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Book Name: The Hobbit

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

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Overall Rating: (4.66/5) View all reviews (total 112 reviews)

"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."The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13 fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit's doorstep in search of a burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.The dwarves' goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves--and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest. It is from this life-or-death game in the dark that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork,The Lord of the Rings, would eventually spring. ThoughThe Hobbitis lighter in tone than the trilogy that follows, it has, like Bilbo Baggins himself, unexpected iron at its core. Don't be fooled by its fairy-tale demeanor; this is very much a story for adults, though older children will enjoy it, too. By the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come--and so is the reader.--Alix Wilber--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The perfect source for those wishing to delve further into Middle-Earth and Tolkien himself.

by Aaron Wooldridge

First things first: If you have NEVER read the Hobbit before, I do not recommend this version. GetThe Hobbit: or, There and Back Again (Collector's Edition)instead. That is a wonderful hardcover collector's edition with a slipcover and beautiful illustrations.Having said that, I will now direct my review towards people who have already read the Hobbit at least once and now wish to lean more about both J.R.R. Tolkien's writing process and the world of Middle-Earth itself.But before I discuss this product I would like to explain why I bought this book in the first place. When Tolkien published the first edition of the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins aquired the Ring from Gollum in a slightly different way than that with which we are familiar. Originally Gollum offered to give the ring away as a prize if Bilbo won the riddle contest. A few years later when Tolkien began work on the Lord of the Rings and finally realized what this Ring actually was, he knew that there was no way that Gollum would voluntarily give away the ring. So he went back and rewrote the entire "Riddles in the Dark" chapter, and to this day every later edition of the book has Bilbo taking the ring in a less-than-honest way. I wanted to read the original text from the first edition. What do you do when you want to read the first version of "Riddles in the Dark" but can't afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a first edition copy of the Hobbit? Get Douglas A. Anderson's annotated version!What is "The Annotated Hobbit"? Start with the final edition of the Hobbit that Tolkien published in his lifetime, and center the book around that. Add Anderson's detailed annotations in smaller print in the wide margins of most pages. Add a large collection of illustrations of all sizes, and include appendices in the back. What does Anderson discuss in his annotations? Most notably he quotes the original text from every time Tolkien changed anything from one edition to the next. At one extreme is the entire "Riddles in the Dark" chapter rewrite included in the margins next to the regular text. At the other extreme are numberous single-word changes. In between the two Anderson detailed every time Tolkien made sentence and paragraph rewrites. Anderson discusses Tolkien's writing process, drawing heavily on Tolkien's published letters and other sources. Anderson cross-references minute details in the Hobbit with LOTR, Silmarillion, Book of Lost Tales, etc, in order to further explain people, events, and places and to point out cases where Tolkien occasionally contradicts himself. Anderson also discusses the impact the Hobbit has had on different audiences throughout the world.The illustrations are splendid. We have all of Tolkien's original (published and unpublished) artwork for the Hobbit. We have the paintings of modern authorities like John Howe, and we have absolutely horrible artwork by illustrators who must not even have read the book - such as early Russian versions. Not only does that make this book a feast for the eyes, but it is interesting to see how different artists have had their own interpretations of Middle-Earth.For anyone who wants more information or more artwork or the original text of "Riddles", this is the book for you. Although some might think this book contains too much miscellaneous information, I think it is the perfect volume for anyone who loves Tolkien and his hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and elves.

A Must Read Book

by Adal

Wonderful magnificent book. Well written in all aspects. A book that will take you through an exciting adventure that everybody will like.

A classic

by Adam Craig

For years, I have somehow avoided reading The Hobbit even though I have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and seen all the movies, and loved everything about them. For some reason, I just wasn't that interested in the story of how Bilbo retrieved the ring.As it happens, I was "forced" to read The Hobbit for my college English course at Ohio State this quarter. So not only did I finallly get to read this book, I also got to discuss it in great detail with a bunch of other people. Discussing a book with other people is a great way to have a greater appreciation for the author and the book itself. With The Hobbit, much was discussed about Tolkien's creation of races, and how they fit with a certain social structure of Middle-Earth. Very interesting stuff.I guess what I'm trying to say is that The Hobbit is an amazing piece of literature. But everyone knows that. I think that the LOTR trilogy are better books. Personally, I prefer the darker take in the trilogy than the more lighthearted, jovial tale that is The Hobbit. Bilbo is a great protagonist, as the reader, you grow to love him, and truly want him to escape danger, as you do for all the other characters that went on the journey with Bilbo, to retrieve the dwarves' treasure from the dragon Smaug.Tolkien is a great writer, and the way he plays with being the narrator of the tale is amazing, and makes the story that much more fun to read. Plus, The Hobbit is a book that could easily be read and understood by fairly young kids. And it's a great way to start someone who has never read fantasy novels before.Thank you, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Kindle edition has very poor maps

by A. Delbosc

Plenty of other people have commented on the comforting joy that is The Hobbit. Reading this book was like a cherished homecoming to me. I saw the movie Monday, downloaded the book on Tuesday and I've finished it on Sunday.My comments are about the Kindle edition. All in all it is not bad - it contains the line-drawing illustrations through the book, which is lovely. But the maps are disappointing. The map of the Wilderlands is at the back (fine in a paper book but awkward in a Kindle) and I completely missed Thror's map at the front - for some reason when I downloaded this book it started me out in the Author's Notes section, so I didn't see the cover, table of contents, or map until after I finished and went looking for it. Maybe this was just a glitch on my Kindle but watch out for it.Both maps, sadly, are almost impossible to read on a small Kindle (can't comment on how they'd look on a Kindle Fire etc). You can't see any of the detail and you can hardly read most of the words. It's not like you can't follow the story without the maps, but part of the joy of Tolkien is poring of his maps.I would give the book itself 5 stars, but the Kindle edition gets 4. It is one of those classic books that you really must own in good old-fashioned paper form, and I have a copy of my own at home. Only buy the Kindle edition if, like me, you're on the road when you have a hankering to read it again.

An amazing version of a timeles classic

by Alex

The annotated version of the familiar There and Back Again expands the book's value enormously. All of the archaic words that have boggled generations of readers have been explained, and the story can be seen in a new light due to the implications these words arouse. Also are included the illustrations from the foreign versions of the book (several are quite funny - like the way in which the various nations imagine the dwarves and Gandalf - especially those whose mythology includes neither dwarves nor wizards). A very eye-opening book, Annotated Hobbit is a quite interesting piece of work.

A gateway Sci-Fi drug

by Allan Sherwood

This work is the entrance to a wider imagination.I read it in Fourth Grade, and return to it still.Read it, and love a story penned by a Master.

Written for children, but still great.

by Al T.

This novel lacks much of the complexity and subtlety of LoTR, but it is still a great novel in its own respect.

Mind Numbing

by A. Luciano

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit, a creature unlike anything in our world. He is small and furry but acts quite human. He lives in a little house in the side of a hill and he treasures his home, his quiet, his regular meals, and his boring life. Then one day an ancient magician, Gandalf, appears at his door. He starts Bilbo on a fantastic adventure.This adventure mainly has to do with a group of dwarves who used to live in a fantastic kingdom underneath a huge mountain far away, where they would mine for gold and precious gems and turn them into lovely works of art. At the height of their power, a dragon swooped in, killed the dwarves inside of the mountain, scattered the rest, and took up residence inside the mountain, hoarding all of the gold and gems for itself.One of the dwarves who shows up on Bilbo's doorstep after Gandalf's visit is the grandson of the king under the mountain. He is determined to get his rightful kingdom back, by journeying to the mountain and getting rid of the dragon.Gandalf tells the dwarves that Bilbo is a brilliant burglar and will make an excellent addition to their traveling company, and the dwarves bring the timid creature along with some reluctance. Over the course of their long journey, though, as the mountain gets closer and the dangers get worse, the company learns to respect Bilbo more, and he learns what he is truly capable of achieving.This story contains lots of plot twists and dangerous situations. I can also appreciate that much of today's fantasy has built off of what Tolkien wrote. However, I hated the story. I found it mind-numbingly dull. There was little character development, especially in the dwarves. They had no individual personalities, which made me unconcerned for their well-being. I thought Bilbo was one of the most irritatingly weak and whiny characters in all of literature, which made me even less concerned about this story having a happy ending.

My first try at fantasy with "The Hobbit"

by Amazon Customer "brc4"

I recently read the "Hobbit" so that I could then move onto "The Lord of the Rings" and then go see "The Lord of the Rings" movies.I have never read Fantasy books before so this was my first one, and I have to say that Fantasy takes some getting used to.While I enjoyed "The Hobbit", I did find some parts of it slow and uninteresting. I decided that Fantasy is probably not my favorite genre, however, the the book was still good and I would recommend it."The Hobbit" tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, along with Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves taking a journey to try and reclaim treasure taken from the dwarves ancestors by an evil dragon.For someone used to reading books grounded closer to reality, the plot of this book may sound kind of funny. But after you read about the experiances of this group of adventurers, you will have to agree it is quite a fun story.

A Hobbit' Tale

by Amazon Customer

A classic of the fantasy genre. It started out as a children's story for the author's son, but the depth of the world and the charm of the story have captivated both young and old for generations.

