The Hobbit

by J. R. R. Tolkien

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.

My Take

It’s been a while since I last read The Hobbit though we’ve been watching the three hobbit movies annually since they came out. (We spend a day in Middle Earth too over the holidays, watching The Lord of the Rings movies back to back to back.) After this last time I wanted to remind myself how different the book was from the movies. (Beyond the infamous sandworms and Tauriel.) The storyline is the same in broad strokes and I recognized lines of dialog used almost directly in the films. There’s a lot less action in the book. Which is fine by me; fight scenes are fun to watch but often boring to read. Thorin has a much smaller role in the book and comes off as a pompous do-nothing. Pretty much all of the characters are smaller than in the movies. Still an enjoyable read, though I still prefer the depth of The Lord of the Rings.