6.20.2015

Book Review: The Hobbit

Hello!  Yes, I am still here, I've just been focusing on other things beside blogging, and I haven't been reading a ton lately either.  But I thought I needed to review the other books I read last month before it gets too late.  And I love these too much not to talk about them.  

Today I'm talking about The Hobbit.  Now, if you remember, I have said before how much I have needed to read this for the longest time, but had some hesitation because I wasn't a huge fan of the idea of it being a children's book or a treasure hunt.  Despite my misgivings, however, it was awesome and so fun and I'm excited to talk about it today.


Title: The Hobbit

Author: J.R.R Tolkien

Publisher/Price: Harper Collins / $9.56 here (looks like my particular edition is out of print)

Type: Fiction

Genre: Classic, Fantasy

Number of pages: 336

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My thoughts: By now, I have a feeling you know the basic plot of The Hobbit, so I won't bother summarizing it.  If you are a little rusty, go here to brush up a little.  Anyway, I went into this book with low expectations.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy took me a long time to read and honestly, I loved the movies better than the books.  Also, I wasn't sure about this being about a treasure hunt.  I love the "saving the world" theme of LOTR, and I just wasn't interested in reading this.  But.  I was wrong.  This book was fantastic.  It was loads of fun and a pretty awesome adventure.

Part of what allowed me to enjoy this so much was that it felt so different from LOTR.  LOTR is a grand epic tale, a mission that leaves none of the participants the same.  It changed who they were.  The Hobbit changed Bilbo, but he was able to go back home and live relatively the same life.  That said, The Hobbit felt totally different from LOTR.

The Hobbit is ultimately an adventure.  I've read stuff about both this book and LOTR, but even if I hadn't, I would have gotten this out of The Hobbit.  Go on adventures.  Even when it doesn't make any sense at all.  Going on that quest with the dwarves and Gandalf is the best thing that could have happened to Bilbo.  It made him into a different hobbit.  He became less fearful of the world and new things, he became more generous and gained wisdom.  He became a better version of himself.  And that's what adventure does to us.  It changes us.  And that's my favorite thing I took away from this book.  Adventure is good for us.  When I finished reading this, I wanted to go on an adventure.

The difference between The Hobbit and LOTR is primarily in the depth of the adventure.  Frodo's adventure was a mission.  A save-the-world-type-mission.  Bilbo's adventure was truly an adventure.  Yes, both of them changed, but ultimately, Frodo sacrificed a lot more than Bilbo.  But I think the difference is only appropriate for a book written as a children's tale.  Also, I can now testify that it is certainly not a book only for children.  And as C.S. Lewis would say, those are the best types of children's books.

I also want to talk about Peter Jackson's movie trilogy based on the movie.  Now that I've read the book, I feel appropriately qualified to compare the two medium.  Lots of die-hard Hobbit fans disliked the movie (to put it lightly), mostly because Jackson turned it much darker.  I feel like now, having read the book, I would have been happy with either version.  I would have enjoyed the lighter, more children's-book-like version, but I also liked Jackson's version.  Generally, I liked the movies, even though they shifted away from the spirit of Tolkien's Hobbit.  They were awesome, and having watched them before reading the book didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.

And those are my thoughts on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien!  I enjoyed it far more than I was expecting and I totally recommend it to anyone who loves LOTR, or fantasy in general.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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