Great story.

by Amazon Customer

The story is really worth your time. Tolkien's style is very clever and witty. Everything people have written about him is true. He is a superb writer..

A Literary Classic

by Amazon Customer

A true classic. After recently slogging through most of the pre-Hobbit works (e.g. the Silmarillion, Chidren of Hurin, etc.) it was refreshing to re-visit the easy-to-read Hobbit. The book runs through the story of how Bilbo Baggins ended up with the One Ring around which the events of The Lord of the Rings revolve - though it really is a small plot element when compared with the adventures the characters have in enchanted woods, dark caves, dragon hordes, elven dungeons, and battlefields that occur in the rest of the book. The book gives a wonderful introduction to Tolkien's universe and weaves a spellbinding tapestry of sorcery and adventure that provides a great prologue to Tolkien's greatest work. A short and easy read (especially compared to Tolkien's other works) that I've added to my short list of books that I read again and again. A wonderful afternoon escape that almost everyone will love...let's just hope the upcoming pair of movies does it justice.

One Hobbit to rule them all........

by Amazon Customer

The Hobbit is a prolude of The Lord of the Rings. This story is about Bilbo Baggins, who had discover the ring of power the ring to rule them all. But Bilbo doesn't know about it, he just thought it were a ring that make the wearer invisible.So Mr. Baggins wear his ring through all his danger adventure and at the end, back again to his little Hobbit hole, and he write his story about his adventure and called it 'There and Back again'. This book is so good you better read it.

Great story

by Amazon Customer "Lincolnpark"

I hadn't read The Hobbit for thirty years and seeing the movie inspired me to go back to it. Better than I remembered it to be!

One of the best books ever written...

by Amazon Customer "saj888"

After waiting for seven months and not finding "The Hobbit" in the library, though they had a copy, I read the Harry Potter series seventy-two times. When I had finally memorized every sentence of every book including book four, I got sick and went out and bought "The Hobbit," and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy set. After reading the splendid and spectacular "Hobbit," Harry Potter was forgotten for a while. The book is the one of the most breath taking books I have ever read in my entire life. It is about a creature called a hobbit. The hobbits are a little people, smaller than dwarves, and were a peaceful and lovable people. "The Hobbit" concerns a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins who embarks on many adventures when a band of homeless dwarves turn up at his hobbit-hole with the famous wizard Gandalf. The dwarves are in search of the east where the dragon Smaug took their gold and ruined their city. They go on so many adventures, it is hard to count. This is one of the most amzing books ver written. And if you liked the Hobbit, you will most certainly love The Golden Compass. J.R.R. Tolkien creates a magnificient world.

One of my favorite books!

by Amazon Customer "The Old Pilgrim"

This is one of my very favorite books of all times! Tokien is a superb writer. The movie was good, but the book is SO much better. This book should be read before reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


by Anatole "playa30"

It is very exciting to follow up to half of the book, but eventually becomes kind of boring. Maybe I should have read it at 13. But it is amusing.

The Foundation for an Epic

by Andrew Cabral "AC"

The Hobbit sets the foundation for the Lord of the Rings. I think that one should read this before they read the Lord of the Rings. This book centers around the adventures of B9ilbo Baggins, who is Frodo's uncle. Frodo refers to his uncle a lot in the lord of the rings so it would be good to know what he is referring to. This version of the book is definitely the best version for the price. It is wonderful to read and looks very good on a bookshelf. The best part is their is no outer jacket that you would be afraid of tearing. You also must realize that Tolkien had this book published in the early 1930s and the story stll lasts to today. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are what really started the whole modern Fantasy genre. The book was meant to be read to children but it is so good that adults will find it even more entertaining. I recommend this to any Fantasy fan it is truly a timeless classic.

The Prequel That Started It All

by Andrew "Radaar"

If the names Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the wizard don't mean anything to you, READ THIS REVIEW, THEN GO READ THE HOBBIT! This is a fantastic story that will keep you hooked until the end. It tells the story of Bilbo, a hobbit, or midget, who goes on adventure with thirteen dwarves in search of a treasure that was taken from the dwarves by Smaug the Dragon. For most of the trip, they are accompanied by Gandalf, a mighty wizard who got Bilbo to sign up for the trip. Along the way, Bilbo finds a special ring that makes its wearer invisible. He "wins" this treasure from a creature called Gollum, who swears revenge on Bilbo's family when Bilbo escapes. The troop has many great adventures with goblins, elves, wolves, trolls, and giant spiders! If you've never read this book, do yourself a favor and read this A.S.A.P. Then go read Lord of the Rings.

A classic fantasy tale

by Andrew W. Johns "ResQgeek"

The Hobbit is written in a much simpler style than the Lord of the Rings books, and the story itself is a more straight forward adventure tale. Our protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, finds himself drafted most unwillingly into the role of burgler for a band of dwarves who seek to reclaim the treasure stolen from their ancestors by the dragon Smaug. But before they can accomplish this goal, they must survive the journey to the Lonely Mountain, where Smaug dwells. The trip is long and dangeous, and Bilbo proves his worth along the way.While this book doesn't have the deep and powerful themes of the subsequent trilogy, it still provides a cautionary story about the dangers of greed, and of unintended consequences. Bilbo's companions allow their greed to cloud their judgement (as it does many others along the way), and while they only intended to reclaim what they considered rightfully theirs, their actions provoke the dragon into attacking a nearby town, with potentially disasterous consequences. Only the arrival of a common foe prevents these natural allies from fighting among themselves.An enjoyable fantasy tale, with a simple message, this story is still a classic because it sets the stage for the powerful battle between good and evil in the Lord of the Rings.

An Excellent Version of the Hobbit and its History

by Andrew Wyllie "History Buff"

I had not read The Hobbit in quite some time and was looking for a new edition when I found this version and was blown away by the different illustrations that it contains from all the versions of the book in all the languages that it has been published in since its initial release in 1937.The background information regarding some of the sources of inspiration for Tolkien while writing the story are most enlightening. If you read every footnote, you will find the difference between each edition which may be of interest if you have more than one edition and wondered why the text is not always the same. The history behind the writing of The Hobbit is as interesting as the story itself.I would recommend this edition to just about anyone interested in the story including those who may want to read it to young children to introduce them to Middle Earth. The great collection of illustrations on practically every page will help keep a child interested while the hear about a shy little person going "There and Back Again".

A Gem

by Annie Riley

I found this little gem at a local store when looking for a nicer version than my old trade paperback. I immediately fell in love with it, and I now carry it with me almost everywhere. It's lovely, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Tolkien's beloved tale.


by apoem "apoem"

My children are now old enough to introduce to this lovely classic. We have completely enjoyed listening go the reading of it on the CD's. The characters are protrayed so differently and the songs only add to the story. This is lovely, well done.I would buy it again and again.Enjoy

Slightly overrated, but still a good story and brilliantly written

by Ash Ryan

Very well written, which makes the story seem somewhat better than it actually is. Still, it's not bad, and I probably actually enjoyed it more as an adult than I did the last time I read it as a kid.As to this audio edition, Rob Inglis's narration is quite good---I enjoyed listening to his characterizations and performances of the songs and so forth. Three and a half stars.

The Hobbit

by atg

I didn't actually read THIS edition of the Hobbit. So this is a review about the actual story.I loved it! It was nice and easy to read, I enjoyed it just an ounce better than the previous books. (Silmarillion and Children of Hurin)The story flowed nice and smoothly and it was interesting to see how much of the movie was true. I will be looking out for similarities in the next two movies of the Hobbit. Hope they follow the book.

What Harry Potter is Not

by A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com "What should ...

The Hobbit is what Harry Potter is not. Let there be no pretense in saying "The Hobbit" is among the finest pieces of older children's fiction ever.Bilbo Baggins is a humorous, lovable sort of hobbit. In fact, if I were to meet a hobbit, I should hope it to be Bilbo.What Bilbo brings is boldness in the midst of genuine concern over the task at hand. He is afraid, but not so much that he doesn't rise to occasion.Delicious language. Images you can taste and smell. A story that matters, and is well-told.Read "The Hobbit" and be entranced. If your children or nephews/nieces are old enough, read it aloud to them. Read it to your class. Show them Harry Potter is not bad, but Bilbo is better.I fully recommend this book.Anthony Trendl

very nice edition of Tolkien's classic adventure tale

by audrey

The Hobbit is JRR Tolkien's prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Though it stood on its own legs for 30 years, it is now difficult to disentangle this tale of Bilbo Baggins' adventuring with dwarves and finding of the One Ring from the grandly-scaled tale that would follow. This is a charming story, less an epic than a good old-fashioned tale, as Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and the rest trek to the Lonely Mountain to wrest dwarvish gold from the dragon Smaug. Along the way they encounter Beorn the Bear-Man, elves, trolls and giant spiders.This edition is quite beautiful, and would make a lovely gift for someone who has read the story and considers it something special. The binding is dark green and embossed with maroon and gold runes and an image. The paper is heavy and augmented by Tolkien's own illustrations.


by BbP "I buy 1cent books"

#9 of the 10 mostpopularbooks----E V E R--!there and back again-the hobbit--9/21/1937.j.r.r. tolkein//3 june 1892 to 2 sep 1973--81 yrsold.....teacher-poet.THE HOBBIT FOLLOWS THE QUEST OF A HOMELOVING HOBBIT..BILBO BAGGINS--2 good andbadplaces..an episodic quest.PERSONAL GROWTH& HEROISM.a G R E A T--R E A D!bp okc 64

The Hobbit: Collector's Edition review

by Beau Yarbrough

My first memory of my father is him reading me the first page "The Hobbit" when I was a small boy. The book has remained a favorite of mine over the years, and I've read it and re-read it again and again. Finally, I decided to buy this handsome collector's edition, bound in green leather, slip-cased and containing JRRT's full color and two tone illustrations.The high quality book -- the paper it's printed on is THICK -- and illustrations just add to the story, and make it easy to slip into the fantasy world he's created.Not cheap, but definitely worth it for lovers of hobbits and "The Hobbit."

