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15 December 2012

'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien

"My kind of hero"

What great fun this book is.  'The Hobbit' has a fantastic sense of adventure.  Some of it is tongue in cheek and obviously amused the author.  Lucky it amused the reader too.  Much has been written about this book and I have avoided reading most of it.  I so like it, just as it is.  I think Tolkien would prefer people to appreciate his hobbits and their friends based on their own merits and not judged by what came 30 years later.  As sequels go, 'The Lord of the Rings' is not only separated by time (as we usually view it) but by 30 years of study.  And not just any student, but an Oxford scholar.  Most of us do not want to think that a man may well mature, learn and grow a life time's worth in only 30 years.  'The Hobbit' is written by a man who had, still, a young man's sense of adventure and young children at home to admire it, even if they did not go far physically.  A dragon at the Bottom of the Garden can be just as scary as the dragon of the Lonely Mountain.

What I especially like about this tale of adventure is that humans, elves, dwarves, and hobbits all have good and bad qualities, sometimes in equal measure.  No square jawed, noble hero to guide and protect here.  It is the actions of the characters that define good or bad... the lessons learnt.  This being a tale of dragon and treasure, greed is an important theme.  The elves themselves are not above greed.  Bilbo, our unlikely hero (burglar), is a little wiser than even he would acknowledge about himself.  What I mean is that he does not long linger on bad deeds or dark thoughts.  I can see here the inner strength that Gandalf so admires.  I feel that hobbits have an inner cup that tells them how much is their true measure out in the world.  Bilbo seems to understand what his share is in this world and not just in treasure.  He listens to this inner voice and ultimately avoids the temptation of dragon treasure.

It is not a bad thing to make mistakes, to have suspicions or even to be greedy.  It is not evil to fall into sin.  It is evil to stay there.  Bilbo Baggins picks himself out of these moments and lifts his companions out as well.  My kind of hero.

J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 9780345339683


  1. Anonymous06:49

    I read The Lord of the Ring, and The Hobbit several times, i love it, i am anxious to see the movie. Thank you for letting me know to J.R.R. Tolkien, years ago. M,G.S.

  2. You are welcome...

  3. Anonymous11:18

    hello miriam,
    i guess i will have to read the hobbit now. i went to see the movie with a good friend. i was just going see the movie to spend time with the friend and wound up thoroughly enjoying the film. i even got a little misty when Thorin and Bilbo hugged. don't tell anyone lol.

  4. By all means read The Hobbit. It will surprise you.