Joel Simon's Reviews > The Hobbit
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
by J.R.R. Tolkien
There are not many books that I have read twice. The first time I read The Hobbit, I liked it a lot. But I hadn't read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and still haven't (so I guess I didn't like The Hobbit enough). But it brought a smile to my face when I saw it on our shelf this past summer and I decided that I would read it aloud to my 10 year old daughter. In reading it aloud, a few things happened. First, it took a very long time to read the whole book (8 months, in fact). Some of this was due to other commitments, mine as well as hers. But some of it was due to the writing. Reading The Hobbit aloud to a 10-year old is not easy. For starters, there are a lot of words in the book that are not in a 10-year old's vocabulary, which leads to frequent interruptions and questions. Second, there are a lot of words in the book that aren't used much today so they weren't in my vocabulary either. Third, certain parts of the book are so slowly but beautifully descriptive that reading them quickly gives you nothing to grab onto. So you have to read it slowly. Fourth, it is hard to keep track of who all the characters are so you find yourself going back over pages you have read to figure out who is who and where they fit in (especially when you take 8 months to read it!). But the journey is worth it. This book is so incredibly creative and enchanting that my daughter and I always found it a pleasure to pick it up and read it no matter how much time had passed since the last reading. The characters are so rich, each with his own idiosyncrasies and quirks. Even the bad guys are exquisitley described. Especially Gollum and the Dragon. It had been such a long time since I read this book the first time that I had forgotten the ending and I had also not realized how richly descriptive the story was. I really loved this book and recommend that you read it or reread it, and savor it. Do not try to zoom through it or you will miss what it has to offer.
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