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J.R.R. Tolkien
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Scifi / Fantasy News > The 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit

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message 1: by Rod (new)

Rod (terez07) | 97 comments September 21, 2012 marks the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit!

In my opinion, The Hobbit remains immensely popular because Tolkien's world-building is the epitome of imagination.

Why do you think this novel's popularity has endured over the decades?


message 2: by Derek (new)

Derek | 28 comments This was one of the first "adult" books my dad read to me. It still has that warm cozy sense of adventure each time I read it. There's wonder and danger and witt, without the looming seriousness of LOTR. Flame me if you must, but for me, The Hobbit is LOTR with the boring parts taken out.


message 3: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Agree! Agree! Precious....

Derek wrote: "The Hobbit is LOTR with the boring parts taken out. "


message 4: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments There are no boring parts in LotR.


message 5: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Sean wrote: "There are no boring parts in LotR."

*****cough*******cough*******cough******Tom BomBaDill*********cough


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments The hobbits almost get eaten by a tree in that chapter -- how is that boring?


message 7: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments About 43-44 minutes into the extended editon of Fellowship, there's about 2 minutes of Sam and Frodo alone as they leave the shire.

2 minutes on film is better than the several dozen pages as Mr. Tolkien describes every other tree they pass as they start their journey. In every attempt I've made at the series, I've always stalled out when they slog through the woods for pages on end.


message 8: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Exactly!!!

David(LA,CA) wrote: "2 minutes on film is better than the several dozen pages as Mr. Tolkien describes every other tree they pass as they start their journey. In every attempt I've made at the series, I've always stalled out when they slog through the woods for pages on end."


message 9: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Sean wrote: "There are no boring parts in LotR."

It is completely riddled with boring parts. I'm a fast reader and I've never managed the trilogy in less than a year. Don't get me wrong, LoTR are fantastic books, but perfect? No, not by a long shot.


message 10: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Gord wrote: "It is completely riddled with boring parts. I'm a fast reader and I've never managed the trilogy in less than a year."

It only took me about two weeks the last time I read it, and I'm not an especially fast reader.


message 11: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Depends on how you count it. That's not a year of solid reading for me. That's me reaching yet another dry, boring part, putting the book down, and not picking it up again for 8 months because I just can't make myself push on.
The Return of the King is especially bad for it.


message 12: by Sky (last edited Sep 21, 2012 11:52AM) (new)

Sky Corbelli | 352 comments Derek wrote: "Flame me if you must, but for me, The Hobbit is LOTR with the boring parts taken out."

Hmmm... personally, I've never had a problem reading the trilogy, but after having made it through The Silmarillion LOTR is like a pristine lake on a cloudless day. I can see where you're coming from, however, and I would sooner reread The Hobbit in almost any situation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that LOTR is a lot like what would happen if someone took The Hobbit and tried to stretch it out over three movies instead of just... oh... wait...


message 13: by Derek (new)

Derek | 28 comments I'd like to throw in that I have read The Silmarillion...It was like reading the bible


message 14: by Rasnac (new)

Rasnac | 336 comments I must have warped, strange tastes because for me, Tom Bombadil was the best part of LOTR; I read the whole trilogy in three days; and I found Silmarillion infinitely more interesting than LOTR. :S


message 15: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Rasnac wrote: "I must have warped, strange tastes because for me, Tom Bombadil was the best part of LOTR; I read the whole trilogy in three days; and I found Silmarillion infinitely more interesting than LOTR. :S"

Interesting yes, but it reads as a dry history book. It's a summation of events rather than a story. There's a severe lack of emotional investment.

'Like reading the bible' is actually a apt comparison, as in a way it is Tolkien's bible. I actually finished the Silmarillion though, as opposed to the Bible.


message 16: by Paul R (new)

Paul R | 43 comments the Hobbit- in 1970 this was required 7th grade reading. actually spot on for that grade. probably ok for 6th

it is a children's book, unlike lord of the rings which is for adults. so for my introduction into Tolkien's world i guess i followed his vision of being that child first ...


message 17: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments Paul R wrote: "the Hobbit- in 1970 this was required 7th grade reading. actually spot on for that grade. probably ok for 6th..."

My sixth grade class read it in the early 90s.


message 18: by Celine (new)

Celine | 36 comments I think The Hobbit was actually my first "adult" book ever - as in, not written for kids/teens. I read it sometime in my preteens, anyways. I really liked it then, but I suspect that that was mostly because there was a dragon in it and I was going through a dragon-obsessed phase back then, rather than any appreciation for good writing. I'm planning to reread it soon (before the first movie comes out)

We had elevensies in music class to celebrate. Good food.


message 19: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6783 comments Mod
I read the Hobbit for 9th grade English class. My teacher tried very hard to ruin it.


message 20: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Celine wrote: "I think The Hobbit was actually my first "adult" book ever - as in, not written for kids/teens."

I got bad news for you -- Tolkien wrote it for his own children.


message 21: by Celine (new)

Celine | 36 comments Really? Wow, I didn't know that. I thought it was an adult book when I was reading it, anyway.


message 22: by Tracy (new)

Tracy I first read both The Hobbit and LOTR when I was 10 (I got them for a birthday present). I loved The Hobbit (still do) but LOTR scared the jiminies out of me. Took me a year to read it as each time I read a bit I had to wait for 3 months for the nightmares to end before I picked it up again. I'd like to say that as an adult, it is a much better read.


message 23: by Felicia (new)

Felicia I read it after getting into Lord of the Rings via the films. Sadly i had not read the LotR books before seeing the films, but I adore them just as much all the same. I picked up The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and the Children of Hurin soon after.
The Hobbit itself is easy to follow for younger readers, and still add yet another layer to the wonderful world that Tolkien built for older readers.
And with the film coming out soon, the hype couldn't be greater (I for one, am through the roof.)


message 24: by Derek (new)

Derek | 28 comments @Tracy The Ralph Bakshi LOTR scared the crap out of me as a kid


message 25: by Emy (last edited Sep 26, 2012 04:16AM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 98 comments The Hobbit is one of those comfort books for me, plus the one that made me start reading 'real' books.

My Mum was reading it to my older sister before bed and I used to listen too, but she ALWAYS stopped reading when it got to the bit with the spiders. Every damn time. So I sneaked her copy and started trying to read it. I was, I think, in primary school so it took me a while, but at least I got to know what happened in the end!

Didn't read LotR until the beginning of secondary school (11/12ish), when I devoured it fairly fast, then went onto the Silmarillion (dry but I'm stubborn), and the Lost Histories (much more fun)...


message 26: by Paul R (new)

Paul R | 43 comments Derek wrote: "@Tracy The Ralph Bakshi LOTR scared the crap out of me as a kid"

Bakshi being Bakshi he scared a lot of people when he did his toon's, i mean Wizards was good but VERY scary as well. the fact that anyone let him near Tolkien is a wonder


message 27: by Charles (new)

Charles LaCour | 6 comments To me the Hobbit is a story that lacks the depth of LoTR and seems to be geared to a younger audiance. I have read the Hobbit a couple of times but LoTR is have read on average about once a year for the last 30 years. It is the Similarion that I found hard to get through.


message 28: by Geir (new)

Geir (makmende) I read The Hobbit for the first time at 14 or 15, and it was the first book I ever read in english (it being a second language for me). I think what really made the book awesome for me was that you could sense the contours of a huge and complex world behind the story, although it wasn't articulated to a high degree. When I got to LOTR a few years later, the first pull of it was getting deeper into that world I'd sensed... I guess this means I agree with the OP.

Though it is indeed a children's book, there are some darker themes like greed, hate and revenge.


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