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Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is the high fantasy prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It follows an unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, on his journey through Middle Earth with many dwarves and a wizard. For a more complete summary, you can go here.

Books like this are difficult for me to review. It is a highly recognized novel, as well as a huge film franchise. I have seen all three of the Lord of the Rings movies (but haven’t read the books), and I have seen the first two of the three Hobbit movies. At first I couldn’t believe that a relatively small novel could possibly be made into three movies that are each about three hours long. But, wow, there are a ton of adventures crammed into one book. Pretty much everything in the book make it into the movies, but there are many things that were added to the movies—perhaps to mesh better with the already existing LOTR trilogy and to add more action. There are also several characters that were added to the movies. 

I’ll admit that it took me a pretty long time to finish The Hobbit. I really enjoyed the book, but I found myself getting distracted by other, newer titles. After reading this book, I did an in-depth analysis of Middle Earth for my Folklore and Fantasy class, because I love high-fantasy novels (novels in which an entire world is created by the author). Tolkien’s creation is especially interesting because it includes the history of the world as well as a map of how the world actually looks. 

I did notice that it was strange how small of a section of the book encompassed The Battle of Five Armies since it is the premise of the whole third film. However,  I am grateful that I didn’t have to read 200 pages of battle sequences. 

One of the main motifs in fantasy novels is the hero’s journey. I enjoyed seeing Bilbo transform from a reluctant participant to the hero of the group. To be honest, most of the dwarves seemed rather stupid and seemed to rely too heavily on Bilbo’s knowledge. 

This is a classic novel that everyone should read at some point. It’s a book that I could imagine parents reading aloud to their children. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 


 ****   4/5 Stars


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