Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)'s Reviews > The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Sep 06, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: classic, fantasy, owned-copy, plan-to-read-soon, group-read-classics-sep-2011, favorites, faerie, reluctant-or-unlikely-hero, quest, dragon, 2011-reading
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: Classics For Beginners Group Read
Recommended for: Fantasy lovers and the young at heart
Read from September 01 to 04, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who doesn't take much after his Took side of the family. Adventure might be in his blood, but it's not really his thing. He'd rather stay in his nice home under the Hill and have tea. But adventure comes knocking in the form of one wizard, Gandalf, and thirteen dwarves. Gandalf has volunteered Mr. Baggins to be the burglar for these dwarves. To steal into their former home and get back their treasure from a nasty dragon by the name of Smaug. Bilbo would rather say no, but he doesn't get the choice.

So off he goes on an amazing adventure that takes him across Middle Earth and to very dangerous places. Bilbo discovers just how much he is capable of (more than he imagines), and proves his worth again and again to the dwarves. Of course, Gandalf knew he was capable of that all the time.

This was a lovely story. I had never read any Tolkien prior to this, so it was fascinating getting to experience his work firsthand. He clearly has a love of song and poetry, and the epic works of bravery and adventure. It took some getting used to, but I decided I liked how he used lots of songs in this work. I would even read them aloud to myself.

I appreciated the time spent in crafting this world, replete with various types of folk, from Hobbits to Elves, Trolls, Goblins, Dwarves, a bear Shape-changer, Wargs (werewolves), talking ravens, great War Eagles, nasty giant Spiders, and even a grumpy Dragon. I liked that Mr. Tolkien told us a little of each, but primarily integrated this knowledge into the story so we could see for ourselves what they were made of.

This book was a great mix of humor and adventure. Tolkien doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, and his narrative shows a lively sense of humor and a good-spirited view of the world. It's clear that he has some things to say about what was going on in the world of his times, but he doesn't use his story to beat the reader over the head with his beliefs. Instead, one gets the clear impression that Tolkien questions the advance of industrialization and how it might cause the loss of things much more valuable in the world. And to think he uses a mythical world and mythical creatures, and tells a great story along the way, making that the clear focus. Personally, I think a writer can reveal a lot about himself without taking a reader out of the story and into editorial land, and that is clearly the case with Mr. Tolkien in this novel.

Bilbo is definitely an unlikely hero, which is one of my favorite kinds. He shows that being a hero is both a lot of work and sacrifice, yet comes naturally when one does what one feels is right, albeit not easy. I liked that as we got to know what he was capable of, so did he. His strengths felt realistic to who he was, and I liked that although people expected little of a Hobbit, Bilbo shows them just what he's made of. Bilbo gets frightened, and who can blame him? But he shows a cool head, and puts his thinking cap on, and always works through his fear. He's the kind of character that challenges the stereotype of what a hero is made of, and in a very good way. I found myself feeling very affectionate towards the guy and hoping that things worked out for him. I especially liked that although Gandalf is their companion part of the way, and a powerful wizard, he's not a deus ex machina figure in this book. His powers and sage knowledge do help, but his companions, particularly little Bilbo, mainly have to use their own strengths to extricate themselves from some nasty situations.

Although this tends to be a light-hearted book, there are some scary moments, and foes that I certainly wouldn't want to face. Poor Bilbo and his companions continually get out of one bad scrape, only to end up in a worse one. Lives are at risk, and heroes have to make their stands. But good wins out in the end, and that's what I want to see in a Goodread.

I can certainly see why The Hobbit is considered a classic. This is a rich story that can be taken on several levels. It's not only fun to read, but it has some good messages. I also found the writing to be high quality and showcasing that its author had the benefits of a classical education in folklore, myth, and legend. He combined all that to make a very delightful story that I had the pleasure to read for the first time (although not the last, I'm sure). If you have enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies but haven't read the books, I highly recommend reading Tolkien. And The Hobbit is the best place to start.
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Reading Progress

09/02/2011 page 32
10.0% 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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message 1: by Lemon (new)

Lemon Ooooh! One of my favoritest ever!

message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen LOL, I've been wanting to read the Hobbit too. It's been sitting on my dresser just waiting for me to pick it up. I just LOVE the LOTR's book's and movies. I've been waiting a long time for the movie The Hobbit to come out. It's finally on it's way, YEA!!!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) It's good to finally read some Tolkien. And I'll be ready for the movie.