Everything you ever wanted to know about Middle Earth

by bernie "xyzzy"

The book has a well thought out design in a dictionary form. You find information on every character, every place, and every thing. There is a section on how to read the sources and abbreviations in the book. There are appendixes with A Chronology of the First Age, Genealogical Tables, and Conversion of page references to Houghton Mifflin Editions.Some may think this guide is geared towards those that already have a basic knowledge of Middle earth. But upon exam one finds it is like any other dictionary those with a large vocabulary may need an occasional glance; while others may have to look up the words that explain the words.I find it indispensable.

Making Way For The Lord

by Bill Slocum

"The Hobbit" has readability, charm, and a gigantic legacy as the forerunner of fantasy fiction's greatest trilogy. Such a legacy can be a burden, though, and might have been more of one had J. R. R. Tolkien not been so brilliantly instinctual in his pacing and craft here.The story takes us to Middle Earth and the quaint settlement of Bag-End, where a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins lives a life of quiet luxury. This is rudely disturbed by the wizard Gandalf, who recruits Bilbo to accompany some gruff dwarves on a quest. The dwarves are initially suspicious of bringing along a hobbit (which is even smaller than a dwarf, and of less use in battle), but Gandalf makes clear to them that they'll find Bilbo useful, as indeed they do.Of course, a lot of readers will come to "The Hobbit" being familiar with the trilogy that came after, "The Lord Of The Rings." If they are like me, they will find something of a disconnect.Part of it is in tone. "The Hobbit" is written more in a humorous vein, especially at the beginning, so much so it's almost distracting. An encounter early on with a trio of trolls plays as a kind of knockabout comedy, while Bilbo's longing for home is played up over and over for chuckles. Tolkien was writing for younger readers, here it seems more than in anything he did later involving Middle Earth, and for those expecting epic battles and mythmaking, it can get rather twee.There's also the fact that when Tolkien wrote "The Hobbit" back in the 1930s, there was no "Lord Of The Rings." The story feels simpler that way, like when Bilbo manages to get a magical ring from a nasty critter named Gollum. It's just a neat magic device here, without the malignant associations that come with the trilogy.The story doesn't really take off as a gripping adventure until Bilbo and his companions arrive at the black forest of Mirkwood. Tolkien's imagery here is wonderfully bleak and evocative: "The entrance to the path was like a sort of arch leading into a gloomy tunnel made by two great trees that leant together, too old and strangled with ivy and hung with lichen to bear more than a few blackened leaves."The novel stays pretty much like that to the end, crammed with exciting incident and winding up in a big battle, maybe not the satisfyingly epic ones "Lord Of The Rings" deliver but in the same vein. Tolkien's management of his fantasy world and Bilbo's emergence as a resourceful hero also contribute to the overall enjoyability of this novel, which works both as a stand-alone book and a deceptively quaint first step into a larger world.

An excellent forerunner of the Lord of the Rings!

by bixodoido

Long before Frodo gained possession of the One Ring, before the great council in Rivendell or the terrors of the mines of Moria, there was another hobbit, Bilbo Baggins by name, who had his own adventure. This book relates that adventure.Though it explains various parts of the Lord of the Rings series (such as how Bilbo got the Ring), this is truly a tale independent of the well-known trilogy. Very little of the journey actually deals with the finding of the Ring, and the focus rests on Bilbo and his journey with Gandalf and a troop of dwarves.The story, as it is told, is of Bilbo's part in a quest to defeat the dragon Smaug and recover lost treasure and land of his dwarven companions'. The tale abounds in adventures, encounters with mystical creatures, hardships, and every other element for which Tolkien's stories are famous.This book was written for children (the reading being much easier than Tolkien's other works), but is a timeless classic which can doubtless be enjoyed by young and old alike.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

by Bjorn Viberg

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien was the fist book that I read on my own as a child and it therefore holds a very special place in my heart. The story is not just an adventure story filled with magic and strange and wonderous creatures. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the gang of dwarves (Thorin Oakenshield, Kili, and Fili to mention a few) and their amazing journey to find the treasure guarded by the evil and selfish dragon Smaug. The story is a tale of self discovery, maturity and shows how much Bilbo Baggins changes as a man from the start till the finish. The descriptions used in the book are splendid and the small songs included add allot to the story (something I did not appreciate or understand as a child). I love the narration and I would recommend this splendid tale to not just fantasy fans but to anyone that fancies a good book.

Utterly captivating

by "blissengine"

This is the story of how Bilbo Baggins obtained the powerful ring and found sources of bravery and courage within himself through his adventures with the dwarves and Gandalf the wizard. I was spellbound within a few pages and was astounded at how energetic and compelling the story is. And this was published in 1937! I believe the reason for the book's longevity is that "The Hobbit" is about a character challenging himself and proving himself (to himself and to others), which is something to which everyone can relate. This is certainly a masterpiece of storytelling.

Very good supplement to a landmark book.

by B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold"

`The Annotated Hobbit', annotated by bookseller Douglas A. Anderson is published by J.R.R. Tolkien's American publisher, Houghton Mifflin (important because it means the cover of this book uses the same art as the cover of the most popular hard-covered American edition of the Hobbit, published in the 1960's).Let me be perfectly clear that this is first and foremost a review of the Annotation, not of the novel, `The Hobbit' itself. I have an almost reverential respect for the original novel, having bought my first copy of this work on a cold February day in 1965 in the Lehigh University bookstore. I began reading it on the bus on the way home from my college classes at about 1:00 PM, and simply could not put it down. I finished reading it at about 8:30 that evening. The experience is not unlike some cinematic versions of experiences like Dorothy's opening the door of her Kansas house to step out onto the grass of Oz. I am totally unsurprised by a statement in this annotation that says that the entire first page of `The Hobbit' has been reproduced in `Bartlett's Familiar Quotations'. There are few more magical or evocative openings to novels I have read in my whole life. And, while I can appreciate that there are adult readers, my Hemingway loving uncle being one of them, who simply `don't get it', I am often driven to the point of dispair when I can't interest young readers or listeners in `The Hobbit'. Like `Winnie the Pooh' and `Alice in Wonderland', I really think these are books designed much more to bring back memories of childhood in adults than to engage young readers. And oh how much I enjoy reading `The Hobbit' aloud!But back to this Annotation'. Like similar annotations to works of fiction such as `Alice in Wonderland' and the Arthur Conan Doyle stories of Sherlock Holmes, there are four different subjects for annotation. One is internal; where names and events are cross-referenced to other parts of the work to explain, elaborate, resolve, or point out inconsistencies. The second is external, where correspondences can be made to sources or, in the case of Conan Doyle or Carroll, events of the day that may have found their way into the fiction. The third is references to the author's unpublished notes and letters. Tolkien's works should be rich sources for all three types of annotation, as the world of `The Hobbit' and `The Lord of the Rings' is based on an enormous body of Norse, Celtic, and Teutonic mythology, fable, and epic literature. Also, standing behind `The Hobbit' is the great events of `The Lord of the Rings', `The Silmarillion', and over twelve volumes of Tolkien writings compiled and annotated by Christopher Tolkien.So why are the annotations in this volume so sparse? The author certainly does not limit himself to only one kind of annotation. There are examples of all three references to other Tolkien works, notes and letters, and other sources. The author does give us lots of illustrations of scenes from `The Hobbit' published in translations of the work from around the world. There are also a few illustrations from books that certainly influenced Tolkien, such as `The Marvelous Land of Snergs'. The one thing that all these illustrations tell me is that, on average, they are not very good, oriented primarily towards a children's audience rather than some of the more heroic art familiar to us from modern fantasy illustrators. It seems to me a lost opportunity also to not include Tolkien's own color illustrations for `The Hobbit', as they appeared on the very first `Tolkien' calendar in, I believe 1966 or 1967.I will give just a few illustrations of where I think the author may have disappointed his readers. By far the most interesting character in `The Hobbit' next to Bilbo and Gandalf is Smaug. And yet, the book has next to nothing to say about the fictional antecedents of that delightfully cagey old worm. One of my only fond memories of the rather insipid cartoon version of `The Hobbit' done several decades ago is the gravely voice of Smaug done by Paladin himself, Richard Boone. If you couldn't get John Huston, then Boone was certainly the next best thing. To the whole conversation between Bilbo and Smaug, there are but two notes regarding Smaug and dragons. At least we get a reference about the source of Smaug's name, a primitive Germanic verb, `smugan' meaning to squeeze through a hole. Tolkien confessed that this was `a low philological jest'. In the wider story culminating in the great events of `The Lord of the Rings' coming at the end of the Third Age, it is much more important to Gandalf to remove this great dragon from the field so Sauron could not use him as a weapon in the War of the Rings than it was to restore a small band of dwarves to their treasures. The book has practically nothing to say about this, or the fact that the character of the `necromancer' who takes up residence at the southwestern tip of Mirkwood forest is actually either the leader of the Nazgul or Sauron himself.I keep thinking, as I turn each page of ample, empty white margins, all the things that could have been included.In balance, this is not a bad book or even a poor purchase, especially if, like me, you simply must have a copy of every different version of Tolkien's works imaginable. It has a very nice bibliography and an Appendix of all textual changes between the 1937 and 1966 editions. For those notes it does have, it is great as a version to read to children where you can record your own notes with answers to their questions.

