Friday, February 6, 2015

The Hobbit

When I saw this small leather volume of The Hobbit at Walmart the other day, I could not help but pick it up and look at it. It is a small book...about 4 inches by six inches and only 276 small pages to read. It has long been a favorite of my husband and youngest son, Charles, but I had never read it. In fact, we have a print of Bilbo standing in his Hobbit Hole looking out the round door in our living room. My husband purchased it while we were in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the time it was not really my cup of tea but every wife makes some allowances in home decor.

For many years I resisted fantasy books. They were just not for me...a realist and a rationalist.  But after reading Harry Potter, I found myself trying other books in this genre and I found I enjoyed them. I have read several dystopian series and I really loved The Night Circus. So while perusing this book in the aisle at Walmart, I decided I would give it a try.

I am so glad I did...what a charming and clever book. Of course J R R Tolkien was no slacker so why am I surprised by my delight in this small tome? I have to admit that I am not sure I will read theFellowship of the Ring trilogy as it is long and rather violent but I may change my mind at some point.

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit and he is quite content to sit in his Hobbit Hole of a home, enjoying his view of the Shire and making pots of tea on the tea kettle in his hearth.  So when Gandalf the Wizard and a group of Dwarves descend on his lovely home and ask him to join their quest, Bilbo is puzzled. Hobbits are not known for their love of adventure. ( I can totally identify with Bilbo in his love for home and hearth!) However Bilbo joins this group to travel to the Lonely Mountain where they will rid the mountain of Smaug the Dragon who has stolen all the Dwarves Treasure. For his trouble, Bilbo will gain a portion of said treasure. Of course along the way this little band meets up with trolls, goblins, woodelves, eagles, and bears giving Bilbo the adventure of a life time.  All along the way, Bilbo wonders why on earth he left his dear home for an adventure!

I was a bit surprised by the end of the quest but alls well that ends well as the old saying goes. Bilbo returns to his Hobbit Hole and has many stories to tell the people of the Shire. And after reading The Hobbit, I had to go and examine the print in my living room very carefully! Now I can really enjoy the artist's rendition of Bilbo Baggins.

One thing that struck me while reading this book is that so many fantasy books are similar. I guess there are only so many ways to tell a story of good versus evil.  I think my husband was surprised that I finished The Hobbit so quickly but I wanted to find out what happened to Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and his band of dwarves.  I think that is truly the mark of a good book...the reader is eager to know how it ends!


Tori Leslie said...

We watch LOTR multiple times when my boys were still at home. Haven't seen the Hobbit but I'm sure it's great if it's anything life LOTR. Thanks for the review!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I've been a fan of Tolkien since I was a teenager. You've just got to read the trilogy after the Hobbit!! I've just become a fan of Harry Potter, too. I read a few of the books, then watched almost all of the movies, which peaked my interest again. Have a great weekend!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Tori, my men love all those movies too. I plan to watch the first two installments of the Hobbit this weekend. Terri B, thanks for stopping by to visit today!! I may tackle the trilogy as I did enjoy Tolkien's writing style. I have only seen the first movie and I had to cover my eyes in parts of it!!:) As I said, I am a

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's a beautiful book and enchanting story. Enjoy your weekend my friend! Hugs, Diane

Anonymous said...

Arlene, one of my favorite books! Tolkien was a Christian too.

I wonder if I have hobbit blood? I am very fond of home, gardens, and especially eating!