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In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001).

366 pages, Paperback

First published September 21, 1937

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About the author

J.R.R. Tolkien

516 books68.9k followers
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: writer, artist, scholar, linguist. Known to millions around the world as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at the University of Oxford where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His creativity, confined to his spare time, found its outlet in fantasy works, stories for children, poetry, illustration and invented languages and alphabets.

Tolkien’s most popular works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in Middle-earth, an imagined world with strangely familiar settings inhabited by ancient and extraordinary peoples. Through this secondary world Tolkien writes perceptively of universal human concerns – love and loss, courage and betrayal, humility and pride – giving his books a wide and enduring appeal.

Tolkien was an accomplished amateur artist who painted for pleasure and relaxation. He excelled at landscapes and often drew inspiration from his own stories. He illustrated many scenes from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sometimes drawing or painting as he was writing in order to visualize the imagined scene more clearly.

Tolkien was a professor at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford for almost forty years, teaching Old and Middle English, as well as Old Norse and Gothic. His illuminating lectures on works such as the Old English epic poem, Beowulf, illustrate his deep knowledge of ancient languages and at the same time provide new insights into peoples and legends from a remote past.

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 to English parents. He came to England aged three and was brought up in and around Birmingham. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 1915 and saw active service in France during the First World War before being invalided home. After the war he pursued an academic career teaching Old and Middle English. Alongside his professional work, he invented his own languages and began to create what he called a mythology for England; it was this ‘legendarium’ that he would work on throughout his life. But his literary work did not start and end with Middle-earth, he also wrote poetry, children’s stories and fairy tales for adults. He died in 1973 and is buried in Oxford where he spent most of his adult life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 66,478 reviews
Profile Image for Matt.
216 reviews656 followers
August 26, 2008
Some books are almost impossible to review. If a book is bad, how easily can we dwell on its flaws! But if the book is good, how do you give any recommendation that is equal the book? Unless you are an author of equal worth to the one whose work you review, what powers of prose and observation are you likely to have to fitly adorn the work?

'The Hobbit' is at one level simply a charming adventure story, perhaps one of the most charming and most adventurous ever told. There, see how simple that was? If you haven't read it, you should, because it is quite enjoyable. At some level, there is little more to say. Enjoy the story as the simple entertainment it was meant to be. Read it to your children and luxuriate in the excitement and joy that shines from their faces. That's enough.

But if it was only simple entertainment, I do not think that it would be anything more than just a good book. Instead, this simple children's story resonates and fascinates. It teases and hints at something larger and grander, and it instructs and lectures as from one of the most subtle intellects without ever feeling like it is instructing, lecturing or being condescending.

At its heart, the complaint I opened the review with is just a variation on one of the many nuanced observations Tolkien makes in 'The Hobbit' when he complains that a story of a good time is always too quickly told, but a story of evil times often requires a great many words to cover the events thereof. How often has that idea fascinated me.

Consider also how the story opens, with Bilbo's breezy unreflective manners which are polite in form but not in spirit, and Gandalf's continual meditation on the meaning of 'Good morning.’ How much insight is concealed within Gandalf's gentle humor! How often do we find ourselves, like Bilbo, saying something we don't really mean and using words to mean something very unlike their plain meaning! How often do we find ourselves saying, "I don't mean to be rude, but...", when in fact we mean, "I very much mean to be rude, and here it comes!" If we did not mean to be rude, surely we wouldn't say what we say. Instead we mean, "I'm going to be rude but I don't want you to think I'm someone who is normally rude...", or "I'm going to put myself forward, but I don't want you to think of me as someone who is normally so arrogant...", or even, "I'm going to be rude, but I don't want to think of myself as someone who is rude, so I'm going to pretend I'm not being rude..."

I think that is what makes this more than just a good book, but a great one. Tolkien is able to gently skewer us for our all too human failings, and he does so without adopting any of the cynicism or self-loathing so common with those that seek out to skewer humanity for its so evident failings.

We fantasize about heroes which are strong and comely of form, and we have for as long as we've had recorded literature. Our comic books are filled with those neo-pagan mythic heroes whose exaggerated human virtues always amount to, whatever else may be true of them, 'beats people up good'. These modern Ajaxs, Helens and Achilles dominate the box office, and I would imagine dominate our internal most private fantasy lives as well. Oh sure, the superhero of our fantasy might have superhuman ethics to go along with his superhuman ability to kick butt, attract the opposite sex, and enforce their will upon others, but it is always attached to and ultimately secondary to our fantasy of power and virility. How different is Tolkien's protagonist from Heracles, Lancelot, Beowulf, or Batman - short, small, mundane, and weak. Of all the principal characters of the story, he possesses probably the least of that quintessential heroic attribute - martial prowess.

And yet, he is not actually merely an 'average Joe'. Bilbo is just as much an exaggerated idealized hero as Heracles, it's just that those attributes in which Bilbo is almost transcendently inhuman isn't the sort of attributes we normally fantasize about having ourselves. Bilbo is gentle. He is simple. He is humble. Power and wealth have little attraction for him. He is kind. He takes less than his share, and that that he takes he gives away. He is a peacemaker. Though wrongly imprisoned, he bears no grudge and desires no vengeance for the wrongs done to him. Rather he apologizes for stealing food, and offers to repay in recompense far more than he took. Though mistreated, he harbors no enmity. He never puts himself forward, but he never shirks when others do.

How often do we fantasize about being this different sort of hero, and yet how much better we would be if we did? How much better off would we be if we, like Thorin could declare in our hearts, "There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." How often is it that we hunger after all the wrong things? What profit would we really have if we had in great measure the power to 'beat people up good'? What real use could we put it too? How much better off would we be individually and as a people if we most desired to be graced with Bilbo's virtues, rather than Achilles speed, strength, and skill with arms? How much less mature does this mere children's book of a well lit-world cause our darker fantasies to seem?

Now, I admit I am biased in my review. I read this book 36 times before the age of 16. I broke the spines of three copies of it with continual reading. Yet in my defense I will say that I'm considered only a moderate fan of the book by many. I've known several devotees of the book who, like the protagonist of Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451', can recite whole chapters from memory - ensuring that this would be one of the few books that would survive the sudden destruction of all the world's technology if only the world's story tellers survived. If you are inclined to think no book can be that good, and that my review overhypes it, so much the better. Go in with low expectations so as to be certain that they will be met or exceeded. Forget all I have said save that, "If you haven't read it, you should, because it is quite enjoyable."
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 9, 2020

If you've ever wondered which literary world would be the best to live in, wonder no longer, cause there's a BookTube Video to answer that!
The Written Review :

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Bilbo Baggins, living comfortably in his hobbit-hole in Bag End, finds himself on the wrong end of an adventure.

Gandalf the Grey has come recruiting for a burglar willing to raid the home of Smaug (a dragon) whose taken over the ancestral home of the dwarves.

These dwarves, who number thirteen, are deeply suspicious and are unwilling to proceed unless their number is rounded up. Evil is afoot and they refuse to ignore common sense (aka superstition).

Gandalf soon finds that persuading Bilbo ends up a quest in and of itself!
'I am looking for someone to share in an adventure...it's very difficult to find anyone.'
'I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!'
Reluctantly (very reluctantly), Bilbo joins on this journey...and soon finds out that quests are not very friendly to hobbits.
Is it nice, my preciousss? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?
And yet, despite the hardships, trials and tribulations...Bilbo finds himself eagerly plunging ahead.
Already he was a very different hobbit from the one that had run out without a pocket-handkerchief from Bag-End long ago. He had not had a pocket-handkerchief for ages.
Absolutely. Love. This. Book.

I've read it so many times, and yet each time through, I find myself just absolutely enamored with the book as if it is the first time.
Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?
It just has such a wonderful feel - I want to read it over and over and over again.

I absolutely love Bilbo's reluctance to adventure - he and I would get along splendidly! So many characters are just ready to run off and do things...but I would always be like, "What about my books? My blankets? My turtle???"
Agatha, my turtle, for reference
But, even moreso, I adore how Bilbowcomes out of his shell and he grows into hismself.
You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
And, above all, the world that J. R. R. Tolkien is absolutely magical.
Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.
Such an enchanting book - one that I truly, truly treasure.
May the hair on your toes never fall out!

