Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Hobbit (Book Review)

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Year: 1937
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Intermediate

Literary Awards: New York Herald Tribune Best Juvenile Story, Keith Barker Millennium Book Award, Books I Loved Best Yearly (BILBY) Awards for Older Readers (1997)

Plot Summary: Bilbo Baggins lived a comfortable, peaceful existence in his hobbit hole--until Gandalf the Grey intervened.  Soon Bilbo is swept away from his home, in the company of dwarves determined to regain their lost mountain.  A long quest stands between Bilbo and his homey hole, and he will not be quite the same at the end of it.

Red Flags: Some peril and very mild violence, creatures

My Rating: A
In the past I've always maintained that this is my least favorite of Tolkien's novels--not because I dislike it, but just because I like his others better.  While that is still the case, I think I enjoyed it more this time than any other reading (I think this was my fifth?).  It's such a great adventure story, and Bilbo is an endearing main character.  It's a fairly simple and straightforward tale but it's also very well written, funny and engaging.  I can't really find any fault with it, even if it's not the serious, bleak Tolkien I love the best.  

Memorable quotes:
"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable , palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway."--ch. 3

"Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did.  The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it.  He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait."--ch. 12

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