Lo hobbit o La riconquista del tesoro

ISBN: 8845906884
ISBN 13: 9788845906886
By: J.R.R. Tolkien Elena Jeronimidis Conte

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About this book

Lo hobbit, che W.H. Auden ha definito «la più bella storia per bambini degli ultimi cinquant’anni», è il libro con cui Tolkien ha presentato per la prima volta, nel 1937, il foltissimo mondo mitologico del Signore degli Anelli, che ormai milioni di persone di ogni età, sparse ovunque, conoscono in tutti i suoi minuti particolari – caso quanto mai raro di favola moderna che sia diventata un vero linguaggio comune per i suoi lettori. Tra i protagonisti di tale mondo sono gli Hobbit, minuscoli esseri «dolci come il miele e resistenti come le radici di alberi secolari», che formano un popolo «discreto e modesto, ma di antica origine... amante della calma e della terra ben coltivata», timidi, capaci di «sparire veloci e silenziosi al sopraggiungere di persone indesiderate», con un’arte che sembra magica ma è «unicamente dovuta a un’abilità professionale che l’eredità, la pratica e un’amicizia molto intima con la terra hanno reso inimitabile da parte di razze più grandi e goffe» – quali gli uomini. Se non praticano la magia, gli Hobbit finiscono però sempre in mezzo a feroci vicende magiche, come capita appunto a Bilbo Baggins, eroe quasi a dispetto di questa storia, che il grande ‘mago bianco’ Gandalf coinvolgerà in un’impresa apparentemente disperata: la riconquista del tesoro custodito dal drago Smog. Bilbo incontrerà così ogni sorta di avventure, assieme ai tredici nani suoi compagni e all’imprevedibile Gandalf, che appare e scompare, lasciando cadere come per caso le parole degli insegnamenti decisivi. Violentemente sbalzato dalla idilliaca Hobbitopoli oltre il Confine delle Terre Selvagge, fra gole, foreste incantate e minacciose montagne, dove non ci sono «vie sicure», il pacifico Bilbo si scoprirà capace di affrontare prodigi e orrori: il mostruoso Gollum, i ragni giganti, i perfidi orchi, il grande drago Smog, e infine la tremenda Battaglia dei Cinque Eserciti, scontro fra le forze benigne e maligne, eternamente opposte, per il bramato e fatale possesso del tesoro. Ma per Bilbo l’avvenimento più importante – e della cui importanza egli non si rende ben conto – è il ritrovamento, apparentemente casuale, di un anello magico che era finito in possesso di Gollum. In questo fatto è il germe della grande saga che Tolkien proseguirà nei tre libri del Signore degli Anelli, dove sarà riproposto e illuminato nel suo durissimo senso un tema segreto dello Hobbit, un tema inesauribile per qualsiasi lettore: che cosa fare dell’Anello del Potere?

Reader's Thoughts


The Hobbit is one of the few books I started but never finished. I remember opening it on Christmas morning when I was in sixth grade or so. It came in a box set with the Lord of the Rings books. I turned it over in my hands, not sure of what to think. My father thought I’d really like it, as he loved those books as a kid. I wasn’t quite so sure, but I started it anyway. I trudged through the boring words, not remembering any and eventually quitting when the traveling troupe was apprehended by spiders. I just didn’t care about them, so I went back to my Fear Street series.Now that I have read it in its entirety, it makes me feel incredibly sad. Right now, as I write this, I feel a heaviness in my chest that I cannot properly articulate. Reading it, I imagined my father doing the same. I’m much older than he was, but I felt like we were doing it at the same time. Spoiler: My father turned out to be an abysmal disappointment. Regardless of the child he started out as, he grew up to be a first class asshole. I don’t even know if he is alive. There is such imagination in The Hobbit. Reading it, I could feel what he felt. I could feel the exhilaration that comes from getting lost in one of these lovingly crafted fantasy worlds. A part of me hopes the child that my father was wandered off in the forest in search of elfsong. That way, at least a good part of him survives somewhere. Perhaps he’s fallen asleep on the bank of the enchanted river having a lifetime of pleasant dreams. This, I think, is how I’d like to remember my father.Though I finally finished it, I have no idea how good this book was.