Audiobook Commnets
Read by Rob Inglis...and honestly, was not a big fan of the audio. You'd think that the narrator would be able to muster SOME enthusiasm for such a wonderful story.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,310 reviews120k followers
December 15, 2022
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Books exist in time and place and our experience of them is affected by the specific time and place in which we encounter them. Sometimes an uplifting or inspiring book can change the path of a life that has wandered onto a wrong course. Sometimes a book, discovered early on, can form part of the foundation of who we are. Or, discovered late, can offer insight into the journey we have taken to date. Sometimes a book is just a book. But not The Hobbit. Not for me. In January, 2013, I pulled out my forty-year old copy in anticipation of seeing the recently released Peter Jackson film. It is a substantial book, heavy, not only with its inherent mass, but for the weight of associations, the sediment of time. The book itself is a special hard-cover edition published in 1973, leather bound, in a slipcase, the booty of new love from that era. The book, while victim to some internal binding cracks (aren't we all?) is still in decent shape, unlike that long-vanquished relationship. Not surprising. I had read the story six times and been there and back again with this particular volume five.

J.R.R. Tolkien - image from Vision.org

The Hobbit had first come to my attention in 1965 or '66. I was then a high school underclassman, and my eyes were drawn to it at a school book fair. That was probably the ideal age, for me anyway, to gain an introduction to Tolkien. Not too far along into adolescence and an appreciation of the reality of the world to have completely tarnished my capacity for child-like wonder. That is what one must bring to a reading of this book, openness and innocence. Tolkien was a step sidewise for me, as I was a fan of the science fiction of that and prior eras. It was also, of course, a gateway drug for the grander addiction of LOTR, still my favorite read of all time.

One might think that looking at this book again with old, weary fresh eyes might lend new insight. After all, I have read literally thousands of books since, and have picked up at least a little critical capacity. And yes, there are things I notice now that perhaps skipped past back then. Of course that begs a specification of which back then one considers. While I first read the book as a high-schooler, I read it again when I was gifted with this beautiful volume, in my twenties. That makes two readings. But there would be more. I well recall reading the book aloud while sitting in a chair by my son's bed. And yes, each of the major characters was delivered with a distinct voice. I went as deep as I could for Gandalf. I vaguely recall giving the dwarves a Scottish burr. Bilbo was definitely a tenor. My Gollum was remarkably like the sound of the one created by Andy Serkisssssss. (patting self on back).

Of course, my son was not the last to arrive at the gathering. Some years later there was a daughter, and more bedside theater. It was a bit more of a struggle then. Life was rather hectic. Nerves were often frayed. Sleep was in short supply. And there were far too many times when my eyes closed before those of my little gingersnap. But reading it that fourth time, one couldn't help but notice the absence of any significant females. Who might my little girl relate to here? It is certainly possible for folks to identify with characters of another gender, but the stark absence of representatives of the female persuasion did stand out. Somehow I managed to keep my eyes open long enough to get through the volume.

But the party was not yet complete. There would be one more arrival, and one more opportunity to sit on or near a daughter's bed and read aloud, sometimes to an upturned, eager face, sometimes to a riot of ringlets as she settled. My capacity for consciousness remained an issue. By then, my voice had also suffered a bit with the years, the reward for too many cigarettes, too much yelling, too much ballpark whistling, and the usual demise of age, so it took a fair bit more effort and strain than reading it aloud had done previously. I am pretty certain I made it through that third time aloud. Truthfully, I am not 100% certain that I did.

You probably know the story, or the broad strokes anyway. In the quiet rural village of Hobbiton Across the Water, in a land called Middle Earth, an unpresupposing everyman, Bilbo Baggins, lives a quiet existence. He has a smidgen of wanderlust in him, the genetic gift of ancestors on the Took branch of his family tree, but he is mostly content to enjoy hearty meals and a good pipe. One day, Gandalf, a lordly, father-figure wizard Bilbo has known for many years, comes a-calling and Bilbo's life is upended. Gandalf is helping a group of dwarves who are on a quest. Led by Thorin Oakenshield, a dwarf king, they aim to return to their home, inside the Lonely Mountain, somehow rid the place of Smaug, the dragon who has taken up residence, and regain the land and incredible treasure that is rightfully theirs. Gandalf has recommended that Bilbo accompany the group, as a burglar. Bilbo, of course, has never burgled a thing in his life, and is horrified by the prospect. But, heeding his Tookish side, Bilbo joins the dwarves and the adventure is on.

One need not go far to see this as a journey of self-discovery, as Bilbo finds that there is more to him than even he realized. This raises one question for me. How did Gandalf know that Bilbo would be the right hobbit for the job? Bilbo faces many challenges and I betray no secrets for any who have not just arrived on this planet by reporting that Bilbo's dragons, real and symbolic, are ultimately slain and he returns home a new, and somewhat notorious hobbit. Bilbo serves well as the everyman, someone who is quite modest about his capacities, but who rises to meet the challenges that present, acting in spite of his fear and not in the absence of it. He is someone we can easily care and root for.

Elements abound of youthful adventure yarns, treasure, a map to the treasure, a secret entrance that requires solving a riddle to gain entry, a spooky forest, foolishness and greed among those in charge, a huge battle, and, ultimately, good sense triumphing over evil and stupidity. Oh, yeah, there is something in there as well about a secret, powerful ring that can make it’s wearer invisible. Sorry, no damsels in distress.

(Rivendell remains a pretty special place. If I am ever fortunate enough to be able to retire, I think I would like to spend my final days there, whether the vision seen by Tolkien or the Maxfield Parrish take as seen in the LOTR films.)

There are magical beings aplenty here. Hobbits, of course, and the wizard and dwarves we meet immediately. A shape shifting Beorn assists the party but remains quite frightening. There are trolls, giant spiders, giants, goblins, were-wolf sorts called wargs, talking eagles, a communicative, if murderous dragon, elves of both the helpful and difficult sorts, and a few men, as well. Then there is Gollum.

IMHO, Bilbo is not the most interesting character in Tolkien's world. Arguably there is a lot more going on with Gollum, an erstwhile hobbit riven by the internal conflict of love and hate, corrupted, but not without a salvageable soul. While he is given considerably more ink in the LOTR story, it is in The Hobbit that we meet him for the first time. He is the single least YA element in this classic yarn, one of the things that elevates this book from the field and makes it a classic.

The Hobbit was written before Tolkien's ambitious Lord of the Rings. While there are many references to classic lore, the bottom line is that this is a YA book. It is easy to read, and to read aloud, (something that is not the case with LOTR. I know.) and is clearly intended for readers far younger than I am today. It remains a fun read, even on the sixth (or so, I may have dipped in again somewhere along the line) time through. Were I reading it today for the first time, I would probably give it four stars. But as it bears the weighty treasure of memory and fond association, I must keep it at five. If you are reading this for the first time as an adult, or an antique, the impact is likely to be different for you. If you are a younger sort, of the adolescent or pre-adolescent persuasion, particularly if you are a boy, it might become an invaluable part of your life. Maybe one day you can sit by your child's or grandchild's bedside and be the person who reads these words to them for the first time, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" and begin the adventure again. To see the glowing young eyes as the tale unfolds is nothing less than absolutely precious.

PS – I would check out the review offered by GR pal Ted. He includes in his review outstanding, informative and very entertaining excerpts and comments re info on The Hobbit from JRRT's son Christopher.

==============================EXTRA STUFF

Here is a lovely article on JRRT, from Smithsonian Magazine, January 2002

In comment #32, below, GR pal Rand added a link to a reading of the entire book by Nicol Williamson. It is just the thing for bedtime, yours or your child's. Adding it here was done with Rand's kind permission.

