BOOK: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I don’t know how this happened, exactly, but I somehow managed to get into my late 30s without ever having read this book.  Which is odd, because I absolutely devoured the Lord of the Rings trilogy several years ago (about a year before the films came out) and fell madly in love with Middle Earth and all its various creatures (especially Samwise Gamgee, obviously).  Why I didn’t follow all that up with Bilbo’s book, I have no idea.

Of course, the story is great.  It’s obviously great.  I remembered a lot of it from the animated film I saw about 100 times as a kid, which I assume means that was a fairly acceptable adaptation.  But I will say I was kind of surprised by how not-great the writing is.  Compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in any case.  It definitely seemed more like a children’s chapter book than the trilogy did, and maybe that’s how it was supposed to be, too.  I dunno.  I’m sure Tolkien fans will school me on this in the comments.

In any case, you certainly have to read this novel if you haven’t already.  It’s required.  And I’m off to reread the trilogy again next, so if you don’t see many book reviews up here for a few weeks, that’ll be why!


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4 Responses to “BOOK: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien”

  1. Melinda Says:

    I had pretty much the same reaction when I went back to read The Hobbit as an adult, actually. I loved it when I was a kid, but after becoming obsessed with LoTR my early 20s, it was much harder to read, even though the story and events were/are things I can still recall in vivid, happy detail.

  2. Jo Says:

    Hmm. It’s been a good 30+ years since I’ve read the Hobbit. I remember enjoying it immensely. It’s also been 30+ years since I tried to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy; I couldn’t make it through the second book. I wonder if I’d enjoy it more now and find the Hobbit lacking?

  3. Cheryl Says:

    Schooling: The Hobbit WAS written as a children’s book. The legend is that he he shopped the manuscript around with no interest until a young son of a publisher read it and told his daddy it was great.

    I’m doing my annual trilogy reading this month as well. This time I’m promising myself I’m reading all the poems, no cheating. C.

  4. Liz Says:

    Cheryl is absolutely right – there was a major difference in intent between “The Hobbit” and the LoTR trilogy. I read The Hobbit as a child, and did not like it, but I read the trilogy during college years, and loved it!(?)

    Here’s another bit of trivia I thought was cool: Tolkien was sort of stuck part way through writing LotR. Then C.C.S. Lewis (the science fiction, and also Christian, writer) got a look, loved what he read, and gave Tolkien a real push to get them finished! And we will be forever grateful, right?

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