Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Target Audience: Young Adult / Adult
Chapters: 19 (XIX)
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
Person: Omnipresent (?)
“Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin and piercing ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug’s left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance…
Whisked away 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…”
The Hobbit, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is a very famous story. Known to be the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, and due to be fully available in film by late next year, it’s the buzz of talk.
I can honestly see why too. The adventure draws you in and drags you right along with it, whether you like it or not – in fact, I found myself wanting to march out my own front door and embark on such journeys!
To be honest, it’s rather like an overview, as it skips over very many days and weeks, though had those bits been included it would have been much too long and gotten rather boring. However, as a result, some parts felt like they dragged on and I couldn’t wait for the story to move on, because it was like a glimpse at something but was never explored and kept you on the surface, which was at times incredibly dull and irritating. As well, it doesn’t dwell too much on description, but still manages to cast a landscape in your mind.
I think it takes a lot of talent to write a book like this, as the main characters total to 14! Yet, I still didn’t find myself wondering who was who; each character had a distinguishable or memorable feature that was mentioned, and either that kept it straight in your mind or at the time it didn’t matter! Because of the sheer amount of characters, there wasn’t much room for character-building, but despite this every single one of them was recognizable and individual.
As for character development, there is a lot of change in opinions and actions among many of the character, but the main character, Bilbo, definitely develops and changes by the end of the book, but still maintains a strong sense of who he was at the beginning, which is done very well.
The plot was well crafted and followed from start to finish in a typical structure, and had an original story line that does more than satisfy.
The style the book is written in keeps in contact with the reader, as it’s literally a story being told and often pauses to speak to the reader very briefly. Normally the downside to this is that it throws the reader out of the world that has been cleverly build in their mind, but Tolkien has avoided this and keeps the reader engaged.
The only other thing I have to mention about this book, is that I found myself reluctant to pick it up – I’m not entirely sure why, but I have the feeling it’s related to my disinterest in putting it down again for many hours. I enjoyed reading this book and think it’s definitely one to read.