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The Hobbit


J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit
average rating is 5 out of 5

Fantasy, Kids

R. Alex Jenkins

If you've not read The Hobbit by now, you're missing out on the mother of all predecessors to one of the most amazing fantasy volumes ever written, The Lord of The Rings.

Attempting to write a review for it seems trite and pointless and just another person saying read this because it's there to be written about, but I HAVE read it, many years ago, strangely enough AFTER The Lord of the Rings, which maybe didn't have the same impact that it would have done if I'd read it first as a child, but it's still amazing because of what it represents: hobbits, dwarves, elves, goblins (not orcs) and high adventure.

We get to know Bilbo Baggins and the Shire, encounter Smeagol (Gollum) and enjoy some really cool interchanges involving riddles: Thirty white horses on a red hill, First they champ, Then they stamp, Then they stand still, for example. And there's Gandalf and the company of Dwarves - 13 of them - who quest to defeat Smaug the dragon and recover his riches.

Even though The Hobbit is a short book essentially written for children, it's full of important lore that explains why Bilbo Baggins has the 'one ring to rule them all' in the first place, how he came across it, and subsequently, how Frodo becomes its carrier in The Lord of The Rings.

You don't NEED to read this first to better understand LOTR, but why wouldn't you? I particularly like the chapters Roast Mutton, where they get captured by stupid trolls, Riddles in The Dark, obviously, and the encounter with Gollum, and the Flies and Spiders chapter in the dark forest of Mirkwood.

Everyone deserves to read this because we were all children once and probably have our own kids or grandchildren who love it just as much as we do. I can't imagine anything better than being tucked up in bed by mummy or daddy and reading a quick chapter before the land of nod.

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