The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
First published 1937
1/3 rereads (2013 Book Challenge)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
Thus begins a novel about Bilbo Baggins — a hobbit who really deserves this name, amiable and unadventurous. Bilbo just wants a hearty meal in his cozy hobbit hole to complete his evening, or suit his name. He is just a little hobbit … until wizard Gandalf pays him a visit.
Suddenly, Bilbo finds himself hosting an unexpected party — a party of 13 dwarves, to be precise — led by Thorin Oakenshield. They need a burglar to reclaim Thorin’s kingdom under the Mountain, which is currently in the possession of Smaug, a fearsome dragon. Guess who Gandalf recommends?
And so, Bilbo Baggins goes on an adventure.
Upon rereading this book for a second time, I found it as engaging, funny, witty and imaginative as I did the first time, if not more. One cannot wish for a more likable character than Bilbo. He teaches a great lesson: anyone, even a little hobbit, can make a big difference if only they get out of the house, without a pocket handkerchief, and shout:
“I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!”
In a way, we are all Bilbos.
“Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deeps and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To see the pale enchanted gold.”
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”
“‘There’s a long road yet,’ said Gandalf.
‘But it is the last road,’ said Bilbo.”
This novel is a great fantasy, and a neat introduction to the Lord of the Rings (which I have yet to read…). I am already prepared for a third rereading!