Finished reading it to the kids tonight. I'll have to write about it tomorrow.later ... It's been almost two decades since I last read The Hobbit,and the intervening years have not been kind to our relationship. I've reread The Lord of the Rings in that time, and been both dazzled and repulsed by Peter Jackson's screen interpretation of them. I revised my intellectual response to Tolkien, if not my feelings, because of the racism inherent in the Trilogy, then I revised it again because of the sexism. But the Hobbit comes out in the theatres this year, and my kids are HUGE fans of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman -- Sherlock and Watson on the BBC's Holmes update -- and since they just happen to be playing Smaug and Bilbo Baggins, respectively, I thought it was about time I revisited Middle Earth with my kids, setting aside my Tolkien grievances to awake some non-Potter magic in their hearts. It was the single best reading aloud experience I've ever had, and I've read many, many books with Të and Loš in their seven years. They loved it like nothing else I've read. Miloš actually wept when Thorin died (which took me completely by surprise). Brontë adored Fili & Kili, and has drawn some spectacular pictures of Smaug. Even Scoutie toddled her way into the readings once in a while, wanting to be part of the energy and excitement. Reading the Hobbit aloud was nothing like what I had expected. I expected the read to be a slog. I was thinking of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings prose, that heavily descriptive, pseudo-archaic language that delivers so much weight to the War of the Rings, and I thought it would be impossible to keep my kids interested (though I had to try). Boy, was I wrong. I remembered that Bilbo was the slightly-veiled narrator, but I assumed he would sound like Tolkien. I always remembered it that way, but it wasn't and he didn't. The narrative and the narration didn't just sound like Bilbo Baggins, it was Bilbo Baggins, with Bilbo often intruding quite literally on the telling (hiding his identity, of course, as any good ring bearer would). It was a conversation between Bilbo and my kids, and I was able to become Bilbo and tell the tale as our little Hobbit rather than as a dad reading to his kids in the winter of their seventh year.Something marvellous occurred to me during my reading, something I'd missed each time I'd read the book in the past -- and it's the true genius of Tolkien's writing. I have always marvelled at his world building, his linguistic gymnastics, his deep, believable, overwhelming mythologies (even when other issues have frustrated me). I have been blown away by the fierce creativity of Tolkien's mind. But I suddenly realized what a subtle writer he truly was. The Hobbit, you see, is a lie. It is a white lie, perhaps -- an hyperbolous exaggeration by a bit player turning himself into the star -- but it is a lie from beginning to end, and Tolkien wants us to find the lie (and to do that we must be well versed in the Lord of the Rings -- so J.R.R. was busy forcing some deep intertexuality, amongst other brilliant things) and love Mr. Baggins all the more for the lie.In Lord of the Rings we see an extended and objective vision of four hobbits, each heroic in their own way, each impressive, each foolish and/or weak, each capable of making decisions and driving events, but they are merely part of a much larger whole. They are members of a party of beings who can and do the same things as they. Aragorn is a king in the making; Gandalf the White, née Grey, is the catalyst of action; Boromir is noble and tortured and tragically heroic; Legolas and Gimli and Eomer and Eowyn and Treebeard and Gollum and Faramir and others all have roles to play, all are capable, all are important. But in the Hobbit -- with the exception of Gandalf once in a while -- Bilbo Baggins, or so he tells us, is the only one capable of anything great, and everyone else's great moments, if they have them, depend on him.He is like no other Hobbit who ever lived. He's also completely full of shit, which makes me love him even more. There's probably a sliver of truth in everything our furry footed unreliable narrator tells us, but whatever that sliver is really doesn't matter because The Hobbit isn't about the truth, it's about the weaving of a tale, and this is the one time that J.R.R. Tolkien achieves that weaving perfectly. The Hobbit is mesmerizing for those who read it and those who have it read to them. I wonder what the movie will do with Bilbo's attercoppy web of deceit. Will Jackson play it straight, and retell the tale in the same way he told Lord of the Rings (I can't imagine a bigger mistake)? Will it be dour and serious, and will Bilbo's lies be taken as truth? Will the movie be the book, lies and all? Will Jackson somehow tip us off to Bilbo's bullshit? Or will he dig deep into the tale and tell us the Hobbit that really was but never made it onto the page? Will all the events be there, but will the Dwarves be more capable? Will Thorin be more impressive? Will Bard and Beorn and Gandalf be more than deus ex machinas? Will Smaug be more frightening, and will his demise be more his own responsibility and less Bilbo's? Whatever the case, I think Jackson will have a much harder time delivering a satisfying Hobbit, though I bet it will be more loved than his first three. It doesn't matter what the movie(s) do(es), though. What matters is that for those who take the time to read this with their loved ones, who read to their children or take a very patient lover and spend some time in a darkish room in your pajamas and really roll the tale out. (This stuff may not be sexy in the strictest sense, but literacy is hot however you slice it, and this is the kind of tale for the telling.) Be the freaking trolls, wield Sting while you shout attercop and slash down your arachnid foes, smoke and steam and lie like Smaug in the ruined halls, squeak and scheme and try to avert a battle of five armies, and fail, but fail in the honesty of smallness,"* for those who really embrace the telling, The Hobbit will always remain one of the most rewarding literary experiences you can have.I love this book more now that I ever have before. I hope, with fingers crossed, that a year or two from now, Miloš or Brontë or Scoutie will bring me our tattered old copy of the Hobbit and ask me to read it again. Or, maybe someday, when I am old and dying, one of them will come by the home I am wasting away in and read it to me. That is about the most beautiful way to die I can imagine. And it will be comfortable and cozy in a way that Bilbo would approve.*stolen with love and respect from Ceridwen's fantastic review. Go see it for yourself.


2012 - Reread - What to add to my original review for this site? I don't. There is something everlasting and yet almost tragic about this book. Thorin doesn't fail but he does not live very long to enjoy his victory, if you can call it his. Perhaps that grey zone is what make the book last.Some time ago, Harold Bloom went on a Harry Potter rant. He is hardly the only academic to do so. In fact, A. S. Byatt wrote a wonderful essay on how strange and annoying she finds adults who read Harry Potter but disregarding Terry Pratchett . Dr. Bloom said that he doubted that the Potter books would become classic children’s literature in the lines of Alice in Wonderland or The Hobbit.I think Dr. Bloom is jumping the gun, if you will pardon the overused cliché, in terms of Harry Potter. It’s too early to tell if the Potter books will stand the test of time. I also am not sure if I fully agree with the idea of The Hobbit as an outstanding example of children’s literature. True, I know the publishing story around the book. Everyone, or almost everyone, at this point must know it. I know that I read it before I read Lord of the Rings. Yet, I have always, even as a child, liked LOTR better. The one thing that makes me think Bloom might be correct in how he sees The Hobbit is the fact that every time I return to it, I see something new. It is a classic, a classic, whether or not one sees it as children’s literature.The first thing that any reader above a certain age realizes about The Hobbit is the fact that it literally begs to be read aloud, and this no doubt is the reason why everyone sees it as a children’s book. Tolkien’s use of language, in particular his use of rhyme, makes reading this book aloud an irresistible option. From the beginning, from the alliterative name of its central character, Bilbo Baggins, to the rhymes in Gollum’s caves, to the many songs, and even down to the conversations, (especially Gandalf relating the story to Beorn), the novel drips a love of word play and language. This made it particularly easy to adapt the story into a cartoon, as Rankin Bass did. The movie stayed relatively true to the book, though the Wood Elves remind one of green drug addicts for some strange reason. Like some of the passages in Watership Down, The Hobbit contains passages that are memorable for their sheer poetry, and, no I’m not talking about the songs.The narrator also stands out as well. There is a warm, yet superior tone of voice to the narrator, as if he and the reader are in on some joke that the dwarves, Bilbo, and even Gandalf don’t get. Part of this comes from the quasi saga tone that is used, a tone that comes across far more in LOTR. Part of this seems to come from a sense of humor that is more obvious to an adult and far less obvious to a child. I know that some critics, even some children, have expressed a dislike or a recultance to view this book as a work of children’s literature. The tone of the narrator, at times a gently mocking tone, might have something to do with this. If the narrator sees himself as superior to Bilbo, as superior to the dwarves, then does the narrator see himself as superior to the children who are supposedly being told the story? Children who supposedly would identify with the hobbit and the dwarves simply due to size? What modern child thinks about pocket handkerchiefs and the morning post?The adult emphasis is elsewhere in the book. It is not hard to see overtones, parallels, or direct references to WWI in this book, in particular when the Five Armies join together. Though, I will admit, I am not entirely sure if I really am suppose to see the dwarfs as Frenchmen (Or maybe the French are the elves and the dwarfs are the Dutch. Hobbits, I know, are English). I also don’t think I’m supposed to see the Goblins as Germans. But one does wonder.One also wonders about the character of Bilbo who we know must secretly long for adventure. He is resourceful and wily. While he does pull rescues out of the hat, he is not the traditional hero. He doesn’t slay the dragon, and he sleeps though the battle. Okay, he was knocked out, but he missed the whole thing. The only character who comes close to being a tradition hero is Bard, who does heroic actions and has the blood line. But even Bard is not the romantic hero, for he is grim. Bilbo isn’t the traditional trickster hero either. He lacks that slight edge of cruelty that many tricksters have. Additionally, unlike Frodo, Bilbo seems relatively untouched by what he has experienced, unless one counts the whole interaction with Gollum. Bilbo is Bilbo in this book. A hero who succeeds though a mixture of luck and common sense. Bilbo is a unique take on the everyman hero. He does what the reader in many cases would do, he is at the center of the action, but is not the central of the action. He keeps his head because he, like Gandalf, is unaffected by the greed that the hoard causes in everyone else. Mayhap, because he is so childlike, innocent in the heart because unlike Thorin, Bilbo has been untouched by tragedy. Bilbo remains me, a little bit, of Jack the Giant Killer, though not as morally questionable.Maybe a fairy tale is the point. If we take The Hobbit and LOTR together, as they should be taken, then we have the fairy tale (The Hobbit) and the afterwards (LOTR, much like the musical Into the Woods. Considering the heavy use of myth and legend that makes its way into Tolkien’s world this is not surprising. Most of the characters in this book have a start in the legends of Europe. There have been traditions of bear men (berserkers), of dwarves, of dragons, of wizards, of everything except Hobbits (though we now know that they existed). Even at this early stage, Tolkien is making his mythology for England, and it is quite clear that he loves every minute of it. Neither writer nor narrator lacks a belief in the world. Tolkien’s mythology is far better and far more interesting than Milton’s attempt.This is believability comes out in Smaug, who will always be one of the most terrifying dragons in literature to me. What makes Smaug terrifying isn’t his power. Many authors have invented many worlds that have far more powerful dragons. Smaug works because he is so evilly smart. During his conversation with Bilbo, Smaug speaks not only to the doubts that echo inside of Bilbo’s head, but those doubts that roll around in the first time readers as well. It is entirely possible that the dwarfs intend to trick Bilbo out of his gold, a fact hammered in by the treatment of the River men after the death of Smaug. Smaug works because like most evil, he speaks to the worm of doubt that exists in everyone. The fact that he is as big as a dinosaur and can breath fire is just a happy bonus.Smaug would make a good godfather. I can just see him doing a Marlon Brando.If Tolkien’s work is rightly considered classic, the role of Smaug is one of the major reasons why. Another major reason would of course be the influence that both The Hobbit and TLOR have had on the fantasy that has followed them. From intentional knock offs such as Mithgar; to the parodies, such as the Disc; to simply inspiring other writesr, such as Jim Butcher, a true reader cannot ignore the role of the books.One final note. I am glad, supremely glad, that both Tolkien and his son have not overly tinkered with The Hobbit. I know that Tolkien went back and made slight changes after LOTR simply to make the story of Gollum work, but he left certain other things alone, the difference in the elves for example. I like that. It is much better than Lucas constantly reworking the Han Solo shooting Greedo scene in Star Wars. Both Tolkiens had the good sense to leave well enough alone. Thanks heavens for that, otherwise a PC Bilbo would be offering pipe weed to Smaug, who would be baking cookies for the orphans.