In March 2022, I came across notice of a wonderful source for things Tolkien-ish, The Tolkien Estate. There is a dragon's trove of treasures here. You might want to listen to your Tookish side, and go exploring.
Profile Image for Scott.
55 reviews69 followers
May 28, 2007
There are some days when I actually think that the humble Hobbit is superior to it's bohemoth brother, The Lord of the Rings . It's a much tighter story, and Bilbo is a much more appeal character than is Frodo. I also just love this poem, from The Hobbit

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon's ire more fierce that fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beaneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him

Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,634 followers
April 4, 2022
What makes The Hobbit such a seminal work in the fantasy genre? Is it the nine hours of over-budget, sensorially explosive movies by Peter Jackson? Nope. Is it a complex tale of multiple human kingdoms slaughtering each other for an Iron Throne with buckets of blood and guts and plenty of sex? Nope. Is it simply wonderful writing. As simple and boring as that. Does that mean that I was incredibly disappointed in the movie adaptation (not to say abortion)? Yep. Does that mean I don't love Game of Thrones (books and TV shows)? No, they are great too. But the seminal work, the Divine Comedy that created the language and inspiration for George R.R. Martin as Dante created Italian from the common vernacular in Florence and Ravenna, was The Hobbit. The book, even for a slow reader is most likely able to be finished in 1/3 the time that Peter Jackson spent telling the story in 70mm film. Unlike Peter Jackson's version, there are no orcs and the element of danger is more psychological than psychical: Bilbo Baggins is battling his fears and his provincialism and growing up. The Hobbit should be read as the Odyssey of Middle Earth - a voyage of self-learning and maturation that is more about the monsters in Bilbo's imagination than those encountered in his baptismal voyage into the unknown with Gandalf. Gandalf. Honestly, would there EVER have been a Dumbledore had there not been a Gandalf? Did any Tolkien reader NOT picture Gandalf when Rowlings talked about Dumbledorf in the first Harry Potter book?

Bilbo does encounter some monsters and even outsmarts Smaug the Dragon (wow, I mean what a perfect name for a dragon! More evocative than Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion in my opinion - and again would they even have existed had Smaug not preceded them?) and he saves Middle Earth before returning to the Shire. He is not the same person he was before leaving. He is Ulysses without a Penelope waiting for him (unless his pipe is secretly called Penelope in his expanded imagination or his Penelope is a symbol of his vast library in Rivendell).

In literature, there is nothing quite like the Hobbit in its simplicity and beauty and its symbolic voyage: we are of course introduced to the elves, the humans, the dwarves...but they are all on the outskirts of the story. The Hobbit is about one small hobbit fighting his greatest fears...and winning.

Fino's Tolkien Reviews:
The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR 1)
The Two Towers (LOTR 2)
The Return of the King (LOTR 3)
Lord of the Rings 1-3 - General Comments and Observations
Raymond Edward's Tolkien biography
Profile Image for oyshik.
219 reviews692 followers
January 28, 2021
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
It was an enjoyable tale of adventure, friendship, and courage which was set in a beautiful, massive, and lore-filled world named MIDDLE-EARTH. This book was originally meant for the pleasure of children and was created with that idea in mind. Even so, it can be enjoyed by all ages. Regardless of your age, or affinity for the fantasy genre, there has an experience of an adventure that everyone can take away from reading this. It's certainly worth reading.
So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
July 30, 2021
(Book 610 From 1001 Books) - The Hobbit = There and Back Again, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.

Gandalf tricks Bilbo Baggins into hosting a party for Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug.

When the music ends, Gandalf unveils Thrór's map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar".

The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.

The group travels into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. When they attempt to cross the Misty Mountains they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground.

Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles.

As a reward for solving all riddles Gollum will show him the path out of the tunnels, but if Bilbo fails, his life will be forfeit.

With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase, but the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of Beorn. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2004میلادی

عنوان: هابیت - آنجا و بازگشت دوباره؛ جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ موضوع: ادبیات فانتزی از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

مترجمهای هابیت، خانمها و آقایان: (رضا علیزاده؛ نازنین پوریان؛ سپیده حبیبی؛ فرزاد فرید؛ شاهده سعیدی؛ پریا آقاسی بیگ؛ ماه منیر فتحی؛ و ...)؛ هستند

نمیدانم چندبار این «هابیت» را خوانده ام، همیشه تا نام «بیلبو» را میشنوم، پرواز میکنم، لابد شمایان هم فیلمش را دیده اید؛ «هابیت»‌ها گونه‌ ای از موجودات خیالی، در رمان‌های «تالکین» هستند، که در سرزمین میانه و «شایر» زندگی می‌کنند؛ «هابیت‌»ها نخستین بار در کتاب «هابیت تالکین» مطرح شدند؛ شخصیت اصلی این داستان، «بیلبو بگینز»، هابیتی است که ماجراهایی دارد؛ شخصیت اصلی مجموعه ی «ارباب حلقه‌ ها»، «فرودو بگینز» نیز یک «هابیت» است؛ در «کتاب هابیت»، «تالکین»، «هابیت»‌ها را موجوداتی کوچک، توصیف می‌کند، که نصف قد انسانها را دارند، لباس‌هایی به رنگ روشن می‌پوشند، کفش به پا نمی‌کنند (کف پاهایشان به طور طبیعی پوستی همچون چرم دارد) و پاهایشان پوشیده از موهای ضخیم، و مجعد است؛ از نظر اخلاقی، «تالکین»، «هابیت»‌ها را، موجوداتی «خوشرو»، «خوش خوراک»، و به دور از ماجراجویی، توصیف می‌کند

داستان «هابیت» بازگویی کم‌رنگ شدن دنیای موجودات افسانه‌ ای، و زمان حکومت انسان‌هاست؛ داستان درباره ی یک «هابیت» به نام «بیلبو بگینز» است، که او برای گرفتن یافتن، و بازپس گیری گنجی گرانبها، که توسط «اسماگ» اژدها، به غنیمت گرفته شده، به سفر می‌رود؛

سفر «بیلبو»، او را از سرزمین آرام خویش، به جایگاهی شیطانی می‌برد؛ همراهان وی، در آن سفر «گندالف جادوگر»، «تورین سپر بلوط» نوه ی پادشاه پیشین «دورف‌»ها، عموزادگانش، و دیگر «دورف‌»هایی هستند، که برای آزادسازی «تنها کوه»، یا همان «اِرِبور»، شاهزاده‌ ی خودشان را همراهی می‌کنند؛ کوه «اربور» در چنگال «اسماگ» اژدهاست؛ «دورف‌»ها و «بیلبو» برای رسیدن به آنجا، دشواری‌های بسیاری را از سر می‌گذرانند؛

در آن سفر «بیلبو»، در غاری که از آن «گابلین‌»هاست؛ حلقه ای گرانبها که داستان «ارباب حلقه‌ها» درباره ی آن حلقه است را، از «گالوم» میدزدد، و به این ترتیب، چگونگی رسیدن حلقه به دست «بیلبو»، در همین داستان «هابیت» است، که فاش می‌شود؛

گروه همسفر سرانجام پس از پشت سر گذاشتن خانه ی «بئورن» سیاه بیشه، و قلمرو «الف‌های جنگلی»، با بدرقه ی مردمان «شهر دریاچه»، به «اره بور» میرسند، و با یاری «بیلبو» در پنهان را باز میکنند، سپس «هابیت» را، برای یافتن گوهر فرمانروای پیشین خویش (فرمانروا با آن می‌توانست هفت سپاه «کوتوله‌»ها را زیر فرمان خود درآورد) به داخل کوه میفرستند، اما هنگامی که «بیلبو» آن را مییابد گوهر را برای خود برمیدارد، و آن را از «تورین» پنهان میکند؛

