The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Summary: Bilbo Baggins is not interested in any kind of adventure when he is volun-told to go on one with a bunch of dwarves and a wizard. He is guilt-tripped to leave his home and venture into a bunch of nearly deadly situations.
Review: I'm a little ashamed that it took me this long to read The Hobbit. I actually read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in a week during one summer in high school. Admittedly, after being obsessed with the movies. (Mmmm Legolas!) However, I just never got around to this little (ha!) prequel until now.
The Hobbit definitely seemed like a much quicker read. I was expecting to pore over this one for a while as I had pretty much spent that week in high school glued to the couch, reading during every waking moment. (Non-waking moments were full of dreams about kicking Gimli off the horse and snuggling Orlando Bloom-elf into Gondor.) I almost felt like it was rushed, even though there was a lot of action involved. Perhaps, this is because we follow Bilbo, the thirteen dwarves, and Gandalf for the whole story instead of having it split into groups of characters doing different tasks.
It was definitely fun to adventure back into Middle Earth in a less Sauron-y time. It featured new creatures like trolls, goblins, gross spiders, and wood elves, but still had the beloved Gollum along the way. (My precciiiiooouusss!) There were many moments of peril which kept the book exciting and fast-paced. Even though it was a long journey, the book glazed over the uneventful days to keep the story from dragging.
What got me disappointed was that it was set up from the beginning that Bilbo was to kill the dragon, Smaug. Right? I mean, it seemed as though that was heavily alluded to throughout. Even one of the trailers for the movie seemed to foreshadow this. But - without extensive spoilers (although, if you haven't read or seen the movie and are going to get mad about any slight spoiler you're even more behind than me so get with the program!) - he doesn't. Sure he kind of plays a hand in it, but what the heck! Greatest underdog story ever wasted. Maybe Tolkien didn't want to overshadow Frodo, but poor Bilbo seemed to do most of the hard work with none of the reward. (Sure he got some reward, but not hero status!)
Then, at the end it just kind of petered out to a boring way home (boring for the reader, relieving for Gandalf and Bilbo).
While it wasn't as exciting as the trilogy (and lacked Legolas), it was still a short (ha! again), fun adventure. Besides my griping, I enjoyed it and now really want to not move from my couch for three days as I marathon all the movies.