There are some days when I actually think that the humble Hobbit is superior to it's bohemoth brother, The Lord of the Rings . It's a much tighter story, and Bilbo is a much more appeal character than is Frodo. I also just love this poem, from The HobbitFar over the misty mountains coldTo dungeons deep and caverns oldWe must away ere break of dayTo seek the pale enchanted gold.The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,While hammers fell like ringing bellsIn places deep, where dark things sleep,In hollow halls beneath the fells.For ancient king and elvish lordThere many a gleaming golden hoardThey shaped and wrought, and light they caughtTo hide in gems on hilt of sword.On silver necklaces they strungThe flowering stars, on crowns they hungThe dragon-fire, in twisted wireThey meshed the light of moon and sun.Far over the misty mountains coldTo dungeons deep and caverns oldWe must away, ere break of day,To claim our long-forgotten gold.Goblets they carved there for themselvesAnd harps of gold; where no man delvesThere lay they long, and many a songWas sung unheard by men or elves.The pines were roaring on the height,The winds were moaning in the night.The fire was red, it flaming spread;The trees like torches blazed with light.The bells were ringing in the daleAnd men looked up with faces pale;The dragon's ire more fierce that fireLaid low their towers and houses frail.The mountain smoked beneath the moon;The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.They fled their hall to dying fallBeaneath his feet, beneath the moon.Far over the misty mountains grimTo dungeons deep and caverns dimWe must away, ere break of day,To win our harps and gold from him

Joel Simon

There are not many books that I have read twice. The first time I read The Hobbit, I liked it a lot. But I hadn't read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and still haven't (so I guess I didn't like The Hobbit enough). But it brought a smile to my face when I saw it on our shelf this past summer and I decided that I would read it aloud to my 10 year old daughter. In reading it aloud, a few things happened. First, it took a very long time to read the whole book (8 months, in fact). Some of this was due to other commitments, mine as well as hers. But some of it was due to the writing. Reading The Hobbit aloud to a 10-year old is not easy. For starters, there are a lot of words in the book that are not in a 10-year old's vocabulary, which leads to frequent interruptions and questions. Second, there are a lot of words in the book that aren't used much today so they weren't in my vocabulary either. Third, certain parts of the book are so slowly but beautifully descriptive that reading them quickly gives you nothing to grab onto. So you have to read it slowly. Fourth, it is hard to keep track of who all the characters are so you find yourself going back over pages you have read to figure out who is who and where they fit in (especially when you take 8 months to read it!). But the journey is worth it. This book is so incredibly creative and enchanting that my daughter and I always found it a pleasure to pick it up and read it no matter how much time had passed since the last reading. The characters are so rich, each with his own idiosyncrasies and quirks. Even the bad guys are exquisitley described. Especially Gollum and the Dragon. It had been such a long time since I read this book the first time that I had forgotten the ending and I had also not realized how richly descriptive the story was. I really loved this book and recommend that you read it or reread it, and savor it. Do not try to zoom through it or you will miss what it has to offer.

Emily May

In certain crowds, my rating and the words I'm about to write (well, type) would probably get me shot. But The Hobbit is still, to this day, the single most boring book I have ever read. That's including The Globalization of World Politics. And Moby-Dick. I feel like I'm missing something with all of Tolkien's work. I don't get the love :(


This book was a very ancient candidate on my "to read list" and I always planned to read it just before the Lord of the Rings. So far, things have worked out and I have started Lord of the Rings the same afternoon I finished the Hobbit.I don't think I would enjoy Lord of the Rings as much as I do, had I not read the Hobbit just beforehand. The Hobbit really provides the reader with a lot of background information, which is an advantage when you get started with the trilogy.Nevertheless, I still feel that, as a stand - alone story, the Hobbit is a book aimed at children. Tolkien's fluid writing style and the way in which he addresses his readers, often gave me the impression that the author was right next to me, lecturing about hobbits in a style suitable for primary school children. The Hobbit is thus the perfect book to read to your children before bedtime or even one of the first novels they might read themselves.When evaluating the Hobbit as a prelude to Lord of the Rings, things look a little bit different. Currently reading Lord of the Rings, I am thankful to have followed the chronological path, as the Hobbit prepares the setting for Lord of the Rings, in which Tolkien has adapted his very scholarly writing style to an audience of grown ups.Apart from the obvious highlights of the story, i.e. Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, The Hobbit, even though the plot was neat and perfectly paced, sometimes felt dragging as the story meanders from one perilous situation to another. However, the aspect I enjoyed most was the author's typically English humour, which often shines through when Bilbo interacts with the other characters.

