S.'s Reviews > The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Apr 07, 11

bookshelves: all-time-favourites, fantasy
Recommended for: Humans, Hobbits, Elves, Beornings. But not Trolls, Wargs, or Goblins.
Read from February 20 to 22, 2010

In anticipation of the movie - and I anticipate, eagerly! - I thought I'd pull my socks up and try to do what I've copped out of doing before: Reviewing Tolkien's work.

This is the easiest book to review though, as it is also the most accessible of his writings.
There is none of the poetically archaic lyricism that emerges in LOTR.
It's the thing most people I know get into contact with first:
Through having had it read to them by their parents when they were but bairns.

I read it when I was fourteen, two years after reading LOTR, because I'd read everything on my assigned school book list and was becoming a complete pain in the arse during English class.
Luckily I had a very open minded teacher - thank you Miss Tine Visser, wherever you may roam - and she let me read what I liked.
Moreover, she let me off attending classes if I turned in book reviews for every book I read once a month.
She knew I loved to read, she knew I loved to write. A perfect pact was born.
You know, I think she might be partly to blame for my Goodreads presence...

But I seem to be skiving off from writing about the book, again.

Right then: I really didn't like it to start off with, in a teenage 'This stuff is STUPID' kick-the door-on-your-way-out manner.
It's still not my ultimate favourite, but enough of a happy read that nowadays it's relegated to the quick comfort reads section of my bookshelf.
And you know what? I think it's petty resentment: I regret not having had the joy of falling into this book when I was small, because I can tell how incredible the experience would have been.
I missed out and it's a wrong that can never be righted. *Kicks door on way out*

The story is an unmitigated joy of adventure, friendship, creatures and treasure.
The pacing is perfect, more so than in LOTR - and I should really stop making comparisons very soon -:
Suddenly you find that from slowly accelerating you are running along full tilt with great vistas of colour and ideas zipping by.
Yet it never seems so, from the writing. There's a kind of contained glee lurking under all the well placed sentences, so you are continuously aware of great things afoot just a mere page away.

Bilbo is more acceptable as a person, because he is young and gormless and his sense of justness and rightness is unmarred by later events.

Everyone knows the story, right, with the possible exception of having just been born? So I can just skip on to the things I loved most:

Thorin. My aching heart. And such delicately chosen words, Mr. Tolkien, when it comes to Bilbo's reaction.
And furthermore:

Trolls! Spiders!Wood Elves!Thievery!Elrond!Beorn! Smaug!Gandalf!Riddles!Eagles!

Well, that was concise and intelligent. Lovely.

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Reading Progress

02/20/2010 page 57
11.85% "I temporarily dropped everything else to comfort-read this much beloved old friend."
02/21/2010 page 285
59.25% ""The Eagles! The Eagles! The Eagles are coming!""
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message 1: by S. (new) - rated it 4 stars

S. Ha, I've been dorkily following every development for the past, oh, four to five years.

Initially, you see, it was going to be Guillermo del Toro directing, which, to me, was simply amazing: Imagine all his fabulous creature ideas let loose upon the likes of Smaug, the Trolls and the Mirkwood spiders.

Then there was some kind of economical collapse all over the world which you may have heard about (...) and the project was struggling big time.
When the making of the movie was back on track, del Toro pulled out because it was now clashing with other stuff he was doing.

Geekland held its breath while the war of directors raged, fearfully biting its nails in case some dingbat employed, say, the Wayans Brothers...

Then all was well that ended well, because Peter Jackson him very self is now on the job, whilst fully retaining all of del Toro's set designs, script and production input from a distance.

The movie, in following of the trends nowadays, is being chopped in two. The first installment comes out on the 19th of December 2012.

I bet that was waaay more information than you bargained for. ^^

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