G Hodges's Reviews > The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Oct 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 09 to October 04, 2012

The Hobbit is the story of a solitary but comfortable middle class person taking an unexpected journey beyond his comfort level and finding strengths and unexpected skills that neither he nor anyone else expected. That he is doing this in a fantasy world is irrelevant because we all live in fantasy anyway, don’t we? Our own personal view of the world is our make-believe.

The descriptive scenes take us soaring and plummet us to the depths of the earth. The characters are family and friends and bosses and teachers and people from our ancestral past known only to us from intuition and instinct and from the myths and folklore of our lives, of the lives of human kind. In Bilbo’s inability to achieve an ethical standard that we in our Eurocentric society hold dear, but which in reality is very unrealistic, we find sorrow and feel failure.

Sentence phrasings may be archaic and stilted and difficult for us in 2012 to grasp but there is a pattern in the flow and if you abandon yourself to it you become more involved. He encourages you to create your own visuals. You close your eyes and you see this place. Middle earth.

Tolkien’s books are so unlike the movies I think it would be a huge mistake to compare them. It’s apples and oranges. I remember in the Lord of the Rings having a minds eye vision of Strider/Aragorn and when the movie came out I was very disappointed in the character as played by Viggo Mortenson. Not that he did a bad job. He was just not Strider for me. The one time this movie worked for me was in the depiction of the Gollum character.

It’s all about expectations, isn’t it? When I first read this, I was in my college library. There were benches by huge bay windows. I started reading the book in the early afternoon with sunlight streaming in and it was dark before I realized I had to go home. If you are expecting a movie, this is not the book for you. If you want to create your own in your mind, it is.
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