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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Teaser Tuesday – January 3rd, 2017

Teaser-Tuesdays-Purple

Sigh.

It’s one thing to say you are going to try to blog every day. It’s another thing to actually remember to post the blog instead of saving it as a draft. Back dating this one and then moving on!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted now by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you would like to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

“You had better wait here,” said the wizard to the dwarves; “and when I call or whistle begin to come after me – you will see the way I go – but only in pairs, mind, about five minutes between each pair of you. Bombur is fattest and will do for two, he had better come alone and last. Come on Mr. Baggins! There is a gate somewhere round this way.”

~~ The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

So, confession time. I am a big fan of The Lord of the Rings, however I was introduced to the story not from the books, but from the movies that came out back in 2001-2003 (holy crap that was 15 years ago!! where has the time gone!!!). And believe me, I was OBSESSED with those movies. Bought the extended special edition DVDs and watched ALL the extras, all the actor interviews, all the stuff on the creative team and how they built this world. I wanted to move to New Zealand.

I have only read the trilogy of books once, right before the last movie came out, because I was so worried that Frodo was going to die and wanted to be prepared if that were the case. I may have read them a second time at some point in the years between, but I don’t think I have. I am currently going back through the books reviewed on Mark Reads and reading the books and the reviews together, just because it’s fun, and he read the trilogy, but started with The Hobbit.

I confess that I really didn’t like The Hobbit the first time I read it, which was right after finishing The Return of the King. I think it was because after reading about this big, epic fight to save mankind and all of Middle Earth, reading about a bunch of dwarves who just wanted their gold back seemed a little silly. There’s more to it than that, of course, and I think seeing The Hobbit movies in recent years has helped me build that world a bit more. So we’ll see if I appreciate it more this go around.

Book Round Up

I’ve been trying to figure out which books I’ve blogged about and which I haven’t. So far, I am 26 books in to my goal of reading 60 books this year. A lot of them have been re-reads of books that I already own – there are so many on my bookshelves right now that I barely remember reading! It’s been nice to go back and revisit them.

Example: The Shining Ones and The Hidden City, both by David Eddings, books two and three of his Tamuli series. Mr. Eddings is one of my favorite fantasy authors, one of the first fantasy authors I ever read. His books all have a rich story world that is easy to immerse yourself in. The Tamuli series is no exception and it has been a blast reading it again.

I also read Diana Pharaoh Francis’ Path of Fate for the book club over at The Mallorean Tavern. While it was an okay read, I felt some of the pieces of the story were a bit too cookie cutter. It also seemed towards the end that the heroine ended up getting too much power too easily. There wasn’t enough struggle, at least not how I read it. There were several things I liked about the book though, including the ahalad-haaslane – a bond between a human and an animal sent by the goddess to help serve the people. The characters were likable, but for the most part, very average.

Finally, I finished reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (as if I really needed to say) with The Return of the King. I read this with the lovely crowd over at Mark Reads and it was really fun. It has been forever since I read these books, and reading along with someone experiencing them for the first time was a great experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo is going great. I’m still keeping up with my word count goals. My current word count is 6,855, which is just above target. Are any of you writing this summer?