اژدها میفهمد که از او دزدی شده، و حدس میزند که دزدها از «شهر دریاچه» آمده‌ اند، او به «شهر دریاچه» یورش میبرد؛ و پس از کشته شدن «اسماگ» به دست «بارد کماندار»، در «شهر دریاچه یا اسکاروث»، بازماندگان از یورش اژدها، به همراه شاه «الف‌های جنگل»، و سپاهشان به سوی «تنها کوه» میروند، تا سهم خود از گنج را از «تورین»، که با کشته شدن «اسماگ»، شاه زیر کوه شده، درخواست کنند؛ با اینکه «تورین اوکن شیلد» پیشتر این وعده را به آنها داده بود، و خواسته ی آنها نیز برحق بود، اما پس از کشته شدن اژدها، او از پرداخت سهم به «بارد - از نوادگان گیریون فرمانروای پیشین دیل»، و به «تراندوئیل شاه الف‌های جنگلی» سر باز میزند؛

اما شبی «بیلبو»، یواشکی از دیوار قلعه پایین میرود، و «آرکنستون یا همان گوهر پادشاه پیشین دورف ها» را به «بارد» میدهد، تا آن گوهر را با سهمشان از طلا با «تورین» معامله کنند، اینکار او برای جلوگیری از جنگ بین «دورف»ها و «الف»هاست؛

روز دیگر، سپاه «الف‌»ها و «انسان‌»ها جلوی دروازه صف میکشند، هنگامی که «بارد» گوهر را به سیزده «دورف» مسلح روی دروازه نشان میدهد، «دورف»ها میاندیشند گوهری قلابی است، ولی «بیلبو» به آنها میگوید، که او گوهر را به آنها داده، و «تورین» دلش می‌خواهد «بیلبو» را از روی دروازه به پایین پرت کند، اما دیگران مانع از انجام آن کار میشوند؛

آنگاه «بارد» برای آخرین بار به «تورین» میگوید که آیا او با آنها معامله میکند یا اعلان جنگ میدهد؟، «تورین» با ناباوری میگوید «من اعلان جنگ میکنم»؛ برای اینکه از پیش یکی از زاغهای «اره بور»، بنام «روآک» را، به تپه‌ های آهنی فرستاده بود، تا «داین - پسر عموی تورین» را خبر کند، و اکنون او با بیش از پانصد تن از «دورف»های تا دندان مسلح، رسیده بودند؛

جنگ «الف‌»ها و انسان در برابر کوتوله‌ها داشت آغاز میشد، تیرهای الف‌ها چندین بار پرتاب میشوند، در همان زمان ابری از لاشخوارهای پرنده که جلوی تابش آفتاب را می‌گرفتند، توجه آنها را جلب میکند، و سپس ارتشی بزرگ از «گابلین‌»ها و «وارگ‌ها - گرگ‌های بزرگ سرزمین میانی» از راه میرسند؛ جنگ بزرگی درمیگرد، که در یک سو «الف‌ها، دورف‌ها و انسان‌»، و در سوی دیگر «گابلین‌»ها و «وارگ‌»ها هستند، و آن جنگ را نبرد پنج سپاه نامیدند؛

یورش «گابلین‌»ها از یکسو برای کشته شدن «گابلین اعظم» آنها به دست «تورین» و یارانش، و از سوی دیگر، برای کشته شدن «اسماگ» و تصاحب گنج عظیم «تنها کوه» بود؛ «گابلین‌»ها به فرماندهی «بولگ» به کوه هجوم میآورند، شمارشان بسیار است، ولی با بیرون جستن «تورین» و یارانش از قلعه، و آمدن عقابهای «مانوه» و «بئورن»، اوضاع باز هم دیگر میشود، و «گابلین‌»ها شکست میخورند؛ بسیاری از آن‌ها فرار، اما در کوهستان‌های مه آلود، و سیاه بیشه، به دام افتاده، و کشته میشوند؛

پیش از آن که عقاب‌ها برسند، «تورین» در حلقه ی محاصره گرفتار شده، و زخم‌های ژرف برمیدارد، «فیلی و کیلی - از گروه سیزده نفر» نیز هنگام دفاع از «تورین» کشته میشوند، خود «تورین» هم پس از اینکه از «بیلبو»، برای رفتار خویش در جلوی دروازه عذرخواهی میکند، درمیگذرد، و به جایش، «داین»، شاه «تنها کوه» میشود،

بدینگونه ماجراجویی «بیلبو بگینز» به پایان میرسد، و باید به خانه باز گردد؛ او به جای سهم یک چهاردهم از گنج بزرگ «دورف‌»ها، تنها دو صندوقچهٔ کوچک با خود به خانه میبرد؛ شصت سال پس از آن روز است، که ماجرای «ارباب حلقه‌ها» آغاز میشود

نقل برگردان شعری از کتاب هابیت تالکین: (باد در خلنگ زار ِ پژمرده میوزید
اما در جنگل هیچ برگی بر درخت نمیجنبید
شب و روز، سایه آنجا را گرفته بود
و موجودات اهریمنی، خاموش به زیر درختان خزیدند

باد از کوهستان سرد وزیدن گرفت
و همچون موج غرید و غلطید
شاخه ها آه کشیدند و جنگل نالید
و برگ درختان بر روی خاک ریخت

باد از غرب، راه شرق در پیش گرفت
و هر جنبشی در جنگل فرومرد
اما رها شد صدای زوزه اش
خشن و گوشخراش، در سرتاسر مرداب

هیس هیس علفها برخاست، و منگوله هاشان خم شد
جگنها به خش خش درآمدند
بر روی آبگیر پر موج، و زیر آسمان سرد
آنجا که ابرهای پرشتاب، پاره پاره شکافتند

بر تنها کوه برهنه گذر کرد
و برفراز کنام اژدها وزید
آنجا، سیاه و تاریک، افتاده بود، تخته سنگهای بی روح
و دودی به هوا برخاست

جهان را وداع گفت، و به آسمان پرگشود
از فراز دریاهای پهناور شبانه
ماه برفراز تندباد بادبان کشید
و اخگر ستاره ها، در برابر دم آن برافروخت)؛ پایان نقل از ص 190، و 191، کتاب

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 07/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,483 reviews79k followers
November 15, 2021
Reread 10/24/21

I probably won't write a full review here, as this is just a reread for me, but I found this just as enchanting as the first time I read it. While I still like this one only SLIGHTLY less than The Lord of the Rings, I'm glad I took the opportunity to read this first before diving into a reread of LOTR this year. When I first read Tolkien's books about 15 years ago I didn't experience The Hobbit until I finished LOTR, so it gave me the feeling of being able to read this one as an introduction to the latter book. Highly recommended to anyone who may not have read this yet; Tolkien's world building and storytelling skills are rarely matched and aimed for all ages.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,856 followers
December 11, 2022
Hit the road Bilbo, and better don´t Smaug no more

A short piece for kids ready to unleash its full potential
Without its, and C.S. Lewis's impact on Tolkien, there may have been no LOTR. Just imagine how empty the nowadays fantasy world could look like. But at least it´s not

As complex as the Silmarillion
Holy heck, this thing was a mind blowing, complex, interwoven, totally over my little nerd brain behemoth of a book, truly hardcore stuff if you´re into that. Some purists may argue that the hobbit is too simplified, but again, it´s a freaking book for kids. I just don´t get the people ordering pizza at the golden arches drive in and then complaining and wanting to talk to the manager. Reading Karens are just ridiculous. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_(...

Would be a bit over the top to see a deeper allegory regarding greed and power in Smaug
But it´s always a nice move to show kids the problems with endless exponential shiny growth until there is no gold left anymore. There definitively is an equivalent of this concept in the pure, endless exponential evil growth concept in LOTR and one could take another, controversial step and ask who Morgoth (the Prime minister or CEO?) Sauron (an important minister or CDO), and Saruman (an overachieving higher bureaucrat or rayon manager) could be in 21st century real life. I´m not just joking, I´m really often thinking

About the manifestations of evil in different genres and reality
See how hidden it is in this short piece, opening the just potential for many kids to later ask what it could have meant. And for everyone else to look at her/his society and point at the darkest, crudest unfolding potential. In the worst case, this is not just political terror mixed with theocracy witch burning, but garnished with a stupid, self destructive economic system ruining everything. At least privileged Western people like me just have the ethical problem of choosing the favored luxury consumer goods from the top of piles of corpses and natural destruction caused in some place nobody knows. I just don´t know which 8K 65 inch TV I should buy and if I should spend my vacation in the mountains or by the sea. However,

Why should anyone handle Tolkien the Nobel prize for literature?
Just because he founded one of the greatest literary genres ever? So better give it to another sophisticated intellectual who probably ( I haven´t read any Ivo Andric https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... ) is so over the top work to read that it´s just exhausting. But I´m biased regarding Nobel Price and snobby classic literature, so I´ll better stop complaining about things I´m too lazy to read and that just aren´t fun, but even often pretty downers too. But it´s still funny that nobody reads all this Nobel Price stuff, fantasy and sci fi never were allowed to enter, and still became the most inspiring literature to rule them all.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
May 8, 2020
Andy Serkis is doing a live reading of this RIGHT NOW for charity!

