Jonathan's Reviews > The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Jan 11, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy-challenge, personal-favourites, want, childhood-book, children-s-literature, classic-literature, favourite-series, fantasy, re-read, tolkien, books-with-films
Read from January 12 to 16, 2012


I love this book. Have I mentioned before how much I love Tolkien's books? They are part of my childhood and my memories are incredibly fond of them (yes I'm a nostalgic type of person alright). The Hobbit in many ways is of all my books part of my childhood. I was certainly the first time that I entered Tolkien's world when I first read it ten years ago. So I decided to re-read this for the fifth time ever as part of a fantasy challenge and to re-familiarise myself with a story I know by heart. And what I found surprised me.

Even though I know this story so very well I was surprised to find hidden depth again. For one thing I saw Tolkien's wit shine through with some quotes. For instance in the following dialogue:

Gandalf: "Indeed for your old grandfather Took's sake, and for the sake of poor Belladonna, I will give you what you asked for."

Bilbo: "I beg your pardon, I haven't asked for anything!"

Gandalf: "Yes, you have! Twice now. My pardon. I give it you. In fact I will go so far as to send you on this adventure. Very amusing for me, very good for you and profitable too, very likely, if you ever get over it."

And that's one example out of many I noted this time around. Another thing I couldn't help but do was to compare what I read with this:

The Hobbit Trailer

I noted of course that the trailer shows a tone that hints at closer to the darkness of The Lord of the Rings and must suspect that the suggested references to Moria and the Necromancer in The Hobbit will play a larger role in the film. After all the Necromancer is Sauron. But there we go in conclusion there is an amazing film due out at the end of the year and this tale retains all of its potency and loses none of its vibrancy. If you haven't read it then 'fly you fools' to a bookshop or library and get a copy.

Appendix - again this is one of those things that's added as an afterthought and turns what I write into a second edition even though nothing's really that different.

1.

There's a new trailer out so I thought I'd link to that in my review. I personally am anticipating this film eagerly. I want to see a different view of this book on the screen, one that's (hopefully as good or better) what Peter Jackson did with 'Rings', staying to the story and yet making it into something I can look at and go: I'd never considered that in the book! (Also I can actually watch this at cinemas as I missed out on the Lord of the Rings phenomenon as a 7, 8 and 9 year old child...)

The Hobbit Trailer 2


2.

As for a further update I finally saw The Hobbit Part 1. I loved it and am actually surprised at the criticism being levelled against it. The 3D 48fps, while it took a few minutes to get used to, provided some of the best use of 3D in a film that I've seen without being forced. I'm very happy with what I got in the adaptation of my favoured childhood book.

I loved the casting. Of course as soon as I heard that Martin Freeman was going to be Bilbo I thought: brilliant choice. I thought the choice of actor for Thorin was great. A lot of people are saying he's different from in the book but I see a lot of the book character's traits in the film characterisation. Speaking of the book compared to the film I didn't think that they messed up the plot too much at all. The additions they made, in my view, fleshed it out with little details from the Lord of the Rings nicely (in fact almost everything in the film is consistent with the internal logic of Tolkien's world and these films - they messed with things a little less than with The Lord of the Rings films anyway). The pacing was great and in fact I thought it had a better overall pace than some of The Lord of the Rings films. It's still a Hobbit film to me, it's just also a Middle Earth film too... I guess probably the major change is in tone, but we all knew that the tone would be a mixture of comic relief and the dark seriousness of The Lord of the Rings. The film also made a smart move in adding Galadriel to provide a female character in a male dominated cast.

3.

Three weeks ago I did see the second part of The Hobbit 'trilogy'. There were changes I liked, some I found a touch odd and yet on the whole it was a film that was much, much better than the first. It basically is just a decent action film, and considering that the book is an adventure and action book it works. The addition of love interest may not add much to the plot, but it does add a female character (sorely lacking in an active role in the books) and a hint of romance which all good epics need. Also: Smaug, the spiders and the barrel riding scene are some of the finest scenes I have seen this year! In other words, these films are fine action films that update the book in ways some people do not like but are still good fun!
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Quotes Jonathan Liked

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Where did you go to, if I may ask?' said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.
To look ahead,' said he.
And what brought you back in the nick of time?'
Looking behind,' said he.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.'
I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The wind was moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon's ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


Reading Progress

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Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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Richard How great that you're still fond of the books you read as a child. It's proof that old hobbits die hard.