Mohammed Arabey

The Plot القصهThe Action الاحداثThe Settings الاماكنThe Characters الشخصياتBut.. The Oscar Goes to.. J.R.R. Tolkien for BEST STORYTELLER فعلا لعل اكثر ما اعجبني في رحلتي مع الهوبيت ..تلك الرحله غير المتوقعه ليهو اسلوب روايه جي ار ار تولكين للقصه فله اسلوب مميز بالفعل في الحكي, كانه يروي خصيصا من اجلك انتالهــوبيت هي حجر الاساس والبدايه في واحده من اهم الروايات في العالم "سلسله ملك الخواتم" "وكانت السلسله الاعلي مبيعات حتي اطاحت بها روايه الساحره الانجليزيه جي كي رولينج عن قصه حياه هاري بوتر" , وحتي الكتاب منفردا قد حقق مبيعات عاليه ونسبه قراءه اعليلم اكن انتوي ابدا البدء في قراءه عالم فانتازي من اوله لاخره..فهذا لم يكن ابدا نوع القراءه المفضله بالنسبه لي "فلا الخيال العلمي مثل حرب النجوم او الهوبيت هو النوع المفضل لي في القراءه واحيانا الافلام ايضا"..فانا افضل الخيال الذي يحدث في العالم الحقيقي الواقعي,الفانتازيا التي تحدث في البلد المجاور والشخصيات الحقيقيه حتي وان كان لها قدرات خارقه..ولكن عندما تعج روايه بشخصيات غريبه كاقزام وغيلان وهوبيت وجن, بل وتدور في ارض خياليه فهذا كنت اعتبره كثيرا جدا لمخيلتي الي علي قدها :)ولكني اتذكر جيدا ان اول مشاهده لفيلم "ملك الخواتم" 2001 اعجبني قصه الجزء الاول نوعا ما الا ان يكون "الهوبيت" هذه الشخصيات الخياليه مع الاقزام مع الجن والغيلان والترول والصقور العملاقه, كل هذا في اراضي غير حقيقيه وعالم اخر تماما اربكني جدا ولم يجعلني استمتع بالاجزاء التاليهوتشأ الظروف ان اشاهد بعد اكثر من 10 سنوات النسخه الممتده من الفيلم, وشعرت ان الشخصيات لها عمق والسيناريو الممتد افضل بكثير من مجرد الاكشن والحروب التي ضجرت من طول مدتها خلال الاحداثومن هنا شعرت ان بالتأكيد الروايه نفسها وشخصياتها لها عمق غير الاكشن ولها تاريخ ايضا..وبعد صدور الفيلم الذي خرج عن روايه "الهوبيت" بعد اخر جزء بعشر سنوات واعجابي فعلا برسم الشخصيات قررت ان ابدا في دخول عالم الارض الوسطي ,عالم تولكين كما رواه بنفسه وكما "اختلقها" بقلمه وريشته ايضا..ومن البدايه********* الاحداث *********------- The Plot ------فكره الرحله وطريقه تقديمها اعجبتني جدا, وجود خريطه المسيره في غلاف الكتاب الداخلي بريشه تولكين امر اكثر من رائع وافادني كثيرا لتخيل الرحلهالا ان العيب الوحيد هو تسرب الملل في بعض اجزاء الرحله نفسها..ربما -واقولها مره اخري- هو ملل مقصود ادبيا لكي نشعر بمدي الملل الذي يعانيه البطل "فالبطل كان متمللا جدا طبعا ولايحلم الا بفراشه الوثير" ولكن مازالت بعض الاجزاء كانت اطول مما ينبغي ولم ترق لي كثيراوهنا يأتي جمال الفيلم والذي اعتبره مكمل للصوره الكامله التي رسمها تولكن, بيتر جاكسون فعلا منح الحياه البصريه للروايه بشكل رائع ويستحق فعلا ترشيح اوسكار اخربيتر جاكسون منذ بدايه الجزء الاول من سلسله ملك الخواتم قام باختيار اجمل مواقع التصوير التي يمكن جعل بها الارض الوسطي حقيقه مرئيه وليس في الامكان اجمل مما كانوهذا ما استخدمه هنا بطريقه اقوي في "الهوبيت" وحتي ان كان هذا الجمال اكثر بكثير من الروايه نفسها في وصف الاماكنكما قام في مغامره تحسب له بحذف بعض الاحداث الممله بالروايه "كالدوران مرارا وتكرارا في ممرات الغيلان بالجبل او الغابه المظلمه" ولكنه اضاف بعض الاحداث الاخري الاكشن والتي ربما زادت من الملل قليلا بالنسبه لي مثل جعل مطاره الغيلان للاقزام تأخذ مساحات اطول واحيانا في اوقات لم تكن بالروايهكما اضاف في الفيلم احداث تدور بين جاندلف وبين النكرومانسي والتي تم ذكرها عابره في احداث الروايه ولم نشهدها او نعرف عنها اي شئ..وهي اضافه في هذه الحاله تحسب له جدا وفعلا اتمني ان اقرأ عنها في روايه اخريوان اشفق الراوي الرائع علينا ويلات الحرب الاخيره -وهذا من حسن حظي اني غبت عن الوعي مع بيبلو "طبعا وكل من قرأ الروايه- لعدم تطويل الاحداث في وصف الحرب فاني اعتقد انها سيخصص لها نصف الجزء الثالث من الفيلم تقريبا, وربما يكون الامر مشوقا وقتهاولكن كما قلت جمال الطبيعه والتصوير الذي قام به الفيلم يشفع له التطويلولكن الاجمل فعلا كان في تصوير ********* الشخصيات *********-------The Characters--------Dwarf فعندما يكون هذا ...قزم تعرف انك امام فيلم يعشق شخصيات الروايه ويريد ان يقدمهم في اجمل صورهموقد كان.........حقافتصوير الشخصيات بالفيلم قدمه بيتر جاكسون باروع مايمكن ,وحتي ليس بصريا فقط بل وبناء الشخصيات نفسه وتطورها كان مشابهه للروايه ويعلوه في بعض الاحيان"بالطبع لطول فتره الفيلم باجزاءه" فسموج التنين مثلا كان رهبته افضل بكثير "بصوته" وهيئته في الفيلم الجزء الثاني, وان كان هناك اختلاف طفيف بين الحوار بين الروايه والفيلم الا انك تجد ان كلاهما مكملين لتصويره الرهيب...ولكن يظل توليكن يتفوق بالتأكيد وبدون اي شك او حتي معارضه في تقديمها اتذكر شخصيه "بوروين" الرجل الدب اني قرأت بدايه هذا الفصل وتقديم الشخصيه نفسها قبل نصف ساعه من دخول الفيلم الجزء الثاني..روح الدعابه في روايه القصه كان واضحا جدا وكان من اجمل الفصول فعلا, ولكنه تحول في الفيلم الي مشهد اكشن فحسب فلم يكن رائعا مثل الروايهفالحوار بينه وبين جاندلف كان في غايه الطرافه فعلا...وشخصيه جاندلف بالاخص اعشقها "صارت شخصيتي المفضله الجديده" لاني اشعر ان بها الكثير من ********* الـرواي *********----- The Storyteller -----تولكن , والذي منحناه الاوسكار في اول الريفيو كان له اسلوب اكثر من رائع في الحكي...في وصف العالم الذي يعشقه والشخصيات وماضيها وتاريخها ونفسيتها وعائلتهالغته المحببه في الروي وروح الدعابه واشعارك بانه يحكي لك الروايه خصيصا هو اكثر ما شدني لاستكمال رحلتي الغير متوقعه فعلا معهانجليزيته المحببه سواء في اللغه او حتي تصرفات شخصياته جعلتني اعشق اكثر الادب الانجليزي "فلا ننس ان جي كي روليج كاتبتي المفضله انجليزيه ايضا" جندلف انا متأكد انه شخصيته المفضله.."ربما سأبحث في هذا الامر فعلا" وقد اعجبني جدا حواره منذ اول مشاهده والتي حافظ عليها بروحها ونصها المخرج بيتر جاكسون“Good Morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat."What do you mean?" he said. "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?""All of them at once," said Bilbo. "And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain...."Good morning!" he said at last. "We don't want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water." By this he meant that the conversation was at an end."What a lot of things you do use Good morning for!" said Gandalf. "Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won't be good till I move off.” ستشعر فعلا بتلك الروح المرحه في الروي سواء من الراوي او من جمله جندلف نفسها "هل تتمني لي صباح سعيد ام انك تعني انه صباحا سعيدا سواء شئت انا او ابيت , او انك تعني انك تشعر بالسعاده هذا الصباح , او انه صباح لتكون فيه سعيد؟"“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?” في النهايه********فعلا هي رحله غير متوفعهUnexpected Journeyلم اتخيل انه سيعجبني عالم خيالي وشخصيات خياليه الي هذا الحد..ربما تظل لاحداث القصه بعض الاجزاء التي مللت منها الا ان روح الراوي وتعبه في هذا العالم وتاريخه سيجعلك متشوقا لمعرفه المزيد من الاحداثالنسخه التي لديPaperback -Movie Tie inكان بها اخر 25 صفحه بخط اصغر من الخط الصغير اساسا اخاص بالروايه اول فصول ملك الخواتم, في البدايه عندما كانت اضجر احيانا من الملل اقول اني لن اقرأه وسيكفيني الفيلم بنسخته الممتدهالا ان بعد النهايه وجدت اني اريد المزيد , وفعلا شدني جدا الفصل الاول وسيكون لي رحله اخري للارض الوسطي ومدنها وجبالها وجمال طبيعتها وحتي طرقها الوعرهمع الهوبيت..مع جاندلف..والخاتم..وحتي بيتر جاكسون وفوقهمالرائعجي ار ار تولكنمحمد العربيمن 12 ديسمبر 2013 الي 29 ديسمبر 2013


