Books

Book 312: The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien, J.R.R. - The HobbitAs a lead up to my long over-due re-read of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I decided to read The Hobbit again. This was my third time reading the novel and I last read it in December 2012 just before the films began (I needed a refresher). I will say re-reading this book along with following Eric’s Sweating to Mordor over the past few months has seriously gotten me excited for my re-read as part of my 30 x 30.

If possible I enjoyed it even more this time. However, I became even MORE frustrated with the film adaptations. Similar to my issues with HBOs Game of Thrones series, I realized rather quickly how fast I read and how slow the adaptations proceed. My friend Peter did point out that there is a lot of additional information included in the films, but it’s still like WHOA. The entire third film, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies will encompass what takes place in less than the last 30-40 pages of the book! So there will probably be a lot of additional stuff added. But enough about them, back to the book!

It really is a sign of a great novel when as you re-read it you remember details further off in the story because of a little reminder. There were times I caught myself staring off into space and thinking about the rest of the story (and parts of The Lord of the Rings) because of the briefest detail.

It was a bit disconcerting to read how happy every one was, especially knowing what happened less than 75 years later in Middle-earth! The elves were so frolicsome and the dwarfs, though stodgy, still had their moments of comedy and lightness. Add in that I really want to know more about Gandalf and might actually have to read a lot more of the “less main-streamed” stories in hopes of catching glimpses and this was definitely a worthwhile re-read.

In closing, as much as I enjoyed the line about Bilbo having more about him than meets the eye, this time reading the following really struck me

“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.” (288)

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I really do think we (all of us) need to take more time and enjoy the simpler things in life. I’ve written about it before and know I need to really do it, but really we all need to be more hobbit-like occasionally!

Recommendation: Again, EVERYONE should read this! It would be such a great bed time story told over weeks and months and I really enjoyed the re-read. I hope I can keep up the momentum and maybe even make it to The Silmarillion, but I won’t hold my breath.

Opening Line: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Closing Line: “‘Thank goodness,’ said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.” (Whited Out.)

Additional Quotes from The Hobbit
“There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself.” (19)

The thing all things devours;
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steal;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.” (77)

“‘Merry is May-time!’ said Bilbo, as the rain beat into his face. ‘But our back is to legends and we are coming home. I suppose this is a first taste of it.’” (298)

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16 thoughts on “Book 312: The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien”

  1. I love this book, and I love that quote. I’m planning to re-read this again after I watch the last movie, just to tie things off a bit. Maybe I’ll even go on to LotR again, although those are more of an investment.

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  2. How fun! I’d like to re-read this too. I think I’ll be skipping the film adaptations. I had high hopes for them given how much I liked the LOTR movies, but I’ve heard mostly bad things about it and I’m dubious about the choice to make it more than one movie.

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    1. I know what you mean about the adaptations. I have appreciated their bringing even more stuff in and seeing how far the technology has come since The Fellowship of the Ring, but I’m still just not sure what they’re going to fill two hours with this December!

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