Published: 21st September 1937
By George Allen and Unwin
Rating: 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲 🐲
Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, happily living an unremarkable life in the Shire when he bumps into the wizard Gandalf. Soon, he is hosting a tea party for 13 dwarves and the wizard and planning to steal the precious hoard of the great dragon, Smaug. Disgruntled Bilbo tries to usher out his guests as soon as possible but soon finds himself caught up in their adventure as the expedition’s official ‘burglar.’
💜 What I loved 💜
I first read The Hobbit when I was 10 and it has stayed as one of my all time favourites. My brother highly recommended it to me and my mum warned me not to read it (she can’t stand Tolkien, the philistine!) but I’m so glad I took my brother’s advice. The story is pure adventure from start to finish. Tolkien creates worlds like no one else; every song, every character, every place has a rich backstory for you to emerse yourself in. Don’t even get me started on the majestic depth of the languages he created!
I don’t find the story drags at all throughout the book (which I find happens occassionally in Lord of the Rings – don’t hate me! I still think it’s amazing!) and Bilbo excells as the voice of reason amongst desperate, vengeful or greedy men, dwarves and elves. The real highlight for me is the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter where we are first introduced to Gollum and he and Bilbo go head to head in a riddle contest. It’s amazing how something so mundane sounding could have me literally chewing my nails in suspense but Tolkien cracks it completely!
💀 Bad Bits 💀
If I had to be super super pernickity, I would say that there are probably just too many dwarves for you to feel a real emotional connection to anyone of them individually (except perhaps Thorin.)
🌟 Cherished Characters 🌟
Bilbo: The heart of the story. Bilbo is definitely a reluctant burglar, but damn, he gives it his all when thrown into that situation! He is loyal, brave and above all wants peace and prosperity for everyone, be they dwarves, elves or men.
Gandalf: The head of the story. Let’s face it, reclaiming the Lonely Mountain is Gandalf’s plan and he is the one that sets it in motion. He is shrewd, witty, has an arm length’s list of useful contacts and sees the heroism in Bilbo, long before he himself is aware of it.
Gollum: The villain? Gollum is such a fascinating creature. He lives on a lake in the Misty Mountains and likes to strangle and eat any unwitting goblins who come his way. He is pretty repulsive when we first meet him, intending to murder and eat Bilbo and contanstly talking to himself. But when Bilbo sees him sobbing over the loss his one love, the ring, we feel the same pity that Bilbo does. Who is this creature who lives isolated in the dark whose one precious possession is nothing more than a hunk of metal?
🐙 Magic Moment 🐙
The whole ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter. It’s just spectacular.
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