An amazing story that starts with a disturbance in the life of a homely Hobbit. The unpleasantness leads on to an adventure that spans the known world of Middle Earth and sets the stage for the final battle with the Dark Lord, Sauron of Mordor. Written in a much more simple and easy to read form than "Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit" has a charm that is often lacking in the great epic that follows it. Many either prefer "The Hobbit" or "The Lord of the Rings" but rarely do readers favor both, even though they are part of the same story. Those who like lighter tales of adventure as opposed to more meaty epics will find "The Hobbit" a very enjoyable read. "The Hobbit" is also interesting from the point of view of a study of Middle Earth. In this part of the story, Tolkien's vast and detailed world is much more raw and less developed. There are many more allusions to contemporary myths than in the broader Lord of the Rings. And the concept of elves is less realized or revealed. For my part, this was the book that started it all for me. Prior to The Hobbit, I had little interest in reading at all. So here's to Tolkien, grandfather of fantasy!

Shayantani Das

The Hobbit is the epic journey of Bilbo Baggins, our titular 50 something hobbit. Bilbo though might as well be 10 year old, since he has almost no experience of the outside world and likes to sit in his Hobbit hole, resting in his armchair having breakfast, supper and dinner and numerous meals in between. That is, until Gandalf the great comes barging in with a dozen of dwarfs, urging him to take up the role of the burglar in their quest to The Lonely Mountains. The dwarfs question Gandalf’s decision, which offends Bilbo and the home loving hobbit agrees sets out with them, on their “epic journey”.And, what a journey it is! We meet elves, goblins, giant spiders, warts, the great Beorn and of course the Great dragon along our way and pass through Mirkwood, The lonely mountains, goblin’s lairs. Every description is so vivid, the images almost float into your mind when you read it. Every adventure is greater than the previous one, every scenery better. Just when one thinks, nothing better can come after this, another amazing character gets introduced. And amidst it all is Bilbo and they way his character develops through out the story.Our Hobbit, who is underestimated by all (including himself) discovers strength, wisdom, and courage within hims. He also discovers the magic ring ( THE RINGto be precise), but I wouldn’t give it much credit. Because its Bilbo and his courage which makes him such an inevitable part among his group and this novel. Without him the novel would be just another amazing fantasy saga, with him, it’s epic. He’s so unfamiliar with the larger world in the beginning, always wondering how he could possibly have left without his hat and continuously wants to go back. Still, in crucial situations, he is the one who to rescue the others. He kills a giant spider, and that is the first step toward him discovering strength. He is the first one to go in the lonely mountain (where the dragon lies with his treasure) and he says that it is the bravest thing he has ever done. Bilbo devises the plan to stop the war among the dwarves and the elves and shows immense wisdom in this. And amidst it all, he still remains our humble, simple, naive hobbit, and how does one not love him?This story has so many different facets. Brilliant adventure, flawless description and still conveyed such an important message. It's funny and wry, and tells us a classic coming-of-age story. Its not melodramatic, still, one feels Bilbo’s pain when Thorin dies. Him accepting gold to be worthless is such an epic scene from the novel. Who would have thought that the subtle details Tolkien uses could move someone so much. Not only Thorin, all the other dwarves (Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin and the others whose name I don’t remember), Beorn, the Elrond king, Bard, even the goblins make such an incredible impression one’s mind. Secondary characters have never been so memorably rendered.By the end of the journey, Gandalf tells Bilbo that he has changed. And he has! Bilbo comes away from The Hobbit with a couple of sacks of treasure, but what's immensely more valuable to him (and to us) is the respect he wins from all of the people he meets. More importantly, the respect he wins from himself. He gains self confidence and stops caring about what his fellow hobbits think of him. Somewhere along the journey, I, as a reader felt that, in some way, I have changed too. . Bilbo might not be big or impressive looking, but he's still able to change the course of history in Middle-earth. What can be more inspiring for a person and what more can one ask from a book? No book is more flawless, inspiring, touching, adventurous and fun than the Hobbit. I may sound melodramatic when I say this, but every time I read books like this, I feel happy to be alive. A more perfect book has never been written and I am going to cherish it as long as I live. 50000 stars and highest possible recommendation.