To call this the epitome in which all high fantasy should be judged does not quite suffice; this is simply one of the best books that has ever been written or will ever be written. The Hobbit defines the high fantasy genre along with its sequel, of course, and has been an inspiration to countless authors and readers alike. Tolkien, quite literally, kick started a genre that would eventually capture the hearts of thousands of people. He changed the literary world. He made fantasy real.

The best fantasy universe ever created


Middle Earth is undoubtedly the best fantasy universe created. It is the most original and richly devised. It is very hard for fantasy authors not to borrow elements from Tolkien. He set the definition with his wonderful world. Tolkien’s references to modern day are also very amusing and almost unnoticeable in the brilliant narrative, but a perceptive reader will notice the whimsical contrasts he has drawn between his world and the real world. The sheer depth of Tolkien’s imagination is really unmeasurable. I wonder what other ideas for books he may have had that he never got to write.

“The road goes ever on and on”

Bilbo, like the reader, is blown away by the breath-taking landscape of Middle Earth. We must remember that he too is experiencing the majesty of Rivendell and the mightiness of Erabor for the first time. His reaction reflects a reader who is also awestruck by a world that is as beautifully magical as it is corrupt and wicked; it is a world in which both the benevolent and the malignant reside; it is a world whose people are capable of both great kindness and equally as great cruelty. The peoples are diverse and contrasting; I think the differences between the elves and the dwarves are best captured in their music. The music of the elves is full of mirth and is generally quite playful whereas the music of the dwarves is strong, deep and full of resolve to match their stubborn nature.

The wonderful, wonderful, story


This story belongs to Bilbo Baggins. This is something I think Peter Jackson would do well to remember, but that’s beside the point. The tale begins as Bilbo accidently, unexpectedly, invites Gandalf for tea the next day after a brief encounter. The Wizard marks him as the fourteenth member of his company, his burglar. Bilbo doesn’t really understand what he is getting himself in for when he agrees to join their mission. Indeed, the next evening thirteen dwarves, headed by Thorin Oakenshield, arrive along with their quest to reclaim their gold and slay a dragon: Smaug. Smaug has stolen their home fortress of Erebor. They want it back. Bilbo reluctantly gets dragged along though this reluctance is quickly overcome by a strong, secret, desire for adventure.

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.'
I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”

The story becomes darker as they close in on the mountain. The company are attacked by spiders and abducted by the wood elves who want a share of the dwarfish treasure. The dwarves begin to rely on their burglar who they believed would become a liability. How wrong they were. Bilbo was destined to come along. They would have surely failed if he had not, and the ring of power may never have been destroyed. But, that’s another wonderful story. The game of riddles and the finding of the ring is one of the more memorable scenes of the book and is Bilbo’s gateway into heroism. I think the power he receives from the ring helps him to discover that not only does he have courage and fortitude, but he has lots of it. Gandalf, if anything, is an excellent judge of character.

The ending is just the beginning


The ending of this book is undeniably rushed. Bilbo is unconscious for most of it, and we receive a post battle update. There are off page deaths and victories. In this, I think Tolkien cements the message of the story; it is not about the tragic death of a dwarf who went slightly mad, and then redeemed himself; it is not about a boatman who slayed a dragon, and became a renowned hero: it is about a Hobbit. This is Bilbo’s story and no other's. It is a story in which a Hobbit who had no courage and no bravery found it. It is a story about a hobbit who was too scared to leave his house without a hanky eventually evolved into a Hobbit that would trick a dragon.

“You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.”

Five stars. I think you know why.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
June 8, 2018
In certain crowds, my rating and the words I'm about to write (well, type) would probably get me shot. But The Hobbit is still one of the most boring books I have ever read. Tolkien's writing seems so dry and impersonal, though I can't deny he had a lot of fascinating ideas.
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,256 followers
July 17, 2021
From a hole in the ground came one of my favorite characters of all time, the very reluctant and unassuming hero, Bilbo Baggins.

As a child, The Hobbit sparked my young imagination, causing wonderful daydreams and horrible nightmares. As a teen, the book made me want to become a writer of fantastical tales...or go shoeless, live in a hole and smoke a pipe. As an adult, Tolkien's novel maintains within me a link to my childhood, safekeeping cherished memories and evoking everlasting emotions.

The troubles with trolls, those slinking spiders, the finding of treasure, cave exploration, riddles in the dark...it all added up in me a love for adventure. I would make many an ornate wooden sword in my father's basement workshop, because of Sting. Funny I didn't take to wearing rings though...

Being pint-sized, Mr. Baggins makes the perfect magnetic character for a young person. He is about a child's size, yet he is mature. Similar, yet something to aspire to. His diminutive stature made his implausible escapes and victories that much more satisfying. Nothing bores me more than muscle-bound killing machines wielding swords the size of windmill blades.

I have read this fantastic tale a number of times, watched the 70s cartoon movie version countless times and was counting down the days with unabashed eagerness until Peter Jackson's new live action film came out. I will continue to read The Hobbit again and again, for the road goes ever, ever on...

Appendix-ish type reviews

The Hobbit, the 1977 animated film version by Rankin & Bass
This may be the movie I've watched the most in my life. This is the one I can quote from start to finish and annoy the fuck out of my friends. I try to refrain, but when John Huston bellows out, "I am Gandalf and Gandalf means ME!!!"...well, I just can't help myself. Crazy-off-his-rocker Brother Theodore as Gollum still astounds me with the sheer depth of his guttural growl. Sorry voice-straining Serkis, but this is the real Gollum, the creepy muthah that kept me up nights. Though Rankin & Bass's version skips over the whole Beorn scene entirely, coming in at 90 minutes, they actually managed to pack in quite a bit of story. Certainly it is truncated (to absurdity during The Battle of Five Armies), but at least it's not overblown, as appears to be happening with Peter Jackson's unnecessarily long trilogy of this single book.

The Hobbit, or There And Back Again (An illustrated book by Rankin & Bass)
Though it's a few pages shorter than the regular paperback version, this marvelous part-text, part-illustrated version seems to be unabridged. It includes screenshots taken directly from the 70s cartoon, plus where the movie skipped over parts of the book they've included extra illustrations, admittedly of mixed quality. It's a little strange to see the same characters rendered differently sitting side by side...
...but nonetheless, it's always fun to see how artists interpret the work, especially when it's a work dear to your heart.

The Hobbit, a film version by Peter Jackson
It's never fun to see an artist tear the heart out of a work. Peter Jackson was given too long a leash when New Line stretched this one book out to three separate movies. Instead of one movie packed with awesome, we get three that, so far (I've yet to see the third and I'm not eager to), have been watered down and dragged out. Extra scenes are added and add nothing: Really, a sleigh ride chase scene with an incredibly minor character? And honestly, can Richard Armitage (as Thorin Oakenshield) act with any other part of his body besides his eyebrows?
Profile Image for Rebecca.
266 reviews278 followers
January 20, 2023
“In a HOLE in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Bilbo Baggins lives a quiet, peaceful life in his comfortable hole at Bag End. One day his comfort is shattered by the arrival of Gandalf the Wizard, who persuades Bilbo to set out on an adventure with a group of thirteen dwarves. For the dwarves are embarking on a great quest to reclaim their treasure from the dragon Smaug, and they wish Bilbo to act as their burglar.

