I googled if ‘The Hobbit’ was a good book for a young adult because, going by Wikipedia, it was a Children’s fantasy. A lot of websites suggested (or recommended) that I get the book primarily for its imaginative world and for the fact that reading this story will acclimatise the reader for the bigger and more serious one: ‘The Lord of The Rings’. The Hobbit happened to be a book which I loved and remembered. ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is a very pleasing movie adaptation of the book with minor variations.
Bilbo Baggins is the timid, happy-go-lucky titular Hobbit (a species on Middle Earth) who lives comfortably in his Hobbit hole in Hobbiton. Gandalf, the wizard, introduces Bilbo to a party that is to travel the next day. He is offered the chance of being part of an adventure with Thorin Oakenshield and 12 other dwarfes (it is ‘dwarfes’ in the ‘Hobbit’ and not ‘dwarves’) to reclaim Thorin’s kingdom and treasure that Smaug, the dragon, had taken for itself. During the journey, Bilbo finds a ring and undoubtingly puts it into his pocket. (“It was a turning point in his career but he did not know it”, in J.R.R Tolkien’s words). The rest of the story is about how the company tries to reach its destination and whether Bilbo comes back to Hobbiton to ‘tell the tale’.
Chapter 5: Riddles in the dark
Bilbo is disconnected from his fellows in a Goblin cave and that’s where he finds the ring. He encounters Gollum, a nearly mad goblin eating creature. He asks Gollum to show him the way out. Gollum and Bilbo resort to riddles to find out who is to help who (If Bilbo loses, he’ll be eaten).
Arguably one of the best ever chapters in publishing history (2)!
GIANT SPIDERS, BARREL ROLLING IN THE WATERS, SMAUG’s END:
An adventure always includes danger and there are places in the book where the ‘company’ faces adversity (like getting glued to Giant Spiders’ cobwebs to be eaten, getting imprisoned by the Wood-elves for trespassing, being cornered by the Wargs, Goblins and Fire). Smaug’s tale is ended quite differently. But surprisingly, that doesn’t end the story.
Just when you expect a battle, silly things solve the development. Just when you expect the good times, a danger shows up. All these would be even more interesting to children.
CHILDREN’s FANTASY. OH YES!
Tolkien has done everything to make the book sound quite childish so that it’d reach children much easily. Beginning from the character names (namely Bilbo, Bombur, Bofur, Kili, Fili, etc.) Tolkien has made sure everything impresses a child. There isn’t any kind of violence or bloodshed, again, to be more appealing to children. He uses his own way of escaping the portrayal of war or bloodshed which proves his intellect and writer-wit. The Hobbit is filled with an excessive lot of poems which makes merry-making sound more real and more fun (at least to the Children).
WISE GANDALF, ELROND’s HOUSE, BARD OF LAKE TOWN:
The characters will stay with you for very long (and so will their names). Gandalf doesn’t show up often. Elrond’s house is something that any reader would want to visit. Bard of Lake Town is a warrior who gets the privilege of doing something unforgettable and totally unexpected.
Summing things up, The Hobbit is a must read if at least one of the below applies:
- You are/have a child
- You are new to literary writing or reading books in general
- You want to do some research for the Fantasy novel you’re planning to write
- You have time and need a good book to read
For other/better opinions head to The Hobbit’s page on goodreads.com
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