The first truly five star book

by B. Merritt "filmreviewstew.com"

Masterpiece. A work of Art. A lasting piece down through the ages. How ever you look at this book, it is all those things and more. Most notable is the endurance that this book has, lasting over sixty years and still a favorite of millions, perhaps billions.The story is that of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit. Hobbits are peaceful creatures who live in and around Hobbiton. One day, Bilbo is approached by Gandalf, a wizened wizard who sees Bilbo as a necessary force for the gathering of a party of dwarves bent on revenge and getting back gold stolen from them by Smoag, a nasty dragon. In the midst of this party and all that they encounter upon their journey to the Lonely Mountain (where the treasure of Smoag and Smoag himself lay) they encounter other forces, strange creatures -- some friendly and some very unfriendly. Deadly spiders, Trolls, Goblins, Wolves round out the deadly enemies. Elves, Men, Elrond half-Elvin, Byorn, and dwarves, round out the good guys. And of course, we can't forget Gollum...the dispicable creature within the Misty Mountains whom Bilbo encounters and gains the ultimate power over the lands....the RING! A magic ring that renders it's wearer invisible, but also takes part of the person away (as you learn in later books). But the Ring is mainly a sideline to the main story which is the success of good against evil thanks to a little, nothing of a Hobbit. Even the smallest of creatures can have a monumental impact, is what Mr. Tolkien was trying to tell us I think. That, and don't judge a book by it's cover.Enjoyable in everyway and a book to pass on to your children and their children. Please read it! It will change you, just as it changed the lands before humankind.

Definitely There and Back Again

by BooksieDaisy

We owe a debt of incalculable value to J.R.R. Tolkien. He is the father of an entire genre, a genre that has been able to carry many of us through our darkest hours. Although The Hobbit came out over 70 years ago, it is yet fresh and vibrant. Dear Bilbo is still an enchanting hero and still unique--so many main characters are thinly veiled reflections of ideal selves, whereas Bilbo makes us instead rather want to become Hobbits.The Hobbit is less world-weary than the Lord of the Rings. It is also a more tightly knit story. For these two reasons, I prefer The Hobbit to the later saga, but I am still grateful that I am a better person for having experienced both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.In The Hobbit, we experience a series of adventures that are precipitated by an odd invitation from Gandalf, and through these adventures we see Bilbo pass from mere observer to central character. Tolkien was a master at many things: character, mythology, story; however, his observations of the essential qualities of human nature make his writings timeless and transcendent of societal changes.It was a joy to experience The Hobbit. I look forward to reading it to my girls. I don't consider it merely recommended reading; I classify it as canon.

Best Books Ever!

by Brett Ashton

The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) are my favorite books of all time. I've read them at least every five years since I was fifteen. There are no words to express what these books mean to me except that they inspired me to start writing myself.Lucifer's Pocket. The performance of Rob Inglis was very good and convincing. He actually did a very decent job singing the songs rather than just reading them, which added a lot to the feeling of the recording. The packaging has a little to be desired being made of a cheap thin cardboard with cutouts for the CDs to be put in. I just don't think it would protect them over time and a lot of taking them out and putting them back in.

Magic at your Fingertips

by Brett Benner

Before Robert Jordan conceived his Wheel of Time, or Harry Potter entered his first Quidditch Match, there was "The Hobbit." This charming and magical fantasy is the simple story of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who begins the adventure of a lifetime accompanying a group of dwarves. Their destination is the Lonely Mountain, in which lies the dwarves stolen fortune, guarded by a horrible dragon named Smaug.How easy is was to lose yourself in this world for awhile. I kept thinking about it every time I put the book down. It also wonderfully sets up the Lord of the Rings trilogy that includes two of the characters from "The Hobbit." If you've never read this book like I hadn't, and are a big fan of either Harry Potter or the Robert Jordan books, you owe it to yourself to read this. It's great!

Bilbo Baggins

by Brian & Randy "Two Brothers"

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien is an excellent book for those readers who find it hard for themselves to enjoy reading. J.R.R. Tolkein presents a story of overcoming fears by telling the simple story of hobbits who leave their beloed Shire. It is the story of a wizard, Gandalf and a hobbit of Bag End named Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo reluctantly joins Gandalf and a group of dwares in a search for a lost treasure. This is an exciting journey for readers of all ages.

Pure and Simple

by buddyhead

Cute. This is a simple child's tale that serves as a nice springboard to the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. It stands by itself as a nice story, yet is good enough to make you rush for the real McCoy- the next three books. The fertility of Tolkien's mind is amazing, and the places and creatures described in the Hobbit are such that it would have taken scores of other writers several lifetimes to conceive of them. Bilbo Baggins and his company are loveable characters, and my only criticism of the tale is that they seem to escape every jam they find themselves in, to the point that you stopped wondering whether or not they would make it with each new challenge that presented itself.

Oh My! What a fanastic book!

by Busy Mom

With 667 reviews and pending ~~ I better keep mine short and sweet so the reader won't get overwhelmed!I tried reading J.R.R. Tolkien back in high school but just couldn't get into his writing style then. I was awfully immature then ~~ because when I picked up the Hobbit on my honeymoon ~~ I couldn't believe how wonderfully written and how rich the descriptions of Tolkien's Hobbit world. It's a fanastic read ~~ one that I would highly recommend to everyone!And how can anyone not fall in love with Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit that left the Shire to answer the call that Gandalf put out? The adventures he set upon ~~ both externally and internally ~~ made a real Hobbit out of Baggins.If you're going to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy ~~ I highly recommend people to start with the Hobbit first ~~ it is a lighter read and wonderfully written as well ~~ and so entertaining! Mere words can't describe its wonder well enough! Just pick this book up and get lost in Tolkien's magical world!1-17-02


by B. Wilfong

I recently read "The Hobbit" for only the second time in my life, and I have to argue with the people who say this is a children's book. I disagree wholeheartedly. Although there are elements of children's fantasy tales in the text, the themes and actions of "The Hobbit" are much more oriented to adults.I won't waste time rehashing plot points with this iconic text; instead I will focus on some features that stuck out to me.First off, if one is familiar with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, I think their reading of "The Hobbit" will yield some interesting insights and they will catch some details that people not familiar with LOTR would miss. One can read, and greatly enjoy, "The Hobbit" as a standalone text, but I think it is much better when considered within the framework of LOTR.Another observation that surprised me was just how unlikeable the dwarves are in this book. Tolkien frequently mentions in his other works that dwarves are foolish and selfish, and usually only do good works when prompted by circumstance, but on this reading of "The Hobbit" they greatly annoyed me. Perhaps because of how much they remind me of most of humanity. And maybe that was Tolkien's intent? An allegory for how humanity often only makes the right choice when goaded into it, as opposed to it being our first and natural instinct.Although there are moments in the text that are a little slow going, they are few and far between, and Tolkien focuses much less on the minutia of detail about Middle Earth in this book as opposed to some of his others. I had also forgotten how action packed the last 100 pages or so of "The Hobbit" are. I was recently arguing with a friend that the decision to make the films of "The Hobbit" a trilogy was just greed as the book could not support 3 films. I was wrong, if the movies are well done, there is more than enough in this text to justify three films.This rereading of "The Hobbit" has made me want to jump back into Middle Earth, and I sense that I will be picking up and rereading more of Tolkien in the very near future. As for "The Hobbit", I will gladly revisit Bilbo Baggins and his adventures again and again over the course of my lifetime. No greater praise can one give a book.

As good as when I first read it in elementary school

by C. Denver Mullican

My dad and I first read the Hobbit together. I can recall us sitting together and him saying, "Let's get that Hobbit out of trouble". It has been a long time since I have read it, but it is a good as when we first read it together.