Jonathan Hahaha nice pun there. What's your take on the trailer?


Richard It does what it sets out to do, by making me want to see the film. I agree that it seems darker in tone and closer to the LOTR films.

The last line of your review made me chuckle.


Jonathan Nice to see some folks are laughing


message 5: by Bev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bev My 8 yr old just read it and loved it.


Jonathan I assume the book and not my review. The book is a great novel to read as a young kid. It makes for the perfect entry into Middle Earth.


Richard Jonathan wrote: "I assume the book and not my review. The book is a great novel to read as a young kid. It makes for the perfect entry into Middle Earth."

Yes, it's hobbit-forming.


Jonathan It does dwarf a lot of other stories in that regard. It's certainly a magical tale.


Richard Jonathan wrote: "It does dwarf a lot of other stories in that regard. It's certainly a magical tale."

This discussion could dragon forever.


Jonathan Particularly if it gets any fierier. We could all be escaping from goblins to be caught by wolves then.


Richard These puns are too much warg, er work. I'm getting tired.


Jonathan Too much Sting in my earlier puns?


Richard Jonathan wrote: "Too much Sting in my earlier puns?"

Yes! Although I must say, that last one was abswordly funny.


message 14: by Jonathan (last edited Jun 29, 2012 12:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jonathan Well I admit that we both are pretty sharp when it comes to this kind of wordplay. Unfortunately the tendency is for certain groups of people to stone those who use puns.


Andrea Lol you guys crack me up!


Jonathan Andrea wrote: "Lol you guys crack me up!"

Eggsactly!


Jonathan On another topic I still have room for updates about the next two films :P


Andrea We loved part 1 of the movie to bits. Its such a looong time to part 2..... sob.


Jonathan A long slow march towards the sequel. I can't help wonder what parts of the story will feature in that one too...


message 20: by Carly (new)

Carly Faye I too am a fan of gollum-smeagol. He is amazing


Jonathan Carly wrote: "I too am a fan of gollum-smeagol. He is amazing"

:D I think lots of people quite liked what Tolkien did with him as a character.


Bethadilly Agree with you completely.

While sitting waiting for the midnight premier to start, I literally got teary eyed while thinking of how one of my most treasured stories was being brought to life. And I was fixing to step back into Middle Earth again!


Jonathan Bethany wrote: "Agree with you completely.

While sitting waiting for the midnight premier to start, I literally got teary eyed while thinking of how one of my most treasured stories was being brought to life. A..."


Glad I'm not the only one...


message 24: by Sy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sy Love Isn't Gollum Evil ? Didn't he kill his best friend for the One Ring ?


Jonathan Well he is twisted and tortured, but whether he is truly evil is the interesting question...


Richard I would say there's a conflict deep inside Gollum. It doesn't show much if at all in The Hobbit, where he's rather one-dimensional, but it comes out more in LOTR.


Travelin Richard wrote: "I would say there's a conflict deep inside Gollum. It doesn't show much if at all in The Hobbit, where he's rather one-dimensional, but it comes out more in LOTR."

There are two books in my TBR about Tolkien's motivations for writing The Hobbit or the LOTR. One book speculates about Christianity, the other about WWI. It will be interesting if Gollum is taken up in one of those books.


Bethadilly The extended edition of the second movie made me like a whole lot better and smoothed out some things.

about the final movie, I still don't care for addition of Tauriel, as in the bofa the "romance" felt so forced and unappealing (and it broke up a key moment from the book that a lot of us were waiting for,) but there are some beautiful moments in the final film that still made it a satisfying watch.


Jonathan Bethany wrote: "The extended edition of the second movie made me like a whole lot better and smoothed out some things.

about the final movie, I still don't care for addition of Tauriel, as in the bofa the "roman..."


I quite enjoyed the third movie plenty. Maybe I should also look at grabbing all the extended editions as well as the normal editions to marathon The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the future...or maybe not.


Bethadilly You should! The EE of DoS had a LOT of extra content! (More Beorn, more wandering around in Mirkwood, crossing the river, etc)


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