This was my first time delving into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien and I can now say that I understand why people call him the father of fantasy. His writing is beautiful and so other worldly, it was so easy to become immersed and captivated by the story and his writing.

Bilbo Baggins is such a loveable character, as were many of the dwarves and Gandalf the Wizard. Of course, being a hobbit, (who don’t like adventures) Bilbo didn’t want to go on this journey, but it seems by pure coincidence that he was the hobbit for the job and I loved seeing how he developed throughout the story.

I was surprised, sad and scared and excited in all the right places. I could picture so clearly all of the places like Bag End, Rivendell and Gollum's lake in my mind's eye and even found myself chuckling at Tolkien's little jokes in the writing. The stunning illustrations by Alan Lee in my edition made my journey there and back again that bit more magical!

For someone who often struggles to enjoy fantasy, I absolutely adored this beautiful tale. I can genuinely say that I’m looking forward to continuing with the series!

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
October 9, 2020
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

So begins J.R.R. Tolkien’s love letter to fantasy literature.

A reader to this timeless classic will first notice that this is a first person narration, the reader hears Tolkien’s voice as he narrates the tale of Bilbo Baggins, Belladonna Took’s odd son who, though he resembles his respectable and comfortable father, has an unexpected adventure in him. J.R.R. Tolkien is telling us a story, with an occasional soliloquy and off stage remark to us the reader.

This of course is the charming and entertaining prequel to Tolkien’s monumental fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, but a fine tale in its own right and by itself. Generations of readers and dreamers have loved this story for its whimsical allure and for its role as a stage setter for its more epic later cousins.

The Films. Readers nowadays have the good fortune of being audience to Sir Peter Jackson’s magnificent films, but I and many folks of an earlier generation better recall the 1977 Bass and Rankin animated film with voice talent from John Huston, Orson Bean and Richard Boone. This cartoon was my first introduction to Tolkien’s work and would inspire me to actually read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings later.

Thorin, the important Dwarf and company leave from the Green Dragon in May, accompanied by the wizard Gandalf and having employed Mr. Baggins as their lucky number (14) and as a burglar. And Bilbo’s unexpected adventure had begun.

“I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!” – The significance of Gandalf in fantasy literature cannot be overestimated. Certainly there had been wizards, magicians and sages in literature before 1937, but Gandalf in many respects is THE wizard. As fine a performance as Sir Ian McKellen did in all his films portraying Gandalf, I still, in my mind, hear John Huston’s husky yet urbane voice speaking for him. Later readers of the Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion will learn more about the Gray Wanderer, but in the Hobbit he is simply Gandalf.

Chapter 5 – Riddles in the Dark. After some fairly pedestrian undertakings Tolkien has Bilbo getting lost in a deep cave and introduces us to one of his and literatures greastest, most complicated, and strangely likeable villains, Gollum. Later readers would learn the deeper truths of his history, but Tolkien’s guests in this chapter see him as a eccentrically troubled scoundrel.

Songs. A reader in the twenty-first century, and especially one who has enjoyed the Jackson films, may be surprised to discover that Tolkien’s original story was not as martial as the films. Certainly Jackson produced his Hobbit films to be less war-like than his epic LOTR films, but Tolkien’s prose contained a fair amount of poetry and song, casting his story in a more innocent and lyric form than would be palatable in today’s publications.

I remember trying to convince my high school English teacher that this was deserving of more literary praise and so this was also my first or one of my first indications that many literary folks place an asterisk on the science fiction / fantasy genre when it comes to acknowledging the quality of the writing. Kurt Vonnegut mentioned that as soon as the science fiction label was affixed to his name many critics would not take him seriously.

The Hobbit is a great example that sometimes critics can be myopic and time will tell the true greats. The prologue to a great trilogy, simple and charming, The Hobbit is a great book by itself.

Finally, this review is of a re-visit to The Hobbit, after a hiatus of perhaps 30 years. I rarely will re-read a book, there are just so many great books and so little time – but The Hobbit is one of those special works that can be savored and enjoyed again and again.

*** 2020 Reread.
I need to reread this more often. Professor Tolkien’s charming storytelling is a soothing comfort for troubled times.

This time around I focused on the details that I had missed before, and Tolkien has provided many, some nuanced within his excellent story and other subtle enough to be missed, but important spice added to the recipe.

It’s also important to distinguish between the book and the excellent adaptions by Peter Jackson and the 1977 animated classic by Bass and Rankin. In my memory, I sometimes forget what is actual canon and not artistic license. I had forgotten that the Master of Laketown (left out of the 1977 film) was from Tolkien.

Tolkien’s description of the journey is also endearing, taking the time to add his nineteenth century sensibilities to the fantasy.

If you have never read this work, please do. I can highly recommend an enjoyable reread to the rest of us.

Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 21 books13.5k followers
January 1, 2015
how they made three films out of this impresses me!
Profile Image for Luffy (Oda's Version).
765 reviews760 followers
August 11, 2020
Now I don't remember all the names of those 13 dwarfs, but still I can legitimately say I enjoyed the book. The Hobbit (the version rewritten by Tolkien) is sophisticated enough to please adults and children alike.

Initially, nobody knew how Gollum looked like. Seriously, just take a look at the various covers of the book and you'll see diverse bodies as Gollum. The Ring acquired by Bilbo is so quaint, so practical.

Tolkien weaved his magic here and delivered a timeless classic. The adventures of Bilbo, especially those without Gandalf to bail him out, are very original. I hope the uninitiated don't get deterred by the movie trilogy. That would be a tragedy. I give this book a perfect five stars.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,991 followers
March 1, 2021
Not much more needs to be said about The Hobbit than that it is excellent! Great storytelling, fun characters, humor, action – it has it all. Tolkien is rightfully one of the (if not THE) founding fathers of modern Fantasy. If you are already into the Fantasy genre and you haven’t read him, you need to. If you are looking to get into Fantasy, The Hobbit is a great place to start.

One of the great things about The Hobbit is that I think it is easily accessible to a wide audience. The Lord of the Rings is a much larger and more daunting commitment which might be too much for the casual Fantasy fan. Then, if you are really into lore and world building, I hear people talk about The Silmarillion as a great but very dense history of Middle Earth. So, Tolkien has it all: Fantasy-101 or master’s thesis level Fantasy – you can decide how you want to approach his works.

One thing that has been bugging me about other Fantasy novels I have been reading lately is that there is a lot of wandering around without much action or story progress. And, this wandering around can stretch for several books. With The Hobbit, there is adventure, and “wandering”, but it moves quickly and gets to the point. Large chunks of progress are made without pages and pages of rambling dialogue. I appreciate how well The Hobbit gets to the point but does not leave you feeling cheated by it going too fast.

Another thing that I love about this Fantasy book is that it does not bog down with complicated names, location terminology, odd magic systems, etc. This is another thing that has been turning me off to other Fantasy lately because I cannot just escape and enjoy the book. Instead, I have to keep a notebook and a flowchart to keep everything straight! With The Hobbit, it was very organic and easy to follow – perfect for a relaxing Fantasy getaway for the brain.

I did not yet see the recent movies they made from this book but was surprised at first that they made it into three movies. After rereading this, I think I can see how they could expand on certain parts to make a movie trilogy. I will have to go and check it out now.