Hear me out...

by C. Fletcher

Okay, I know I'm setting myself up for a lot of flack by giving "The Hobbit" only three stars, but I don't think these reviews are worth much unless you're willing to be perfectly honest about your opinions...even if those opinions happen to be different than those of everyone else on the planet, or in the solar system. So here goes.I'm twenty-eight, and I've been a huge fan of horror and sci-fi books and movies since I was about 12. I haven't read much in the way of fantasy fiction, however, even though it's such a closely related sibling to the two genres I love so dearly. As a kid, I loved the Narnia books, and I recently enjoyed the Harry Potter series quite a bit. So with the new movies based on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy coming out, I decided it was time to dig into these pillars of the fantasy genre.I decided to start with "The Hobbit," since I'm the kind of person who always reads forewords and afterwards. I had heard so many people talk about it over the years, that I felt like I had already inhaled most of the characters and plot points like second hand smoke.Okay, let me start with some of what I liked: I think "The Hobbit" is an original, often charming and fun-to-read story with some great thematic floorboards holding it all up. I like that Bilbo Baggins has some roguish family blood in his veins causing him to crave adventure in a most unhobbit-like manner. It is inspiring that Bilbo is unafraid to follow his own path. His actions and his unbending courage to be himself make him a role model for anyone. In addition to Bilbo, most of the other hobbits, dwarves, and elves that inhabit this book are also quite likable.It's generally a fun quest story that appeals to the imaginations of all ages. There's a dragon guarding some stolen treasure, and a series of fortunes and misfortunes along the way that keep the reader vested in the group's concerns.But there were also a couple of major shortcomings to "The Hobbit" that, in my view, kept it from being a great book. Now here's the part where my opinion will probably veer off from most anyone else's. But like Bilbo, I feel compelled to be my own self.I felt that the style of the narration was overly intrusive; it made me feel less than involved in the story most of the time. I've read the complaints that "The Hobbit" reads too much like a kids' book. I didn't feel that exactly, but rather, that the point of view was just too off-putting. There's an omniscient narrator who sweeps in on invisible wings from time to time, taking you away from characters and events you've invested large chunks of pages following.Also, despite a pretty decent set up and first half, I felt that the book's ending just wasn't very well constructed. The writing isn't actually bad, but the dramatic momentum is often lacking. With less than a hundred pages left to go, a huge inter-race war breaks out, taking you away from the story you've spent most of the book following. When you finally get back to the end of the original quest, the role of hero and dragonslayer is unceremoniously taken from Bilbo by a character that we hardly know.I just felt that there was way too much narrative gear-shifting throughout this book. It felt like I was taking a ride with someone who's just learning to drive a stick.I don't mean to offend anyone with this review. I just felt it was best to be honest. I know lots of people who love this book, people whose opinions I greatly respect. I'll just have to live with a differing opinion on this. In my view, "The Hobbit" is a pretty good story with some major structural flaws that detract from the pleasure of reading it.If you grew up with "The Hobbit" as I did with "Star Wars" or the stories of Ray Bradbury, you probably have the urge at this moment to poke my eye out with a key or to do something equally terrible. So I'd like to extend a peace offering of some kind. I don't think "The Hobbit" is a bad book, and I think if I had first read it as a young kid, I might have loved it. The same way that if I hadn't seen "Star Wars" until I was an adult, I might have only criticized its bad acting and been blind to the bottomless ocean of magic that swells hypnotically under its surface.

Must Read!

by Chad Jackson

Oh man I have never read a book like this.This book you will read more than once.I have read this book 5 times and still love it.I promise you ,you will not be let down by reading this book.If you read this then comes the best book ever.The Lord Of The Rings.Oh this Hobbit book is a prelude to that book.This is a must read.I strongly recomened this book.

One hundred and thirty-three times...and counting

by Chad M. Brick

Ever since this book was read aloud in my fourth-grade class, I have been it love with it. I have read it over and over, and will continue to read it and its sequels annually until the day I die. I long for the day when I can read it to my children. What more can I say?Ramble on.....

Great lead-in to Lord of the Rings

by Charlene

Great way to get lost in the world of fantasy.A bit dark for children under age 10, but hard to put down.

The Hobbit (Leatherette Collector's Edition)

by Charles Miller

I have just finished reading The Hobbit for the seventh time. The first time was after my freshman year in college in 1965, the next four times during the ensuing ten years, and the sixth time with my children in 1990. After so much time spent with this book, reading it was more like remembering than discovering.With all the hype surrounding the release of the movies, I decided to revisit Middle Earth. Since my dog-eared paperback copy disappeared long ago, I decided to purchase the "Leatherette Collector's Edition" published by Houghton Mifflin, and I am glad I did. This very nice edition contributed to my enjoyment of revisiting my old friends. The heavy paper, nice green line at the top of each page, and beautiful typography definitely enhance the overall experience.The only negative I found with the book was the illustrations, which are "by the author", who was a much better author than illustrator. The drawings and watercolors have historical interest, but do little to add to the experience.

One of my favorites

by Chris Brunner

Just finished reading this to my son and it was just as good as I remember. I remember having this book read to me for the first time when I was nine by my Dad. He was a big fan of the Tolkien and felt it was time to share his love for these epic stories. I can still remember getting into bed while he sat in a metal office chair reading till I fell asleep.At the age of nine I was enthralled by this story with tales of Wizards, Goblins and Dwarves. It was all so fantastic I was transported to a different world and loved every minute of it. After this tale my Dad then read me the Lord of the rings trilogy and even though I am not a fan of Sci- Fi, I do love these stories and still get a thrill out of reading them over and over.All these years later I am a father now and wanted to share this with my son and possibly start a tradition that I hope he passes on to his children one day. My son is young and has no idea what is going on but he loves to hear my wife and I read to him. So I chose The Hobbit and she chose a different story, but I know when he is older I will reread this to him in hopes that his face lights up with wonderment and joy as mine did this time, and all those years ago.


by Chris

It is a classic book. How can you give a bad rating to book that has been around for longer than I have been alive(plus a lot).

A Fantasy Classic

by Chris

When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he likely had no idea that it would become the first book in a lengthy series which today serves as the archetypal example of high fantasy. Still further from his mind would have been the idea that his story could find its way into the theaters of the the next century as a blockbuster production.Taken solely on its own merits, however, The Hobbit is still an exceptional book. Tolkien weaves together bits of European mythology, stringing it into a tapestry with threads of his own prodigious creativity, to write a book with appeal to all ages. The poetry can be a bit corny by modern standards, but the overall style of writing and the narrator's tone make the story come alive for the reader.The Kindle edition of The Hobbit has an issue with images in text, causing many of them to appear "sideways" regardless of the angle of the Kindle. While this won't be an issue for the majority of readers, for some (particularly younger children), it could be frustrating. Still, this is too minor a concern to justify a lower star rating.

Prelude to the Ring Trilogy

by Christopher B. Jonnes

This is easily a 5-star story, but I can't give it that because the five stars must be reserved for the Lord of The Rings, Tolkien's three-book continuation of the fantasy tale of Hobbits and Middle Earth, which is even better.I can find no way to criticize this book. It is simply marvelous. Bilbo Baggins' adventure to conquer the evil dragon, Smaug is the epitome of fantasy fiction. But as good as it is, the Ring Trilogy is somehow even better.It is possible to read the Ring Trilogy and thoroughly enjoy it without ever having read the Hobbit, but my advice is to read the Hobbit first. It provides a good deal of background so that the later story is easier to follow, plus I feel it's a let-down to read the superior Trilogy first and then follow up with the Hobbit.Then again, that's like trying to decide whether it's better to first wear diamonds or gold, or drive a Ferrarri or Porsche. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.

excellent Fantasy

by Chuck Biggs

JRR Tolkien, most probably the master of fantasy for all time,has an excellent example of fantasy in the book The Hobbit. This is the second time I have read it, but i enjoyed it as much as if I were reading it for the first time.

written for kids... and "large stupid folk like you and me".

by Cipriano "www.bookpuddle.blogspot.com"

Well, this is one of my favorite books ever, and that is why I've read it over and over so many times. To say that it is "just for kids" is like saying that ice cream or watermelon is just for kids. Blasphemy! It is true that Tolkien intended his story for young readers to enjoy, as is evident in the fact that hardly a page goes by in which the narrator does not address children in the first person singular, but the story is never "childish" (in my opinion). Any child reading this story will feel elevated to being at one level with the (adult) narrator. I think it is significant that Tolkien makes the hobbits beardless and "shy of the Big People" and their stature to be "about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." They tend to "disappear quietly and quickly when large and stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off." The misgivings that Bilbo has as he is swept off on this adventure, are the misgivings that any child would have... and the fact that he overcomes those fears, learns to live with a determined initiative, becomes a true leader, and emerges a hero in the end is a great lesson for young and old alike.The Hobbit is self-contained, and essentially independent of the three-volume Lord Of The Rings, which, in my opinion is a far more graver sort of quest... perhaps less accessible to the younger reader. It is not necessary to read the Hobbit in order to understand The Lord of The Rings, but The Hobbit serves as a quarry of important themes for the larger work.The Hobbit reminds me of something C.S. Lewis (a friend of Tolkien's) once said of children's literature: "No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty..." The Hobbit surely fulfills this criteria, and so I believe you will be smiling at the end of this book regardless of whether, in doing so, you're displaying baby teeth or dentures at the time.

Going on an adventure!

by Clarinerd85 "Rock on and be awesome."

I read "The Hobbit" because I had already read "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and adored it. Therefore, it's hard for me to think of The Hobbit without comparing and contrasting it to the trilogy. First off, The Hobbit bears all of Tolkien's genius: descriptive passages that are more like a painting than a paragraph, clever poetry and songs, and an imaginary world that has come to life with Tolkien's inventive language and culture of the characters. When one reads Tolkien, it's like reading about a real place. However, the one thing that I really did not like about "The Hobbit," especially in comparison to LOTR, is that there is very little character development. I often had trouble keeping track of names because the characters just don't do much besides have adventures. On the whole, I give this book 4 stars for its creativity, originality, adventurous plot, and beautiful language.

