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There and Back Again
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There and Back Again

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  188 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Bailey was heading home in his steam-powered rocket when he found a message pod. It was only by luck that he spotted it, disabled and drifting in an eccentric orbit around a large M-type asteroid. Strange to find a message pod so far from interstellar trade routes, drifting through the Asteroid Belt around Old Sol. Bailey picked up the message pod, and notified its owners ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 15th 2000 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1999)
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Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a hoot. Not only is it a splendid book in its own right, but the fun of trying to see how the incidents from The Hobbit are going to be recreated in this lunatic universe is almost unmatched (I think only Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair has a similar symbiotic relationship with it's source, and that is far more tangential. Although on reflection, Bridget Jones' Diary probably qualifies too.)

edit: just finished a reread (in the light of Mr Jackson's work) and I'm putting it up a star beca
Probably in the opposite way from most of Pat Murphy's fans, I picked this up in a pinch at the library because I really enjoyed The Wild Girls, her new novel for younger readers. It turned out to be a lovely decision: There And Back Again is a perfectly charming romp through space, following neatly and creatively in the path carved by Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins. It had some gravity but not too much, humor, geeky allusions, a fun storyline, and a happy ending.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
In a tale heavily influenced by Tolkien's The Hobbit, Murphy tells of a norbit, who has a comfortable home in the Asteroid Belt, but is drawn into an adventure to the center of the galaxy with a group of clones called the Farr sibs, and Gitana, an apparently well-known adventurer.
Like Bilbo Baggins, Bailey is hesitant to leave his peaceful existence, but is also drawn by the spirit of adventure. He comes to learn about the mysteries of the universe and finds himself more useful on this journey
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a great re-working of the story of The Hobbit as a space opera. When I'd read the first chapter or two I wondered if I should have re-read The Hobbit before starting, but as it turned out I remembered enough to enjoy many of the story's tongue in cheek similarities. I'm not sure how much I missed, but it really does not matter.

It is a fun story in its own right with much of the tempo and tone of the original. It involves a small homely person and a set of clones going of on an adventure
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dexter by: Hannah
Such a cool adventure. The Hobbit in space. I mean, how much more do you really ned to hear in order to pick this book up?

It's done so well. Not only as a retelling, but also just as a scifi adventure. It's just awesome.

I'd completely forgotten about the Snark stuff, so that was a pleasant surprise when I started rereading it. The Hobbit AND Lewis Carroll. Beautiful.

I highly recommend this book to fans of Tolkien, science fiction, and adventures in general.
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library-book
After I watched the latest Peter Jackson Tolkien adaptation a few weeks ago, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which left me scratching my head as to how they will milk two more movies out of The Hobbit, I decided to pick up this space opera homage of my favorite of the stories of Middle Earth. I have to admit, I have not read many science fiction novels in the past, but I felt Murphy's melding of the adventure With the Asteroid Belt taking the place of the Shire and a syndicate of clones taking ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, own
The Hobbit! In Space! Woooo!

So this book is pretty much The Hobbit turned into a space opera. And it actually works quite well. You can clearly see which events from The Hobbit match their counterparts here, but at the same time it manages to not feel too forced. Putting aside the re-telling aspect, it's a pretty entertaining reading on it's own.
May 09, 2009 rated it liked it
This book very carefully reproduces the whole of The Hobbit, except transposed to space opera. Which is kind of a fascinating exercise to watch unfold, but not in a way which makes it a very good book. Mostly you spend the whole book thinking things like "OK, how's she going to work the barrels in .. oh, there they are!" instead of reading the book.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Rather annoying parallel to the Hobbit by Tolkein, only far into the future when Bailey the asteroid miner is duped by "wizard" Gitana into going on an adventure with a group of clones. I like Murphy's storytelling ability though, and will look for other titles.
Mar 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” re-envisioned as a science fiction story. Believe it or not, it works, and makes for a marvelous adventure that will have you cheering the characters on just like in the original.
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Entertaining space opera based on "The Hobbit," which will be most enjoyable for those who are fans of both trashy Science Fiction and the Tolkien book. This was the second read for me, since I remember it fondly from about five years ago. A nice low-key summer book.
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
It was just okay. Parts of it felt like writing exercises that got put into a book. Other parts were very captivating. I'm going to read more by this author, but so far Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell has captured me the most.
B. Pope
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Do you like The Hobbit? Do you like Science Fiction? If you answered yes to both questions, read this book. It was a whole lot of fun and different enough from Tolkien that it wasn't a complete retelling of the original.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and exciting re-telling of Tolkien's Hobbit!
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
a remake of 'the hobbit' kind of a wierd read if you've already read the hobbit, but it's set in outer space if that makes a difference
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pure Pat Murphy fun. You'd have to be mad to combine The Hobbit, The Hunting of the Snark, and The Hero's Journey. Or maybe just genius...
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Modeled after The Hobbit and set in space. Very enjoyable if you compare the two tales.
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
An amazingly clever and fun retelling of The Hobbit, in a science fiction setting.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
A fun retelling of The Hobbit as a space opera.
Chris Elford
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of the oddest books I've read in a while. i should have expected this from the title: its pretty much a homage to "the hobbit"
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A fun book, retelling "The Hobbit" as space opera with Gandalf played by a tall, blond woman with one eye. A good read.
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Unhobbled Hobbit. Nice.
Kim Wells
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
THERE And BACK AGAIN. by Pat. Murphy (1999)
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Jun 01, 2012
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May 08, 2008
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Sep 18, 2017
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Mar 16, 2010
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Dec 17, 2012
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May 01, 2013
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Is there a digital version of this book? 1 1 Jan 27, 2014 03:53AM  
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