I have a long and very personal history with _The Hobbit_. My first experience of it was, I think, at the age of 7 or 8 when my older brother (13 years my senior) read the story to me and I was immediately captivated. After that came readings from the LotR and I was a Tolkien fan forevermore. My re-reading of _The Hobbit_ immediately prior to my most recent one was a bit of a disappointment. Somehow the same old magic didn’t all seem to be there and I was perhaps most discomfited by the gaps in style that were apparent between this story and its even more famous descendent, _The Lord of the Rings_. On this re-read, however, I found much of my initial love of the tale coming back to me and many of the same episodes stirred memories of my first hearing of the tale.For those two or three people not in the know, this is the story of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins by name, and his unexpected adventure with 13 dwarves and, for part of the time at least, the wizard Gandalf. Thorin Oakenshield and his followers have long been exiled from their home, the far-away and fabled dwarf-realm of Erebor at the Lonely Mountain, after its pillaging by the dragon Smaug. We follow Bilbo as he moves from inept bungler to expert burglar and begin to see, along with the dwarves, just why Gandalf chose this particular hobbit to round out the unlucky number of the dwarves’ party as his inner courage and resourcefulness grow. We see Bilbo through many adventures, from an encounter with trolls and a harrowing escape from goblins, to a dark journey through the treacherous spider-haunted deeps of Mirkwood and a creeping view of the great dragon upon his misbegotten mound of gold. There are many great characters to meet in the journey from Bilbo’s hobbit hole to the Lonely Mountain, even if only a few of the dwarves are fleshed out to any great detail. A personal favourite is the irascible Beorn, a vegetarian skin-changer and unwitting host to the party who eventually becomes a staunch ally; and am I wrong in seeing in the enigmatic and laconic Bard the bowman something of a prototype for Aragorn?This is, of course, a children’s story, and as such does not always seem to sit well as a prequel to the later work, the Lord of the Rings (though of course in its original conception the tale was not meant to be a prequel to anything and its ultimate inclusion into the storied history of Middle Earth only grew as the tale did and the significance of certain elements, namely the Ring, became clearer in Tolkien’s mind). Whether it is the silly songs sung by the elves of Rivendell (can anyone picture Fëanor or Thingol singing these things?), the faux-cockney accents and names of the trolls encountered by Bilbo and co., or the various authorial asides, this book can appear hard to reconcile with the later tales. Of course one valid approach to this is simply to say, “who cares?” and move on. This is certainly valid, but after my most recent reading I found that taking into account the conceit of Tolkien’s that all of his tales from Middle Earth (even the posthumously published _The Silmarillion_) exist as documents taken originally from the “Red Book of Westmarch”, a hobbit tome detailing the adventures of the Shire’s most famous sons, and subsequently handled and translated by many hands before coming down to us was a helpful approach. In essence we can see in _The Hobbit_ how Bilbo’s diary of his own adventures was turned into an adventure tale for children, while the higher matters of the LotR were possibly deemed unsuitable for such treatment. Thus we have talking spiders, tra-la-laing High Elves, and silly trolls mixed in with berserk shape-changing warriors, hints of malign necromancy, and a final battle on the doorstep of the Lonely Mountain.Bilbo is an excellent main character, both unsure of himself and eager to prove his dwarven compatriots wrong in their initial impression of him to be “more a green grocer than a burglar”. Many may criticize Tolkien for his apparent anachronism with the hobbits and the Shire in Middle Earth, with their mantel clocks, singing tea kettles and other modern conveniences in the midst of what appears to be a medieval world of saga and epics. Yet it is this familiarity that allows us to identify with Bilbo as he is thrown into the strange epic world outside the bounds of the Shire. To my mind, despite his estrangement from it, Bilbo sits much more comfortably in this world than do a pack of modern British schoolchildren crossing dimensions or some other conceit that might have been used to allow the reader to identify with the hero. This also gives Bilbo the chance to grow into something more akin to a hero and leader than we ever would have expected of him based on his origins and it is this growth that gives impetus to the story amidst its many colourful episodes. The most famous of these is, of course, the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum, a suitably creepy game played by Bilbo for nothing less than his life and the keystone moment that links this smaller tale to the greater epic of the LotR as we see just how important that question Bilbo asks is: “What have I got in my pocket?”Bilbo not only grows in courage and resourcefulness, but shows his inner worth when he resists the call of the dragon horde, unlike the unfortunate Thorin, and even attempts to broker peace between those who ought to be allies when greed and anger threaten to destroy all that the quest attempted to achieve, at the possible cost of his own safety and the friendship of his comrades. This is a great story for children, of any age, and will provide them with not only an exciting adventure, but also some good lessons and a fine model for true heroism. It’s also a great introduction to the world of Middle Earth and you won’t regret your time spent with the charming Mr. Baggins of Bag End.

Stefan Yates

I received this beautiful 1966 leather-bound edition of The Hobbit as a result of winning a contest on author G.T. Denny's blog. I wanted to publicly thank him for such a wonderful prize which, of course inspired me to re-read the novel.The Hobbit is a tale that I will always hold near and dear to my heart. My father first read it to me when I was around five years old and I have had a love of fantasy in my heart from that point forward. The time that we spent together journeying with Bilbo and Company in their quest to the Lonely Mountain is one of my treasured childhood memories and I cannot talk or think about Tolkien without bringing up fond images of my Dad.Luckily, the story also holds to the test of time. It is a fast-paced, sometimes humorous, adventure story with an almost continual stream of action. The poor party seems to go from one peril to the next to the next in such rapid succession that it is truly one of those books that is almost impossible to put down for any significant span of time. The characters, especially dear old Bilbo, are lovingly crafted and presented to the reader in such a way that they become stamped into the memory for all time.Truly one of the greatest stories of all time and forever one of my favorite books. If you haven't read The Hobbit, I cannot recommend it more highly to readers of all ages, levels, and interests. (And IF you haven't read it yet, I envy your fledgling journey into the magic lands of Middle-Earth!)