Book Review: The Hobbit

by classroom3502 "classroom3502"

Most of us have seen or read the lord of the rings, but have you ever wondered what happened before this? Well, you can find out by reading The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This story is about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and how an adventure changes him and the rest of middle earth.In the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is met by a wizard named Gandalf, who sends him on an adventure with thirteen dwarves: Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Fili, Kili, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifuf, Bofur, and finally, Bombur. These 14 companions are sent on a quest to travel to the Lonely Mountain for the purpose of regaining the dwarves' treasure from the evil dragon, Smaug. On this journey, they will travel across the Misty Mountains, through the Goblin Caves and into the Dark Forest of Mirkwood. They will encounter Elves, Men, Goblins and various creatures of all sorts as they travel across Middle Earth.One such event occurred soon after they left the Shirt. This encounter was with a group of three trolls. After hearing noises in the forest, the dwarves sent Bilbo to investigate. When he did, he found that the trolls were eating. So, he tried to steal from them while they were distracted, but was caught in the act. While a prisoner of the trolls, the dwarves, hearing the commotion, gave themselves away by trying to save Bilbo, causing them to be bagged and thrown by the fire. The trolls then started arguing on how to cook the dwarves and the hobbit. Little did the trolls know, Gandalf was hiding in the bushes where he kept the argument going by disguising his voice as their own. Gandalf kept them arguing until daybreak, knowing that trolls cannot survive sunlight and turn to stone. When daybreak arrived the trolls failed to seek cover from the sun and indeed turned into stone. After this, Bilbo and Gandalf freed the dwarves who were cranky, angry and upset from being in the sack all night. This was just one of many adventures in Professor Tolkien's book The Hobbit.This story has many strengths. I believe the biggest is how Professor Tolkien paints a picture of the character's surroundings. An example is: "The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side." Another strength is how he leads up to an action scene. An example of this is how he has the dwarves and Bilbo wandering around Mirkwood, chasing lights before they actually get to the spider colony where a battle follows. A third strength is how the author uses song to relate to scenes or stories written the book. An example is from the beginning of the story, when the dwarves are all gathered at Bilbo's house. During this time, Bilbo gets anxious about the dwarves no being gentle with his belongings. So Tolkien ha the dwarves sing a song about breaking his plates when they clean up after a meal. Evan though this is a great book, it does have some weaknesses. One weakness is how the book has more narration then dialogue. An example of this is how Tolkien focuses more upon Bilbo's thoughts during a conversation that he is having than the conversation itself.This book is similar to other fairy tale/medieval novels. This is because of the creatures, weapons, and technologies used. Also, they have castles and every "kingdom" is for the most part independent and uncaring of one another. It is different from these types of novels because this story is used more as a prologue to The Lord of the Rings than a full story in and of itself.I believe The Hobbit was written for all audiences. Although there can be big words and weird phrases, even young readers would enjoy this wonderful story. The genre of this book is fantasy. I know this because this book has many wonderful fictions characters and places in it. There is no other book in comparison to this one (with the exception of The Lord of the Rings).Ultimately, I believe The Hobbit is one of the best books I've ever read. I think this is because it's written very descriptively and the storyline is amazing. If you enjoy adventure and action, you should read this book.

Definitely worth reading...

by CoffeeGurl

The Hobbit is one of those novels that I'd put off reading for a long time. I often had difficulty getting past the first few pages. This isn't my sort of read, for I've never been into this sort of fantasy-and-magic-realism-for-children genre. But then I couldn't put it down the second I decided to give it a whirl. The Hobbit is a well written, engaging, and oftentimes humorous work of fantasy. It is aimed at a youthful audience and I think it would be a marvelous next step for Harry Potter fanatics. That is if said fanatics hadn't read this classic gem beforehand. In any event, this novel is far better written than the aforementioned popular series. This book is a wonderful revelation and I recommend it. You won't be able to put it down once you get into it.

Amazing book

by Colleen

I'm finally reading this book now that the movie is out. The plot will draw you in from page one!

Where it all began

by C.P.M. "Cicero"

Ah, the classic work of Tolkien's that started it all. While most LOTR fans may only be interested in this book because of the finding of the One Ring, there are many elements in here that make this stand apart from "The Lord of the Rings." This is, very much, a classic treasure hunt tale and a good example of the hero's journey, the hero in this case being Bilbo Baggins. It also has a better view of dwarf and hobbit culture than "The Lord of the Rings," if you don't includes the prologue and appendices from that novel. And it is far more accessible to the average reader than LOTR due to it's smaller size and somewhat playful tone. However, that playful tone is one of the drawbacks, in my opinion, about this book. Having just finished "The Silmarillion" and "The Children of Hurin," with it's distinctly epic tone and scale, it is quite jarring to go from that to the childlike tone of "The Hobbit." Not only that, but due to the fact that this was the first book to be published (ca. 1937), it didn't seem to benefit from Tolkien's extended revisions of his mythology that were published later. In fact, though he tries to put "The Hobbit" into his mythology, it seems clear that Tolkien didn't have it all fleshed out as he later did in LOTR or even "The Silamrillion." Regardless, this is an enjoyable book and a necessary prelude to "The Lord of the Rings."

read it 10 years back

by Craig C. Long "baddog"

will saw the move last week and thought it was time to read the book once more so I got it on my iPad and the book is better than the movie, for they have left out a lot about importants of religion and good is to Tokien

There and Back Again : A Hobbit's Tale

by Craobh Rua "Craobh Rua"

A classic children's story, J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" was first published in 1937. The hero of the book is a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins. A small and agile race, hobbits are generally between two and four feet in height. They rarely wear shoes, and - while not magical - can move both quickly and quietly. Fond of eating, drinking and skilled in the smoking of pipe-weed, hobbits live in holes in the ground and thoroughly disapprove of adventures. Bilbo, as the book begins, appears to be a very typical hobbit. He lives in a very comfortable and well-stocked hole, known as Bag End, in a town called Hobbiton. However, things change after a visit from Gandalf the Grey - a very famous wizard - and thirteen dwarves. Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarves' leader, is leading a mission to the Lonely Mountain far to the east of Hobbiton. Thorin's people had lived there until being driven out by a dragon, known as Smaug the Magnificent, and he intends to reclaim their stolen home and treasure. Gandalf has persuaded Thorin to bring Bilbo along as the company's burglar. Unfortunately, Bilbo knew nothing of this until the night before they were all due to leave. Although Bilbo has no good reason to join the group of exiles on their adventure, he still decides to go along with them. As the book progresses, he meets many strange people and creatures - including giant spiders, trolls, goblins and elves. The strangest of them all, however, must surely have been a riddle-loving creature called Gollum who cares only for something he calls his "precious".Following the success of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of the Hobbit's slightly more famous sequel, the Hobbit may - for a short time at least - be seen as nothing more than a precursor to "Lord of the Rings". It does introduce certain things that play key parts in "The Lord of the Rings" : the race of Hobbits, Gandalf, Gollum and, of course, the Ring itself. However, it is a complete story in itself with a start, middle and end ! "The Hobbit" will be greatly enjoyed by children - and will also be enjoyed by adults who choose to read it.

UNabr CD read by Rob Inglis is EXCELLENT!!!

by critters

Rob Inglis is, in my opinion, one of the best readers out there, and I think he's perfect for "The Hobbit" and the complete "Lord of the Rings." He sings what needs singing, very well, which is relatively unusual. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creation he has wrought!!

"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit"

by Crystal Starr Light

"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit"Bilbo Baggins was a respectable hobbit living in his hobbit-hole at Bag End. But things change when Gandalf the Wizard drops by--along with thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield. Suddenly, Bilbo finds himself on a pony heading away from the Shire and into the great unknown, to defeat a dragon and score treasure.I Liked:WOW! This was such a beautiful, enjoyable book!The Hobbit has never been my favorite Tolkien novel, mostly because it seems so childish (of course, it was written for kids). But the audiobook (and listening to Eldest prior to this) gave me a new appreciation for this joy.Firstly, there are the characters, primarily Bilbo. Bilbo really strikes me as a relatable guy. He's comfortable, content to live at home, and uninterested in adventures. He has to be pushed out of his home by Gandalf in order to get in on the fun. It reminds me so much of how I can be: content to go along, not trying new things until my sister forces me on a new path.My favorite character, though, is Gandalf. I like how quirky he is, how smart and even caring he is to Bilbo. Gandalf knew that Bilbo was perfect for the job and wouldn't let Bilbo back out no matter what. Plus, it's awesome to see recurring characters from the Lord of the Rings.The story itself is so wonderful! Tolkien writes in a third person omniscient, which allows him to employ a great sense of humor. I love how he often directs comments to the audience (explaining hobbits, trolls, and the like) and how light-hearted the tone is. As for the story proper: a pleasure! There is so much adventure, excitement, intrigue...I've read this before, but I still learned new things or was wowed all over again. I loved the tale of how Bilbo and the dwarves evaded the trolls (so simple, yet showcases how brilliant Gandalf was), how Bilbo got the ring from Gollum, and the trek through the Forest (so scary!).And I love how this story fits into Tolkien's vision for Middle Earth. Elrond, Wood Elves, Mirkwood (Thranduil!), Gollum, the White Council...all these and more make appearances.And lastly, the narrator...ah, he was such a pleasure to listen to! I loved his voice, and I adored how he sung the songs and poems in the book! Not many could pull it off so convincingly!I Didn't Like:I don't have a lot of complaints, but there are a few. Firstly, there are thirteen dwarves, and most of them have little to no character. Fili and Kili were young, Bombur fat, Balin I believe had the best eyesight. Only Thorin had any development.One thing I've never liked about the Lord of the Rings or much of Tolkien's works was all the poetry. The Hobbit was no different; a few poems were great, but after a while, I grew tired of the lapsing into a poem.Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:None.None.While not graphic, there are some intense battles between goblins and the troop in the Misty Mountains and in the final battle.Overall:I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I've never been a Hobbit fan, but this time around, I might be converted. It's fun, it's enjoyable, it's a piece of your childhood in novel form. Highly recommended for those who want to be kids again.Brought to you by:*C.S. Light*

