Tuesday, June 25, 2013

           Although I am not keen on reading novels of fantasy or anything of the sort, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien was interesting enough to keep my attention for the entirety of the book. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, lives in a world not so similar to ours. There are dwarves and elves, goblins and great wolves, enemies and allies both. Bilbo is not one to seek adventures but when his unexpected guests arrive, he is left with no choice. There 13 dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, and a respected wizard named Gandalf. Bilbo is requested to travel with them in their journey to the mountain of Smaug, a magnificent dragon who stole the treasures of their very own families.

            Bilbo accepts with hesitance because he does not think he is fit for the job, but Gandalf insists he is the best robber around. As their adventure proceeds, Bilbo is found to be more and more useful. With the help of a mysterious ring that Bilbo finds and new friends they meet along the way, the dwarves and hobbit make it to the dragon cave. There, they are faced with the most important question they will face: how, exactly, are they to get past the dragon to their rightful gold?

            Tolkien’s imagination is undoubtedly fantastic. The world which he creates is realistic but at the same time is nothing we will ever see. There are plenty of creatures which are all described effectively, but it is quite confusing when they are all introduced. All of the dwarves are in fact brought in within a few pages, and there is no way to keep track of who is who. It was a very choppy introduction and because he did not ease into the story, I was lost for at least a couple chapters.

            Although I appreciate that Tolkien never runs out of plot, I think he also jumps around too much. All of the situations of the group tend to have a “but wait, there’s more!” ending. There is always a plot twist at the last minute and they evade any unwanted results. The author could have made the story more fluid by being less abrupt and expected.

            Overall, Tolkien is wildly creative but the plot was too frantic for me. You might enjoy this book more than I did if you like fantasy, and are not one for lengthy plots. If you read and like The Hobbit, I suggest you read the most-acclaimed book of Tolkien’s (and sequel to The Hobbit), The Lord of The Rings.  You may also enjoy Atemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.
Written by Geena Elghossain on June 23, 2013

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