Bryon Medina

This book took me on a great adventure, one that took me through a great range of emotions, and I have to say, it must be the cutest adventure I've ever been on. How can you not adore Bilbo and his hobbit friends with thier furry feet and quaint past-times? Of course, by the same Tolkien (pun intended), how can you not be afraid for Bilbo as he faces trolls, gobblins, men, and numerous other dangers? I for one don't know how you couldn't, not with J.R.R.'s gift for character development. I quickly came to identify with Bilbo and realized that he and I share a fondness for many of the same things, such as: food, music, and pipe weed, just to name a few. And I could easily see myself in his furry lack of shoes, as he finds himself in way over his head. When I finally got around to reading this book I had allready read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and felt like this was the low calorie version, but that was exactly what I needed in my life. After the great epic of the trilogy it would be years before I could watch Middle earth go through that kind of upheaval again, yet I just could'nt get enough of J.R.R.'s fascinating creation. Or did he create it? Middle earth seems so ancient, so grand, and so complete I sometimes suspect that Tolkein didn't in fact make it up at all, but that somehow, somewhere, middle earth is out there and as real as we are. It's as if Tolkein saw it all himself and simply wrote it down. If you haven't read this book, do so, and share it with everyone you love. Read it to people who will listen, or at least make shure that they can get a copy. No one should miss out on the the beutifull and mystical place that is middle earth, after all who doesn't want to escape every now and then, if just for a little while?


Honestly I'm not even sure about how to write this review. How do you review a book that has such an impact on your life, stretching all the way from your childhood? J.R.R. Tolkien was my first, and still is, my favorite author of all time. Ever since 5th grade when I stole my hermano's Lord of the Rings book (all three in one!) and trotted around school reading it every chance I got, even had it taken away once or twice, yeah I was that kid, I loved the world of Middle Earth. While I read The Hobbit after reading the entire Lord of the Rings series (twice) it had the same effect on me. Middle Earth was probably the first thing that I was truly obsessed with. I don't think there has been another imaginary world that I have wanted to live in more than Middle Earth. While the worlds of Harry Potter and Narnia were also my escape when I was younger Tolkien's world has and always will have the strongest calling to me. Maybe that's why I have several copies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and while I have tried to read a book from the Lord of the Rings series each year I was long overdue for a rereading of The Hobbit. With the movie recently out of theaters and a local book club reading it for this month I decided it was most certainly time to read it again. It was no surprise to me when while reading it I was again sucked into the world that Tolkien created and while the story was still familiar with me even after all these years I still was so involved in the story it was hard for me to put it down. "Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick."I'm pretty sure almost everyone has had this feeling, the want for adventure and to travel and see the world. That is probably part of the reason why I enjoyed this book so much. When I was younger I was always pretending to go on adventures in the backyard where our tree house turned into a lot of awesome things. This book let you go on an adventure full of trolls, goblins, orcs, magic, dragons, dwarves, wizards, elves, gold, and everything a young kid could want in a story. While some may find Tolkien's detail (especially in Lord of the Rings) tedious and excessive it is what made Middle Earth so lifelike and why it was such a great escape realm. But enough of this nostalgia cause I could go on for hours. As to the book in general there isn't much that I don't love about it. It has action and adventure but then there is humor and singing! What is a good adventure story without some singing? "Far over the misty mountains cold.Through dungeons deep and caverns oldWe must away ere break of dayTo claim our long forgotten gold!" This is a book that has elements for all ages, it can be read and enjoyed by kids and is still enjoyable as an adult. Tolkien could really weave a perfect story. I love the narrator in this novel for the narrator already knows everything that has happened and will allude to events that take place near the end of the book that will have you thinking, "No tell me what happens now!" It is just that simple tactic that will keep you reading all through the night the first time you read the book. After the first time though you read those parts and think, "No I don't want to get to that part!" One because you know what partakes and sometimes it isn't the happiest of situations and two that means you are nearing the end of the book. My favorite part of this book is probably all the tie-ins to Lord of the Rings, especially the finding of the one ring and the game of riddles. While I love all the action and such in the book I just love the game of riddles. It is were you really see Bilbo's wit (even though he does cheat) and the riddles themselves are just fun. I like riddles so I would try to figure out the answer before I continued reading even though the movie made some of them easy. It is also interesting to see how the character of Bilbo changes over the course of the entire novel. At first he is just a scared Hobbit who seems to at first regret his decision to go on an adventure with the dwarves. The dwarves at first don't seem to really see Bilbo as a great asset to the group and seem for the first half to kinda count him out. But as the book progresses you see Bilbo get braver and stronger."I will give you a name," he said to it, "and I shall call you Sting"I think this is one of Bilbo's strongest lines in the book finally accepting the adventure and that there is more to himself that even he knows. As Bilbo comes into his own you see his wit and smarts come out even more showing the dwarves that he may be the most valuable asset of the group. Right after Bilbo as my favorite character comes Thorin Oakenshield. I think the main reason why he is one of my favorites is because of the similarities to Aragorn as a King without a crown. While he makes many mistakes on the way to the mountain and even afterwards in the end he redeems himself and just seems to be one of my favorite characters in the book, and lets be honest the movie version of Thorin made me like him even more. As to my least favorite part of the book it would have to be how absolutely un-climactic the ending of the book is. For those that have not read the book I will mark major spoilers but honestly go and get this book immediately, you need to read it! The dragon is the main problem in this novel. Smaug has taken over the mountain and claims all the gold under the mountain as his and terrorizes the surrounding area. "It does not do to leave a dragon our of your calculations, if you live near him." The dragon is fierce and will not be easy to take down. So here comes problem one: (view spoiler)[The dragon gets shot down with one arrow?! One arrow hits his weak spot and he goes plummeting to his death?! And mind you it's not even by one of the main characters. Just felt this part could have been much more epic. (hide spoiler)] Alright so thats all done and all of a sudden there is going to be this large battle which has been foreshadowed all throughout the novel. It is going to be the best battle scene there are dwarves, elves, men, and goblins all about to fight and problem two: (view spoiler)[Bilbo gets hit in the head with a rock and passes out for the best part of the battle and the next thing you know the battle is over. (hide spoiler)] Anyways the battle is still epic but could have been much better if some things were done differently. I just didn't like getting the main things that happened after the battle was done especially in the case of the death toll. Sorry if you weren't aware but some have to die and you are not going to be happy about it that is all I'm going to say. Even with the battle being un-climactic I still cried at the end of this book cause you've gone on this whole adventure with Bilbo and all the dwarves that it is just heartbreaking in the end. Tolkien mastery in writing really shows through in this book and all of his books. He weaves a picture so intricate that you feel like you are there on the adventure with the characters. This book is a lot simpler than the Lord of the Rings series. It isn't as intricate and detailed but still is able to tell an amazing story. I will say that I like Lord of the Rings better than The Hobbit, but that may just be because I read them first and that I read them more often but The Hobbit is still a great book that I think everyone should read.I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars because even with the cons I love this book to the ends of Middle Earth and back. Like I said before no other literary world has called to me so much as the world of Middle Earth so I would really recommend everyone to read this book you will not be disappointed. Now I guess I need to say a few words about the movie. Honestly I loved it. I'm pretty sure I didn't blink the entire time. I walked out of there thinking while there are lots of movies that I positively love The Hobbit, like Lord of the Rings will stick with me forever. I don't understand many of the complaints people had with the movie. Yes, it is long but it was so full of adventure and action that, to me at least, it didn't seem that long. Also many people say that they messed with the plot too much. I don't see where the plot was messed up at all. A lot of things were added which I think add to the story and they are trying to add more tie-ins with Lord of the Rings, adding more about the necromancer and such. I thought it was well done and can't wait for the next one to come out. The acting was great, the cast was perfectly chosen and just the imagery and scenery was beautiful! Also the soundtrack was amazing and while having new themes kept a lot of the themes that were introduced in the Lord of the Rings movies. I especially liked reading the book again after seeing the movie because I constantly had the soundtrack playing in the background which really made the book even better. Overall 6/5 stars."Roads go ever on,Over rock and under tree,By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea;Over snow by winter sown,And through the merry flowers of June,Over grass and over stone,And under mountains of the moon.Roads go ever ever onUnder cloud and under star,Yet feet that wandering have goneTurn at last to home afar.Eyes that fire and sword have seenAnd horror in the halls of stoneLook at last on meadows greenAnd trees and hills they long have known"["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