Hard To Believe Some People Don't Like This Book

by Dai-keag-ity

Since this is a book I love, I have always felt I owed it to myself--or the fourteen-year-old me--to put in my two cents worth on a review. But you know, as I sit here, I cannot think of much to add to what's already been written. I mean...if someone has already read The Hobbit, then she's already got an opinion. And if someone hasn't yet had the honor of being among those who have journeyed along with Bilbo through Middle Earth, then odds are she's been exposed to enough "Hobbit 101" background information on this famous subject to the point where anything I say is merely added noise. And if by some rare chance a person who has neither read The Hobbit nor knows details of it should locate this review, then is it really fair of me to say anything at all to influence how this potential reader might feel, or alter what he or she might know? Funny, but I've never felt this hesitation about any other work, and perhaps that says something unexpected about the sacredness of this book to me even now, a dozen years after I first spent a wonderful Saturday in June 1993 reading it. Maybe writing this review has been more of a voyage of discovery about myself and my regard for J.R.R. Tolkien, that right-wing, nature loving Oxford professor, whose life's work made him an icon among those of the political left. So let me end here by saying this: The Hobbit is a work of wondrous scope that was huge to me at one time in my life, is still of more importance than I knew a moment ago, and if you are about to read it for the first time or the thousandth, I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have.

Such an adventure

by Danae M. McShane

I mean literally, such an exillerating way of finding out the story that made LOTR :) I couldn't put it down!

A treasured classic

by Daniel Estes

I arrived at my first reading of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit after first seeing The Lord of the Rings movies when they premiered, and then I followed that by reading the novels. I guess I'm working backwards.What an enchanting little book this is with a language so lyrical it seems to sing! In fact it does sing at times. And you can't help but love Bilbo and his ever-present need to be back home safe in his hobbit-hole, cradling a good cup of tea.The story format is episodic, which makes sense for an adventure quest and I suspect is also a product of when it was written, but the narrative feeling of "this happens and then this happens and then this happens" disconnects the tale a bit. I'm probably being too nitpicky. The Hobbit is timeless good fun so don't miss out.

my favorite version of one of my favorite books

by Daniel Mackler

I was given this hardbound, encased version of The Hobbit for my 6th birthday in 1978---and have read it about ten times since. (Just finished re-reading it yesterday.) This book, and this version, are magical to me. The Hobbit is a wonderful book, full of adventure, magic, camaraderie, and growth---and is a perfect metaphor for the internal healing process: taking risks for the betterment of our character and soul. Bilbo is a classic example of a comfortable, under-exposed being who breaks out of his comfort to challenge himself and rise to new heights of truth and daring. You gotta love him!Also, the illustrations---all originals by J.R.R. Tolkien---are just marvelous. I've looked at them SO many times over the decades, and they are simply special to me: especially the picture of Smaug the Dragon sitting on his hoard of gold. WOW!So I highly recommend this book, and this version, to everyone and anyone.And if you haven't get read The Hobbit, LUCKY YOU---you have an adventure in store for you!Enjoy!

There And Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday

by Dave_42 "Dave_42"

"The Hobbit or There and Back Again" by J. R. R. Tolkien was published on September 21st of 1937. It is the success of this book that paved the way for "The Lord of the Rings". "The Hobbit" is definitely geared towards younger readers, and it received favorable reviews from papers in the U.K. and the U.S., and it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, as well as the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1938."The Hobbit" is often over-shadowed by "The Lord of the Rings", and this is especially true when one treats "The Hobbit" as the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings". To consider it as such is both fair and unfair. It is fair, because clearly the events in "The Hobbit" took place prior to, and are key to the "The Lord of the Rings", and of course there are common characters in both stories. However, it is also not fair in that "The Hobbit" clearly was written for a younger audience, and even when reading one of the revised editions, where some passages were altered to better fit with "The Lord of the Rings", the overall tone of the work is much lighter. There was a brief attempt by Tolkien to rewrite "The Hobbit" in the same style, but he soon gave it up because it destroyed what was so good about the original. As a result, it would be better to consider "The Hobbit" as the children's telling of the events which took place prior to "The Lord of the Rings" and not attempt to hold it to the same standard.Another thing that people have noted about the two stories is that at a high-level outline the two stories are very similar. The adventures both start in the Shire and are initiated by Gandolf, they travel to Rivendell, they go through caves and have to deal with the goblins/orcs therein, they meet elves on the other side, there is a huge war between numerous armies, and of course they return to the Shire to find things changed that they have to put right. Of course, that is an overly simple way to look at either of the two novels, especially "The Lord of the Rings", even though it is true on the surface, but it is an interesting observation.As beings that are roughly half the height of a man, Hobbits make an ideal hero for a children's story, as it gives them a hero with whom they can identify. The story has a fair amount of humor in it, and a light-hearted feel through most of it, though certainly as an adventure there is a fair amount of peril, whether from the trolls, worgs (wolves), goblins, spiders, and even the wood elves, not to mention the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent. Despite being accessible to younger readers, older readers can still enjoy "The Hobbit" as well.

Bilbo: A Study in Character Development

by Dave

The Hobbit is one of my favorite books of all time. Perhaps it is because I read it as a child, and it first introduced me to dwarves and elves in a way far different from their Disney counterparts. Perhaps it was the humanity of characters laid out for me to see. I am not sure exactly what it was, but after rereading it for the upteenth time, it still has not lost a smidgen of its charm.Sure, Lord of the Rings is the serious book, the more adultish, more classic quest fantasy to save the world from mortal peril sort of thing. The Hobbit is more of a quest to save Bilbo from living his life without a single thing happening that was unexpected. I think this central difference, combined with a younger target audience for this book, makes this book have a much more carefree attitude, and a generally much more merry tale.The pace of the Hobbit is pretty rapid, since really the journey of this story would have been of a similar length as Lord of the Rings, with a lot of detail simply missing from this book. The first leg of the journey was almost identical to Frodo's in route at least, yet it is over in a couple of chapters. Really, the lesser significance of this quest required a lot less development early on.What you really do see happen in the Hobbit, which is nearly absent in Lord of the Rings, is how a bit of a fussy homebody is changed into a daring and wise companion by means of the journey. Bilbo proved to be the lucky 'fourteenth' man on the quests of the dwarf Thorin to reclaim his homeland and treasure, and that was lucky for not only the dwarves, but for Bilbo himself. Even Gandalf discovered that there was more to Bilbo than meets the eye, as the hobbit proved himself useful in a lot of very different situations.It is a wonder to see a character develop like Bilbo during the course of a single novel. It is an exceedingly rare sight these days, to see something like this happen, and it is refreshing to see it again here.The songs in this book aren't the poet things from Lord of the Rings, but more like drinking songs with simple rhymes. This [songs] is not a favorite now a days, but I kinda like them. Trying to figure out a tune to go with each one is difficult at times, but it makes it that much better. You can always just skip them, like I did when I was a kid.Highly recommended.

The Hobbit Or There And Back Again

by David "Black Widow 2014"

Meet Bilbo Baggins just your ordinary little ol hobbit that keeps to himself then one day is asked to go on an adventure with alot of dwarvs and a wizard follow along with bilbo in this amazing journey in the hobbit. this book was alot better than lord of the rings and alot easier to read. don't get me wrong lord of the rings is good but i liked the hobbit better. and now i can't wait untile the movie comes out on 12-14-12. it will be good. this is a awesome book. if you have not read this book then i recommend you do

Great on its Own

by David Hoffman

It is a shame that J. R. R. Tolkien's great work, The Hobbit, has been overshadowed by his still greater work The Lord of the Rings. Nowadays, most people regard The Hobbit simply as the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit, however, is a great story even standing on its own.The Hobbit is the story of the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, a staid, unadventurous member of a staid, unadventurous race. One day, Bilbo is visited by the wizard Gandalf and thirteen homeless Dwarves and somehow becomes their burglar with the job of helping the Dwarves recover their lost gold and home, stolen by the dragon Smaug.When they first set off on their adventure, Bilbo is not much use to the Dwarves and seems more a burden than a burglar. He can't seem to do anything right. Over time, however he becomes more confident and takes more of a lead. By the end of the story, he has helped defeat the dragon and has saved the Dwarves lives more than once.Tolkien shows great skill with the plot of the Hobbit, never allowing the pace to slacken but keeping the reader excited with Bilbo's adventures. Throughout the book, he shows the same keen ability to depict the natural world as he does in the Lord of the Rings, and so makes Middle Earth come to life in a way few authors of fantasy can. Bilbo's growth as a leader and a person are convincingly shown and Tolkien, at times displays a wry wit, especially with the politics of Laketown and Bilbo's conversations with the Dragon.If there is one fault with the Hobbit, it is that at times Tolkien was too aware that he was writing a children's book, and at times, his writing takes on a slightly condescending tone, the sort of tone that adults often use when talking to small children and which the children really don't like much. Overall, however, the Hobbit is an enjoyable book to read whether on its own, or as the prequel to the Lord of the Rings.


by David J. Huber "Addicted to books!"

