Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hobbit (MG)

The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1937.  320 pages.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

The Hobbit is one of my favorite children's books, or, should I say one of my favorite children's books that I discovered as an adult. This was my third time to read The Hobbit, and I think I love it a little more each time. I just love the beginning. I love meeting Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. And I love how Bilbo is tricked into hosting all those dwarfs and manipulated into joining the expedition as a professional burglar. These opening chapters are so rich!  

I love the journey, the adventures and misadventures they have along the way. They happen into one calamity after another, and that is before they even come close to the "dangerous" part of their journey: the mountain with the dragon, Smaug, and all that glorious, wonderful treasure that Thorin can't wait to claim. These calamities provide adventure and drama, of course, but they are also preparing Bilbo. These calamities are crafting Bilbo into someone the dwarfs can trust and respect. And perhaps even more importantly Bilbo is realizing things about himself that he never would have if he'd never left his comfortable home.

These calamities are separate adventures, in a way. So it makes sense that to do the book justice, there should be multiple films.

Favorite quotes:
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” 
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.'
I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”  
“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” 
“If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don’t know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.”  
“That was Thorin's style. He was an important dwarf. If he had been allowed, he would probably have gone on like this until he was out of breath, without telling anyone there anything that was not known already. But he was rudely interrupted.”
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana said...

I am looking forward to seeing the movie soon!

Christina T said...

I saw the movie yesterday and the first two of your quotes made it into the film.

When I first read The Hobbit (it was after reading LOTR), I was disappointed because I was expecting something more epic. I just reread the book last month and loved it this time around.

Heidenkind said...

I'm reading it right now for the first time. I love the beginning too! Bilbo is such a fun character.