Book in Review: The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, published to wide critical acclaim in 1937, is the story of Mr. Baggins, an introverted hobbit happy to spend his days drinking tea and having second breakfasts (I mean don’t we all?) and mostly being left alone. Our Mr. Baggins becomes the unwilling hero who finds danger, and a search for reclaiming a lost legacy (hint its actually just piles and piles of treasure), literally land at his door. Accompanied by a wizard, and a number of clumsy, but likable, dwarves he sets off across a magical land meeting much danger, finding a magical ring and new experiences and unlikely friends. This is also the story of dragons, the horrible and cruel Smaug and a perilous search for lost treasure. The dragon, literal and metaphorical needs to be slayed if all is to be won.
The Hobbit is a beautiful little book full of adventure, easy to follow and read, and you will find yourself cheering on Mr. Baggins as he takes on one adventure after the other with surprising ingenuity and courage. Although it took me a number of days to read the book, I always found it easy to pick up and remember where I had left off. This book, at times makes you feel like a child again and will give you a warm, gentle glow of a safe and comfortable childhood- even if yours was far from that.
One of the most marvelous aspects of the story is the fascinating, mythical world of ‘Middle Earth’, which is a phenomenal feat of imagination and creativity by J.R.R. Tolkien. You will find yourself easily lost with the hero of the story as they take on one seemingly impossible task after the other in search of the treasure, turning pages eagerly as the extraordinary world of Middle Earth is revealed across the chapters.
The Hobbit is also the prelude to the infamous Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yet, it is a mistake to dismiss this little book in favor of its more famous siblings. For one thing, it is incredibly easy to read and follow, unlike its later predecessors which can be heavy in detail and verbose. It is an engaging book, filled with charming characters, but it’s likability as a story is deceptive in how beautifully and intricately the story is weaved together- it will take you away to Middle Earth and you will find your self lost along with the characters in the forests, valleys and mountains of this magical land.
Hidden, like gems within its lines are wonderful bits of wisdom that often remind you that this is more than a book just about hobbits and wizards and dragons. My favorite types of books are those that are filled with wisdom and lines whose profound insight stay with you long after you’ve put down the book. Here is one of my favorite lines: “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
This is a book for introverts. It is about discovering the courage that has always resided in your heart, but may have gone unnoticed as of yet because one may have never taken on the adventures needed to learn these lessons about yourself. It is essentially a journey of self discovery, friendship and courage. The Hobbit is clearly a timeless classic, and anyone who has read the likes of the Harry Potter books will easily fall in love with this gem of a book. It will remind you, that beyond the safety and comfort of your little life, a wonderful world full of adventure, new experiences, new friends and of course, pain and danger await; but that you’ll never know it if you never venture out of your little hobbit hole.