There’s this little part of me that always wants to be told a story. I’m not talking about the kind you can read in a book; I’m referring to something such as a bedtime story, where another person is talking to you and continually asking if you remember this and that. You know, like parents and grandparents do. J. R.R. Tolkien filled that void in my heart with The Hobbit.
I’m just going to get this out of the way: I’m not usually one for “kiddy” stories. If there’s not a lot in a novel for adults, I usually skim over it. I was barely able to force myself to finish Mockingjay just because of the rather juvenile way that it was written. I must say, however, The Hobbit was something much different.
I could tell I was going to like it as soon as I got a feel for the way the story was being told. As I referenced earlier, Tolkien made me feel as if I was five again, and grandpa was telling me a story to help me drift off to sleep. The child in me ate that up, and for some reason or another, so did my more mature, 17 year old self. It’s not so much that The Hobbit isn’t a book for kids; it most definitely is. It’s the way Tolkien writes that makes it feel as if it were meant for a slightly older audience. Obviously by the subject matter you can tell that it wasn’t but it didn’t make me feel as if I was reading something that was dumbed down for children (*cough Mockingjay cough*).
It’s very easy to find yourself immersed in the world of Middle Earth and fall in love with its inhabitants. Nearly every single character is likeable, even the dopey trolls and the evil dragon. Every character is astoundingly unique and multi-faceted. You’ll constantly find yourself pulling for Biblo and the dwarves to keep going through the constant trails and crap-storms that get thrown their way.
No review is complete without a complaint or two. I’ve thought and thought about it, and I honestly can’t think of one. I’d recommend The Hobbit to anyone, even someone who hates fantasy. At the very least, it’s an incredibly good story. You can read it to your kids, you can read it with your parents, heck, you can read it with anyone and you’ll all enjoy it. While I can’t speak for any of Tolkien’s other works, I can tell you that The Hobbit is well worth the read. From the jaw-dropping plot twists to the lighthearted banter, it’ll keep you entertained enough to at least stay up late at night for one last chapter.
— The movie review will come. I’ll have to watch them in parts, but I can rarely force myself to sit down for a short film, let alone one that eclipses the three hour mark.
P.S.- The next novel on the list is Stephen King’s The Shining.