Paperback, 368 pages
Published 7th June 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books
(First Published 1937)
(First Published 1937)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whisked from his comfortable hobbit/hole by Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...
I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that it took me so long to read The Hobbit - it seems like one of those books that almost everyone has read. As the film adaptation was released lately, I thought now was the time that I just had to pick it up and finally read it! It felt like a momentous occasion, reading this book for the first time and it feels difficult to review it, so I will keep this one short...
I will start off by saying that this was a strange read for me. The Hobbit is epic fantasy - something which I wouldn't normally enjoy and that I usually tend to avoid. I find epic fantasy somewhat difficult, I just can't seem to allow myself to fully submerge my mind into these worlds, to understand or enjoy them. I'm not sure whether or not it's because it's a children's book, but I immediately found myself comfortably easing into the setting and into the story. It's clear from the first page that Tolkien is a talented, natural storyteller. The writing is consistently vivid and imaginative throughout.
This is a book that has captured the attention of so many children, and reading it has shown me why. There is something truly magical about both Tolkien's world and characters. There are so many things to absorb in this novel, it as if your mind is completely taken over by this fantasy world which is full of dwarves, dragons and everything else you could possibly expect from such a land! The world building is really well done, it's so easy to see why people are captivated. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone, children especially - if something is going to open up their imagination, this is it. I'd also imagine that if this is your sort of thing, this will be a book that you'd be able to read over and over again without getting bored of the plot.
I have to be honest and say that I personally wasn't glued to the book, as aforementioned high fantasy isn't my favourite genre, but this book still had enough to hold my attention and to keep me reading. I really appreciate how clever Tolkien was and it is certainly evident through his writing. This won't be a book that I can claim as a personal favourite due to the subject matter, but it's something that I can definitely recommend and I can totally understand all of the hype surrounding it - it does deserve that for the quality of it.
Overall, although this book won't become a favourite of mine, I am very glad that I read it - It allowed me to delve into a previously disliked genre and enjoy it - it allowed my mind to run free. I am also glad to just have the opportunity to say that I have now read some of Tolkien's work. I certainly want to read the Lord of the Rings in the future and this book has made me feel a lot more comfortable about doing so. Highly recommended to those who enjoy fantasy, from children to adults and for those who would like to branch into something different but not too difficult.