The Hobbit – read it!
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
469 reviews3,255 followers
May 6, 2023
Now the route Mr. Bilbo Baggins transverses to seek adventure and a pot of gold...several in fact, may not be as glamorous as the yellow brick road nonetheless thoroughly lucrative...he will never complain....after he is safely back home.... As our story begins the Hobbit is having a quiet, delightful time drinking his tea and a nice breakfast, steps out the door (from his hole in the ground the unkind would say) blows a wonderful smoke ring...And is the last one for many moons... a peaceful situation I mean. An old man, a stranger appears the polite hobbit greets him, Bilbo later regrets it often but that's further down the road. The sociable Mr. Baggins invites the man who reveals himself to be the powerful, mystifying, lofty wizard Gandalf to tea...tomorrow. The nervous hobbit, half the size of a human just wants to be left alone and enjoy his comfortable life which unfortunately doesn't occur, on the other hand the reader is greatly rewarded. Next day a dwarf arrives Dwalin, than another Balin, and still more, two in fact, Kili and Fili, five then, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, and Gloin, this will in a short while ( pun intended) be thirteen, no I haven't forgotten Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and last very appropriately , the leader Thorin, they are a superstitious bunch. The need for a fourteenth member is obvious ( you can't count a wizard) , these creatures are eating, drinking at poor Bilbo's home... an unexpected party is fully in bloom causing the owner a headache ...think of the expense and danger to his dishes and furniture. Finally Gandalf comes and the purpose of the gathering disclosed, a bold plan to kill a huge dragon Smaug the Magnificent, take the vast priceless treasure, the winged fire breathing behemoth sits on, inside the very distant Lonely Mountain, the dwarfs ancient home. The reluctant Mr. Baggins agrees to go along, not too confidently , he can see disaster in his future... Deadly monsters, goblins, wolves, unfriendly elves are between their goal, the sinister Misty Mountains, rivers to cross, lakes too, the dark thick forest Mirkwood, where evil giant spiders, sinister wizards, unfriendly wood-elves reside, with only a little stream to guide and follow , then Gandalf abandons them...Still the frightened little hobbit becomes the leader, with the help of a magical ring. The battle of five armies, a grisly fight where no quarter is given, an epic style end to this tale is the high point. This classic written in 1937 is the original, The Lord of the Rings are sequels and more magical than Mr. Bilbo Baggins band. If you wonder why someone would read a book for the third time all you need to do is get this title... (yes more than one novel in my library ) . A trip in a world where you can forget your troubles and drop into one let's face it, quite interesting ... an ominous place to become a hero even get rich if you serve well, and survive obstacles in the way that all good people will.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
February 27, 2015
I love the feeling of connectedness you get when you've wondered about something for a long time, and finally discover the answer. I had a great example of that yesterday. As I said in my review of The Lord of the Rings, for me Tolkien is all about language. I must have read The Hobbit when I was about 8, and even at that age I was fascinated by his made-up names. They sort of made sense, but not quite.

Then, when I was 21, I learned Swedish, and suddenly there were many things in Middle Earth that came into focus! Of course, the Wargs get their name from the Swedish varg, wolf. And "Beorn" is like björn, bear.

But I never figured out why Bilbo was teasing the spiders in Mirkwood by calling them "attercop". Now I know. It's an archaic English word related to the modern Norwegian word for spider, edderkopp. The Swedish word, spindel, comes from a different root. I've thought about that for over 40 years. See how much fun it is to acquire a new language?

If you want to know what I think of Peter Jackson's three Hobbit movies, look here, here and here.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,619 reviews985 followers
October 8, 2022
It's amazing to think that this was first published in 1937… Tolkien's modern classic AKA 'There And Back Again'. Peerless and beautiful, Middle England mash-up with Northern European mythology. Gandalf, Bilbo and a band of dwarves get caught up in dragon robbing plot... as in a plot to steal treasure off of a dragon! A story made even that better, for its usage of Hobbits, its look at conformity and standing out in a crowd, and personal growth! 8 out of 12.

2013 read
Profile Image for Traveller.
228 reviews719 followers
September 28, 2016
Maybe one day soon I'll write a proper review of The Hobbit.

In the meantime, I want to say this:
If you are a child, you need to read this for Gollum's riddles.

If you are an adult, you need to read this book to children (if you don't have children, rent borrow some) for at least one opportunity to roleplay Gollum.


See here, he even won an award!!
(PS. Since Gollum features so strongly in this review, here is an interesting video on the acting and CGI genius that went into the making of the screen Gollum.)

Of course the most compelling reason to add this to your reading list in haste is that it's coming to the MOOVIEZZZ!! (Update: commentary on the moviez below).

Btw, if you like kickass fighting elves, not to mention pretty kickass she-elves and some sizzling elf/dwarf romance--well, then you might like the second Hobbit movie more than the book... ahem!

Part 3 coming to a cinema house near you soon(-ish). My PRECCIOOOUUSSSSS!
...and soon I'll have a copy of the all the moviez, and they will be me MINE, all mine, just like my precciousss illustrated copies of the novel.

Ha, you didn't think one copy would be enough did you??

If you get around used bookstores a lot, do look out for an illustrated version of the book!

Update: About the 3 films by Peter Jackson: I didn't find the first 2 films very memorable. He seemed to draw it out almost unbearably, and it also felt to me as if he was embellishing the original story a bit.

The whole thing seemed like actiony rubbish, though I personally actually quite enjoyed the swinging, shooting, swordfighting ninja elves and the bit of romance.

But the THIRD film, The Battle of the Five Armies , now -that- was a good one. I almost missed it on the big screen because of the mediocrity of the first two films. But I was glad, oh so glad that I actually did go and see it. The cinematics, acting and editing was all very well done, but it was the screenwriting and directing that really shone.

Here we saw a story of courage and cowardice; of generosity; of greed and avarice; of greatness of soul and of smallness of soul; of love; of selflessness; of brotherhood; of hatred; of humanity; of pain; of sacrifice; of struggle; of moral and spiritual victories; of sadness and loss, but above all, of triumph of the soul.

Yes, The Battle of the Five Armies is certainly something that does Tolkien justice at the very least, and what a joy it was to behold on the big screen. :)

PS. The movies also taught us that dwarves CAN be hot!

Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
September 28, 2023
It's a beloved children's book and it's a classic.
But a word of advice from someone who went down this dark path?
Know thyself, Random Goodreader.
I read books from the 1930s all the time but there is just something about the way Tolkien writes that kills me slowly inside. I knew this going into it, but I really wanted to like one of his books.


In my defense, my goal was to finish what I started with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
And I really tried to cling to what was happening but I just kept zoning out because there was nothing here for a reader like myself to hang onto. I want to understand the appeal of Tolkien in the modern-day sense because there are people who swear to have recently read and loved his books! The fault lies not with Tolkien, but with me in trying to read Tolkien.


So, it's not you, Bilbo. It's me.
And it's all the fucking songs in this thing.
I've come to the conclusion that should have read this when I was younger. Because the older I get the less patience I have.
For the parents of annoying children in restaurants, for people who tell me that my opinions are wrong, and for the books that drag ass. If I had read this when I was a kid, I'm pretty sure I would have the nostalgia glasses needed to say that this book shaped my childhood and whatnot. As it is, I got nothing.


I'm not saying The Hobbit is terrible, but it's the wrong kind of story for a grumpy fart like myself who doesn't enjoy dry questing and a bunch of shitty songs in their reading material.
And this thing is filled to the brim with both. It felt like I was swimming through jello to get to the end.


I will say there was more humor in this than there was in the LotR books, so that was cool. But as far as plot goes, I just didn't care about any of it.
What are they even after? Some leftover dwarf treasure?


I wanted to be in your club. I wanted to get invited to all the larping parties. I wanted to learn how to throw down cool elvish gang signs. I wanted to wear pointy ears & play a flute off-key at my daughter's wedding.
You Tolkienites are a great bunch of people and I'm just sorry I couldn't like the books the way they deserve to be liked.

Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46k followers
July 20, 2019
2.5/5 stars

The Hobbit probably would’ve been more enjoyable if I were reading it at least 15 years ago.

I have an odd relationship with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings due to my feelings of the movie adaptations. For Lord of the Rings, I haven’t been able to finish Fellowship of the Ring because I loved the movies so much and I ended up finding the book incredibly boring; I will try again next year. As for The Hobbit, I was reluctant to read the book because I disliked the movie adaptation. After finally reading this for the first time, I can safely say that I still dislike the movies, and I felt more or less indifferent about the book.