Some books are almost impossible to review. If a book is bad, how easily can we dwell on its flaws! But if the book is good, how do you give any recommendation that is equal the book? Unless you are an author of equal worth to the one whose work you review, what powers of prose and observation are you likely to have to fitly adorn the work? 'The Hobbit' is at one level simply a charming adventure story, perhaps one of the most charming and most adventurous ever told. There, see how simple that was? If you haven't read it, you should, because it is quite enjoyable. At some level, there is little more to say. Enjoy the story as the simple entertainment it was meant to be. Read it to your children and luxuriate in the excitement and joy that shines from their faces. That's enough.But if it was only simple entertainment, I do not think that it would be anything more than just a good book. Instead, this simple children's story resonates and fascinates. It teases and hints at something larger and grander, and it instructs and lectures as from one of the most subtle intellects without ever feeling like it is instructing, lecturing or being condescending.At its heart, the complaint I opened the review with is just a variation on one of the many nuanced observations Tolkien makes in 'The Hobbit' when he complains that a story of a good time is always too quickly told, but a story of evil times often requires a great many words to cover the events thereof. How often has that idea fascinated me.Consider also how the story opens, with Bilbo's breezy unreflective manners which are polite in form but not in spirit, and Gandalf's continual meditation on the meaning of 'Good morning.’ How much insight is concealed within Gandalf's gentle humor! How often do we find ourselves, like Bilbo, saying something we don't really mean and using words to mean something very unlike their plain meaning! How often do we find ourselves saying, "I don't mean to be rude, but...", when in fact we mean, "I very much mean to be rude, and here it comes!" If we did not mean to be rude, surely we wouldn't say what we say. Instead we mean, "I'm going to be rude but I don't want you to think I'm someone who is normally rude...", or "I'm going to put myself forward, but I don't want you to think of me as someone who is normally so arrogant...", or even, "I'm going to be rude, but I don't want to think of myself as someone who is rude, so I'm going to pretend I'm not being rude..."I think that is what makes this more than just a good book, but a great one. Tolkien is able to gently skewer us for our all too human failings, and he does so without adopting any of the cynicism or self-loathing so common with those that seek out to skewer humanity for its so evident failings. We fantasize about heroes which are strong and comely of form, and we have for as long as we've had recorded literature. Our comic books are filled with those neo-pagan mythic heroes whose exaggerated human virtues always amount to, whatever else may be true of them, 'beats people up good'. These modern Ajaxs, Helens and Achilles dominate the box office, and I would imagine dominate our internal most private fantasy lives as well. Oh sure, the superhero of our fantasy might have superhuman ethics to go along with his superhuman ability to kick butt, attract the opposite sex, and enforce their will upon others, but it is always attached to and ultimately secondary to our fantasy of power and virility. How different is Tolkien's protagonist from Heracles, Lancelot, Beowulf, or Batman - short, small, mundane, and weak. Of all the principal characters of the story, he possesses probably the least of that quintessential heroic attribute - martial prowess.And yet, he is not actually merely an 'average Joe'. Bilbo is just as much an exaggerated idealized hero as Heracles, it's just that those attributes in which Bilbo is almost transcendently inhuman isn't the sort of attributes we normally fantasize about having ourselves. Bilbo is gentle. He is simple. He is humble. Power and wealth have little attraction for him. He is kind. He takes less than his share, and that that he takes he gives away. He is a peacemaker. Though wrongly imprisoned, he bears no grudge and desires no vengeance for the wrongs done to him. Rather he apologizes for stealing food, and offers to repay in recompense far more than he took. Though mistreated, he harbors no enmity. He never puts himself forward, but he never shirks when others do. How often do we fantasize about being this different sort of hero, and yet how much better we would be if we did? How much better off would we be if we, like Thorin could declare in our hearts, "There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." How often is it that we hunger after all the wrong things? What profit would we really have if we had in great measure the power to 'beat people up good'? What real use could we put it too? How much better off would we be individually and as a people if we most desired to be graced with Bilbo's virtues, rather than Achilles speed, strength, and skill with arms? How much less mature does this mere children's book of a well lit-world cause our darker fantasies to seem?Now, I admit I am biased in my review. I read this book 36 times before the age of 16. I broke the spines of three copies of it with continual reading. Yet in my defense I will say that I'm considered only a moderate fan of the book by many. I've known several devotees of the book who, like the protagonist of Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451', can recite whole chapters from memory - ensuring that this would be one of the few books that would survive the sudden destruction of all the world's technology if only the world's story tellers survived. If you are inclined to think no book can be that good, and that my review overhypes it, so much the better. Go in with low expectations so as to be certain that they will be met or exceeded. Forget all I have said save that, "If you haven't read it, you should, because it is quite enjoyable."

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