Book Review: The Hobbit

the-hobbitTitle: The Hobbit

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Series: prequel to The Lord of the Rings, I guess? Do people consider it part of that “series?”

Edition: Paperback

Seasonal Reading Challenge: None

Blurb: Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo – alone and unaided – who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside.

* * * * * * *

Okay. I have to say it, and I know it is probably a very unpopular opinion.

I don’t like this book.

Ugh, I know I’m supposed to. I love the fantasy genre, and Papa Tolkien was the great-granddaddy of it all. But I can’t. This book annoys me to no end.

Here’s another unpopular opinion – I think the movie actually did the story better justice, even with all the extra bits thrown in (hello, Legolas? and random girl elf?). It made the quest of the dwarves seem a bit more important than just, “Hey, our gold got stolen. Let’s go get it back!” It gave more of the history, which made the plight of the dwarves seem so much more real and serious. And yes, I get that this was originally supposed to be a children’s book, and most of that would be way too dense for your average child, but still. Especially knowing what lies ahead in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, this feels really silly.

Slight spoiler ahead – this book is 70 years old, but still. Just in case.

Another opinion that will probably be unpopular with Tolkien fans – I hate Thorin. I do. He’s terrible, especially at the end. The dragon left the Mountain, looking for the dwarves, and met its end at Lake-town. Okay. Then the people from Lake-town come up to the mountain to basically say, “Hey, we killed your dragon for you. You know have all your treasure and gold and stuff. How about you help us out since it wrecked our town? Especially since some of that treasure is stuff that the dragon stole from us too.” What does Thorin do? Pitches a hissy fit and threatens to go to war with them! Really, Thorin! Really! He’s supposed to be the leader of the dwarves, becoming King under the Mountain, and he acts like this? I was glad he died in the battle.

Gandalf was a bit irritating too. He starts off with them, and then once the trip is fully underway, he takes off. Then appears at the end to basically do nothing. He’s pretty useless as a wizard in this book, although he does redeem himself in LotR. So I guess he’s forgiven.

But yeah, I tried. I really did! I feel like a bad fantasy fan, but what can I say. GoodReads rating: 3 stars, but only out of obligation.

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