The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The famed children’s story, and prequel to the acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R Tolkien tells the adventurous tale of Bilbo Baggins, Twelve Dwarves (Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori and Torin Oakenshield. – how I remember that I don’t know) and Gandalf and their plight to steal the Dwarves’ treasure from the dragon Smaug. The Hobbit is an entertaining read, especially in the beginning as an unaware Bilbo is persuaded to join the company as their burglar as all the Dwarves come to his cosy hobbit hole to discuss the adventure.

Of course this story is typical of Tolkien, where several different adventures force the heroes to side-track before facing the dragon. In this story we are also met with Bilbo’s discovery of The Ring and his, rather humorous, encounter with Gollum. The tale is filled with thrills as  the 14, and eventually 13 as Gandalf leaves the company halfway through to deal with his own business, are faced with death, beasts and worst of all Elves. It is, of course, a challenging read (as any Tolkien novel goes) but it is a bright and witty tale that will make you burst into laughter or make you desperate to continue as the chapters reach an unbearable climax.

Personally I felt the story was wonderful and can definitely be enjoyed by adults and children alike, but I do understand that Tolkien is not everyone’s cup of tea and his style may lead people into boredom rather than fascination.  Of course, with the upcoming release of Peter Jackson’s two-part film adaptation has already got people excited (I myself am utterly impatient for its release) and it will clearly help introduce more people to the story. Despite these things, however, I feel that this is a book everyone should read at least once in their life, even if it’s just to say they’ve read it.

Written by Roxy Simons.

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