted to love this book, like so many others do. However, I think I missed the age group. Yes, it is wonderfully written, but it is completely aimed towards a child. I didn’t like the “all-knowing narrator”. I felt that it distracted from the story. Also, I didn’t feel connected or concerned with the main character. Maybe I’m just used to those sort of books. Anyway, overall, the book was pure story. Nothing random, nothing frivolous. And that’s what a book should be. Though I thought there could have been more description about these places. I’m intrigued to see the movie, but I’m not sure I’ll read any more Tolkien. 

Recommendation: I say read it and figure it out for yourself, but don’t put too much pressure on loving it. Perhaps borrow instead of buy. If you have younger siblings or kids or cousins you could read it to them or with them. I think children, who the book was written for, will love it.