Sharon Kemp i love this book one of my favorite Tolkien books i hope you enjoy it.

Sharon Kemp you are very welcome.

♡Meme♡Reads love♡ I loved this book... Read it when the Lord Of The Rings movies came out... I tried to read the others but watching the movies first I could never bring myself to read them... Glad I've read the Hobbit B-4 the movie this time... ;)

Alice That was a lovely review!

message 10: by KatLynne (new)

KatLynne Fantastic Review Lady D! I read this years ago and have forgotten most of it. Your review makes me want to read it again!

message 12: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Schwent Good review. I've always liked the Hobbit more than the Lord of the Rings.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Dan. I might be the same. We'll see. In the movies, I found Frodo kind of annoying, but I really liked Bilbo.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, KatLynne. I am glad I finally read this, and now I'm ready for the movie!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) ♡Meme♡ wrote: "I loved this book... Read it when the Lord Of The Rings movies came out... I tried to read the others but watching the movies first I could never bring myself to read them... Glad I've read the Hob..."

Meme, I'll try the LOTR books in the near future.

An Odd1 U read this when I was 9 and could speed read LOTR, now films only. Like quick Bilbo version better, you too?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I haven't read LOTR yet, so I can't say, BibbleBabble. I think I prefer Bilbo to Frodo (based on the movies).

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Bilbo was more of an "Accidental Hero." Frodo was more of a sad-sack-hero.

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I prefer Pipen and Meridoc to the Baggins Boys myself. If we're only talkin Hobbit Heroes (and that should be a short list mind you. Folks around the shire don't go in much for adventuring.)

message 21: by Lemon (new)

Lemon Great review , Lady D. Ah, the memories. I remember reading the entire set in two nights straight. Didn't get much sleep, but man it was worth it! I especially enjoyed reading the appendix that explained the whole history and lineage of the characters. Your review makes me want to read these books again, buy hopefully not in two nights straight without a break.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I think Samwise was the real hero (of the pair with Frodo). He kept Frodo going and made sacrifices for his friendship. I like Merry and Pipen as well.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Lulu. That's a lot of Middle Earth in one sitting! I'm in awe!

message 24: by mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

mark monday hooray, i'm so glad you liked it! wonderful review, LD.

Michelle(Chelle) aka Nightshade - Cake Whisperer Great review Lady Danielle. I loved this book as well. The Lord of the Rings is even better in my opinion. I highly recommend it.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Michelle! I might try to tackle The Fellowship early next year.

message 28: by Brylit (new)

Brylit This is a very good example of how important it is to actually experience the author's vision by reading.
I Love the LOTR movies, and have to admit I couldn't finish reading the Silmarillion. I Hope that this will be a blessing for younger folk coming into the adventure of fantastic stories.
I will look forward to reading this one!
Brylit :}

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) B, I tend to skew towards liking the books more, except for Jurassic Park. In that case, the movie is better.

Kwesi 章英狮 Wow! You are already done reading the book, I can't wait to open mine.

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Great Review, Lady D.

message 34: by Jocelin (new) - added it

Jocelin I am very excited about going to see "The Hobbit". I am interested in reading the book now.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Jocelin, I am excited about the movie too. The book is fun and excellent, so enjoy!

message 36: by Jocelin (new) - added it

Jocelin Thank you, may have to take a trip to B&N really soon to pick it up.

Luciana I never thought that Tolkien could express such deep meanings and reflections in a story that is so mystical and fantastic, consisting of a universe so unimaginably extensive. I like to meticulously analyze or realize that the books that I read have deep meanings which connect to ideas or concepts that I know of, and I never realized that the one you mentioned could be perceived in the book. Bilbo does develop as a character from beginning to end, becoming perseverant and valiant but not saving the day as your typical hero or prince charming. Even though in the end he escapes trouble, this reflects his true personality and it shows us that he has always kept a kind heart since the beginning, not letting vanity or greed consume him after accomplishing great acts of courage. None of the characters cause you to feel a love-and-hate relationship, even the enemies add humour and the feeling of adventure increases with their peculiar behaviours and actions, and they even sing and have funny discussions with each other!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Luciana. Well said!

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