Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Jacket

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort.  But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves.  Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse, unknown dangers.  Finally, it was Bilbo--alone and unaided--who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside...


YAY!  I just...really love Tolkien.  Rereading The Hobbit is like taking a warm bath.  I just want to snuggle into the story.  Yet despite its comfort factor, I am amazed that each time I read it, I draw more from the story, and love the characters in new ways.

Let's take Bilbo, hobbit hero and predecessor to future hobbit hero Frodo.  Bilbo likes eating and watching nature do its nature thing in Hobbiton.  When he is thrust into an adventure, he spends a good chunk of time bemoaning his state and wishing he were home.  But when push comes to shove, he realizes he can do far more than he ever imagined (or needed to be, home under The Hill).  The best part about Bilbo is that he takes his experiences and learns from them!  He does one thing awesome, so the next time something scary comes along, he is more confident.

Of course, it must help to have a ring that turns you invisible.


Gandalf is brilliant.  Thorin Oakenshield is nicely pompous, and prideful to a fault.  I adore Fili and Kili, and Dori is a friendly curmudgeon.  But Smaug!  I want a snarky dragon!  I mean, not really, because he would be snarky up until he ate me.  But.  His scenes are delicious (har har).

I cannot wait until The Hobbit becomes a movie next year.  I will be there at midnight with bells on (or maybe a cloak.  Or a ring.  Or a dragon!). 

Five out of five men of Dale.

Release Date: January 1966
Reading Level: Grade 5+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL TOL

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