This will be a short review; I have nothing new to offer. The Hobbit is a book targeted for kids and, in my opinion, it certainly read like one. As I said, I most likely would’ve enjoyed this book so much more if I were younger and weren’t acquainted with other modern high-fantasy yet. Reading this for the first time, it felt like there was a complete lack of tension throughout the entire book. I also immensely disliked the storytelling voice implemented into the narration; it’s so distracting to my immersion and rather than reading it felt to me like Tolkien was telling the story to me. I prefer seeing events unfolds from the character’s perspective. That being said, I will also admit that I wasn’t bored with it because the accessible prose made the book very easy to read.

The Hobbit is a classic and I can totally understand why it became one. I will definitely consider reading this to my kids one day. I have no idea whether the decrease in enjoyment of the book was caused because of me watching the movies first or not, it might be. But overall, I just felt more or less indifferent about The Hobbit, which I guess is arguably even worse than disliking it. Honestly speaking, around 30% through the book, I ended up reading through it just for the sake of completing my bingo challenge rather than because I was having a good time with it. Thankfully, this was a short read.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,308 reviews44k followers
April 7, 2022
This is where everything begins. We’re introduced to younger wizard Gandalf, Frodo’s uncle Bilbo Baggins who is a talented thief, already crossed his path with Gollum and his preciooouss ring!

A short, fascinating, riveting, magical story and introduction to the hobbit world which shouldn’t be turned into a trilogy on big screen! ( Peter Jackson followed the same way as he did with Lord of the rings series but at least there were three books! In my opinion it was not necessary to watch more movies with so many elaborated scenes even though I enjoyed to hear velvet voice of Cumberbatch as the voice of Dragon Smaug. It was awkward reunion of Sherlock &Watson)

So I’d better reread this journey for celebrating 84th year of its publishing.

The story starts with Bilbo Baggins’ finding himself host a tea party for a party of dwarves ( Gandalf is also a skillful trickster and it would be hard to say no to him. He’s my favorite all time favorite fantasy character after Harry Potter’s Dumbledore) Those dwarves song of reclaiming Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the dragon Smaug. As soon as the song ends Bilbo also finds himself accepting the offer becoming a part of their journey as a thief, and Gandalf maps out a secret door to Lonely Mountain which help them to reach their unique destination.

We follow their heart throbbing adventure from Shire to Misty Mountains,Mirkwood Forest, introduced to wood-elves till they reach to the Lost Kingdom which is located under Lonely Mountain where the dangerous Dragon Smaug resides.

In my opinion this classic is my all time favorite reads which is better than its three movie long adaptations.

Here are my favorite quotes of this book:

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

“May the wind under your wings bear you when the sun sails and the moon walks.”

“Where there's life there's hope.”

“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills,
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.”

“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.”
Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews314 followers
June 30, 2018
Gosh, that last chapter. Sigh.
And you can start celebrating the updates are over. Now let's start LotR :)

Buddy read with Jen the unexpected party
Get it? the unexpected party, as in chapter one's title. Oh I'm hilarious.

OK let’s do this.
But first let’s talk about something totally unrelated but totally is.

So I don’t know about you guys but when I watch a sporting event, no matter what it is, and I see these world class athletes doing their thing, all I think about is I couldn’t possibly do this. That’s why they are the ones doing it and I’m the one watching it, but once in a while comes these, well there’s only one word for it, Legends.

These legends when predictable, still unstoppable, they do the hardest things the easiest way, they don’t do things to show you they can, they do it so you know you can.
Mr. Tolkien is a legend, The Hobbit is a legend and Bilbo Baggins is a legend.

There’s so much I want to say but above and beyond all, If somehow you haven’t read this book and you stumbled upon this review please do yourself a favor and go read it instead of this, because it’ll be devastating to know that I cost you precious time you could and should spend reading The Hobbit.

It’s rare to read a fantasy novel and relate to its protagonist us much us I did.
Hero, or as I said legend are words associated in our minds with pictures of smart strong characters, with someone who spent a life in training or maybe a chosen one destined to change the world. Although technically Bilbo is chosen, the way the story address it and develops around it you don’t think of him as a hero, at least I didn’t, not more than I would think of myself if I were in his position, and here where the story gets me, because I do feel I’m in his position from the very beginning. I think Bilbo managed to be this unusual yet relatable hero, because of how human he was in this inhumanly world, how nice he was or at least tried to be to Gandalf and the Dwarves even when they made him uncomfortable and how he saved them even when they needed saving from themselves.

I can see myself reading this for my kids one day, and it won’t be boring, it’s still going to be an enjoyable and fun journey, because it’s gold and gold does not rust with time. This story is associated with only beautiful things in my mind, in fact the whole time writing this review I can’t help but think of sunny spring fields and cold breezes.

I loved the world in this book and I mean this book, because I haven’t read the other Middle Earth books but I still love it, it was so vast and beautiful, it wouldn’t be the same journey if it was set in a different world.

I feel I’m not doing the other characters justice because so far I only talked about Bilbo but the truth is I love them all. Gandalf is probably my favorite besides Bilbo but I also love Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin. The other character I loved is Beorn, I don’t know why but I just did and the whole thing with him and Gandalf and how the Dwarves didn’t come all at once, I really loved that part.

I watched the movies and I enjoyed them but they didn’t reflect the joy I had reading this book. The movies were darker, they were more about war but the book was more about the journey. This is probably the only time a movie has been bigger than the book but to be fair the movies built the story to be a prequel to The Lord of the Rings and they had a lot more than what was in this book to build upon. The movies hold the main story of the book and I’ll be happy if every movie adaptation was like this, they all should. I have to say that the cinematography and all the landscapes were exceptional and it reflects the beautiful world in the book.

The other thing I loved about the movies is the soundtracks, I cannot express how much I loved that, it was one of the best things about the movies, because I loved the poems in the book and the movies didn’t disappoint on that account, the best one has got to be The Misty Mountains Cold, it was one of my favorite parts in the book, and the music in the movie made it perfect, I only wish they made a bit longer. Every time I hear it, I want to grow a beard and go on an adventure.
Profile Image for Ryan.
51 reviews375 followers
November 19, 2016
Unpopular opinion time: I don't like The Hobbit.


Before all of you start hating me forever, please, hear me out. I truly respect J. R.R Tolkien. If I'm not mistaken, this was one of the first really popular fantasy books ever written. And fantasy just happens to be my favourite genre. So you can see why I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it so much, in fact, that I have tried to read it three times now. But each time, I have had to DNF it.


I love The Lord of the Rings movies. I love The Hobbit movies. But I cannot, for the life of me, finish this book.


Allow me to explain:

Three Perfectly Logical Reasons As to Why Ryan Can't Finish The Hobbit, So Please Don't Hate Her, Thank You

1) The writing style is just not for me.
I love beautiful descriptions in books, but when the description has been going on for more than four sentences, I'm out. I get it. It's a really nice tree. Just get back to the story.


2) The plot dragged on.
Not much seemed to be happening. I can't even remember 90% of what little I read. A 366 page book somehow managed to seem like an 800 page book. It was tedious.


3) I've already seen the movies.
Now before you shout, "SACRILEGE, HOW CAN YOU LIKE THE MOVIES AND NOT THE BOOK!" let me reiterate the fact that I've tried reading this book three times. After the supposed "third time's a charm" attempt failed, I moved on to the films. And I really enjoyed them. (Well, I didn't like how they stretched one book into three movies, but that's a discussion for another time.) The movies managed to keep everything I liked about the book, and cut out everything I didn't. Lovable characters and awesome world? Check. No overly-descriptive writing? Check.


If you're one of those many people who adore this book with all of your heart and soul, great for you! I'm glad you liked it. It's just not for me.


(And no, I will not try to finish this book again. That'd make four failed attempts. I've got to draw the line somewhere.)
Profile Image for Andy Marr.
Author 3 books782 followers
January 19, 2023
I read the first book of TLOTR a few years ago and was completely underwhelmed by it. I certainly wouldn't have read this, had me daughter not asked me to read it aloud to her. What a lucky thing that she did! This was genuinely heartwarming and full of adventure. Not a word was wasted (unlike in TLOTR, where entire chapters left my head swimming with unnecessary detail), and the characters - the entire hoard of them - were beautifully described.
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