Xena's Reviews > The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Aug 06, 2008

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bookshelves: 1001-books
Recommended for: Anyone who would like to read Lord of the Rings
Read in August, 2008

This book was a very ancient candidate on my "to read list" and I always planned to read it just before the Lord of the Rings. So far, things have worked out and I have started Lord of the Rings the same afternoon I finished the Hobbit.

I don't think I would enjoy Lord of the Rings as much as I do, had I not read the Hobbit just beforehand. The Hobbit really provides the reader with a lot of background information, which is an advantage when you get started with the trilogy.

Nevertheless, I still feel that, as a stand - alone story, the Hobbit is a book aimed at children. Tolkien's fluid writing style and the way in which he addresses his readers, often gave me the impression that the author was right next to me, lecturing about hobbits in a style suitable for primary school children. The Hobbit is thus the perfect book to read to your children before bedtime or even one of the first novels they might read themselves.

When evaluating the Hobbit as a prelude to Lord of the Rings, things look a little bit different. Currently reading Lord of the Rings, I am thankful to have followed the chronological path, as the Hobbit prepares the setting for Lord of the Rings, in which Tolkien has adapted his very scholarly writing style to an audience of grown ups.

Apart from the obvious highlights of the story, i.e. Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, The Hobbit, even though the plot was neat and perfectly paced, sometimes felt dragging as the story meanders from one perilous situation to another. However, the aspect I enjoyed most was the author's typically English humour, which often shines through when Bilbo interacts with the other characters.



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