Bret James Stewart's Reviews > The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
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it was amazing

This is the first mainstream, lasting fantasy novel. Many claim Tolkien put fantasy on the map as a legitimate genre, and I agree with them. Although this book lacks the depth of The Lord of the Rings, it began what has become the most popular fantasy legacy of all time.

The Hobbit is pure escapism. The world seems real, the characters are interesting, and Tolkien's style approachable. By the time the story is over, you're in love with Tolkien himself (he is the narrator), the hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and Middle-Earth. You want to go there "...like a shot" as Peter Beagle remarks in the introduction. If I had a dollar for every time I yearned to be able to live in Middle-Earth, I would be a very rich man.

Sure, the plot and characters are slightly goofy, but Tolkien meant this for younger readers. If you are an adult, don't let this discourage you because you are going to love the story, too.

This book is sometimes referred to as the "prelude" to the Lord of the Rings. I do not necessarily think this is the case, though there are story elements and characters that parallel. I think the "prelude" idea is ret-conned, but it really does not matter. The Hobbit gives you a taste of what's to come in the LOTR. It is also worthy as a stand along book. I read The Hobbit and LOTR every year in the autumn, when the leaves start falling and my soul starts yearning for a new, enchanted place.

Tolkien was a genius.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 31, 2013 – Shelved

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