Seriously, it's The Hobbit. Does it have its flaws? Sure. Tolkien was a story teller, not a writer, per se. But it's classic literature. It is to be loved and enjoyed.

Not Dante, but still a classic Catholic read

by David Lafferty

I love Tolkien, especially the Hobbit. His books work at so many levels. Yes, Tolkien was a Catholic and LOTR reflects a very Catholic sensibility and view of good and evil. Ultimately it's just a great read that never gets old. I first read the Hobbit in the 6th grade and fell in love with it immediately. Although it's a far cry from Dante(my favorite foray into other worlds that I just wrote a book on), this book is timeless.

Underrated in comparison to Lord of the Rings.

by David Rasquinha

The Hobbit is probably the most underrated of all Tolkien's writings and it is not hard to see why. Hobbit is written in the style of a book for children and consequently, many people set it aside after the first few chapters. What a mistake! For Hobbit may be childlike in its writing style (in fact, children enjoy reading it tremendously) but there is nothing childish about it. On the face of it, Hobbit is the tale of an adventurous treasure hunt, sprinkled with wizards, dwarves, elves, dragons and of course hobbits. In actuality however, slotted (chronology-wise) between the Silmarillion and the Lord of the Rings (LOTR), Hobbit sets the stage for the climactic struggle with Sauron in LOTR. In fact, Gandalf in LOTR refers to the events in the Hobbit, both the finding of the Ring of Power and the destruction of Smaug. As compared to LOTR, Hobbit is a sunnier book, with hints of troubled times, yet filled with humor and adventurous optimism; hence perhaps its appeal to children too. For fans of LOTR, Hobbit is a must. It answers a lot of questions that LOTR raises about prior events. Do not get put off by its apparent lightness and you will find it rewarding. Ideally, read Silmarillion first, then Hobbit and finally LOTR. But even if (as most people) you first read LOTR, Silmarillion and Hobbit will still delight you. The Leatherette edition is particularly good with quality binding, paper and illustrations and would make a great gift.

A Wonderful Entry Into the Joys of Middle Earth

by David Zampino "21st Century Hobbit"

I first read "The Hobbit" in the 8th grade, at the age of 13. In the subsequent years, I have probably read it again an additional 20 times.I can't stop. I can't help myself. I hope I never recover.This was the book that opened up for me the glories of Middle-Earth and introduced me to the genius that was J.R.R. Tolkien.Yes, it's a children's story, differing greatly in tone from both "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Silmarillion". But that's what it is supposed to be. A fairy story in the classic sense. A story which is easily appropriated by children, yet hints at something greater, something deeper, something more intense. A bigger world is out there. The Ring. The Necromancer. The High Elves, Deep Elves, and Sea Elves. Gondolin. Elrond. The Mines of Moria. All hints toward something more.You won't be able to escape. And you won't want to.Start with "The Hobbit". Move on to "The Lord of the Rings". Then re-read "The Hobbit". You will get more the second time around.Then, read "The Silmarillion". And re-read "The Hobbit". And it will explode with meaning and power and understanding.Those who have never experienced the wonders of Middle-Earth -- permit me to invite you in.Those of you who have -- I bid you re-enter -- it only gets better.

Simply Enchanting!

by D. Bass

When I was a child, I remember watching the cartoon version of "The Hobbit" and loving every second of it. I was suprised at how well the story was rounded, even though it had been translated into a cartoon. I had no idea, however, that the real magic of the story is told in the pages of Tolkien's masterpiece. When it was first published in 1937, the publisher and Tolkien had no idea that it would blossom and grow as it has (few authors think that their books will do as well as Tolkien's, and can only hope for the high mark which Mr. Tolkien has achieved.) Now, 62 years later, we find that it is perhaps THE most beloved book of the century.The well rounded plot and interesting, dynamic characters make "The Hobbit" the finist book in it's genre. Many other authors have tried to emulate Tolkien's masterful performance, but have all fallen utterly short of the high mark which Tolkien sites at. In my book, J.R.R. Tolkien will be one of the greatest authors in fantasy, and his wonderful and enchanting works will never lose their literary quality or magic.


by D. Blankenship

Last year NPR published a list of books which were chosen by their listeners and a special committee that are considered the best 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books ever written. I am not sure if I agree with the selections made here but nevertheless one of my current reading projects is to read through the list. There are many old friends of this list; books that have become a part of my life over the years and have gone through multiple readings by myself indeed, but this reading project I am now on requires me to give them all a reread...I cannot wait!Anyway, the first on the list, as printed, is Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is not on this list. It is my personal feelings that LOTR cannot be appreciated or fully understood without having first read The Hobbit - ergo I have taken it upon myself to start with The Hobbit and proceed from there. First though let me do some house keeping.Amazon, in all of its wisdom, had thrown the reviews of ever edition of The Hobbit all into one bag. There have been quite a number of editions of this book since the first which was in 1937 with the first American edition being in 1938. I note from reading the reviews here that there is mass confusion, and indeed a lot of disappointment over ordering this book. The only thing I can tell you is to do your research and MAKE SURE you order the edition you want. Many of the sellers here do not know one from the other. This review is on the book, not on the edition. I first read this work in 1961 from a very ragged old paperback I found in a junk shop in Istanbul, Turkey. I think it was the Puffin edition, but cannot be sure. Since that time I have collected quite a number of these books - all different, but with very minor "errors" all the same story. (We silly Americans changed "Dwarves" to Dwarfs" because we felt Tolkien had made an error in spelling...Tolkien was NOT happy!) If a person is interested in such things, I personally would suggest an edition which includes Tolkien's original illustrations. That is of course just my personal preference.Anyway.....Before Lord of the Rings there was the Hobbit. I am most certainly not going into a plot summary here as all that has been well covered in the 2,000 plus reviews already posted. There are some important points I feel that need to be pointed out.First is the fact that to consider The Hobbit as a simple children's story would be a big mistake. Yes, older children will, do and can enjoy it, but like LOTRs, The Hobbit is still and all an adult book despite what others might tell you. This book needs to be read very carefully and savored.Second, the reader should note that when Tolkien transitions to LOTRs his style does change somewhat and the overall tone of the story darkens. It is noted that the story of how the "Ring" came into the hands of the Hobbits (Bilbo), is told. It should also be noted that the caste of characters changes from The Hobbit to LOTRs. Gandalf the Grey is present as is Bilbo and Elrod along with a couple of the Dwarves. For the most part though, the old characters found in The Hobbit are left there as the story moves on with the next three volumes.Third, the reading level is lower in The Hobbit than in LOTRs. This is important. I have found, over the years, than many young people an handle The Hobbit quite well, but when they then go to LOTRs, they find themselves in a bit over their heads and loose interest quite quickly...not all kids, mind you, but enough to be significant.Forth, Tolkien has used more of a fairy-tale mode in writing The Hobbit than he did in LOTRs. This throws some folks off when they transition from the first to the later.I have thoroughly enjoyed this read over the years. I as sorry to find that NPR had not included it on their "official" list along with LOTRs...but then I suppose that everyone that will conceivably read the list will have some disagreement...that seems to be the nature of lists.Don BlankenshipThe Ozarks

Great book!

by D. Burke

What a great book, if you are new to fantasy or if you've read a 100 books but never touched this I highly recommend you do. This book started it all, Tolkien is a master!


by D. Harrington

and on many levels, not just the surface. Very highly recommended to anyone looking for a good story and one with messages embedded in it, Adventurous, fantastic, well written.

Not a good indication of the rest of the series: RECOMMENDED

by DonkaDoo

I 1st read this book when I was 23, so this is from that perspective...I haven't read a lot of fantasy, just Harry Potter.The beginning is great, very engrossing. I was instantly hooked. It's a fun, great story. I love all of the different types of creatures and lots of surprises. The details in the story are not in the least bit predictable.Good book for kids, and adults will find in a necessary prequel to "Lord of the Rings"

Good, but not great.

by Douglas Hahner

I guess I am one of the few, very few apparently, who was not blown away by THE HOBBIT. While the story itself is fun and adventurous, I was let down by the telling of the story. While I felt the ending was much better than the begining, the Narrator just got on my nerves. Everytime the story got interesting and exciting, this voice would come out of nowhere and say something like, "This was not the last time that Bilbo would use his sword Sting, but that is something you will hear about later." I know that exact line was never written, but stuff like it certainly was. I just think you shouldn't have to be told what will happen later so bluntly. Maybe a subteler form of foreshadowing is needed, or maybe I am just overly sensitive. In any case it was a good story, but not great.

A book that takes us on a compelling adventure.

by drohan00 "drohan00"

The Hobbit is a fine example of an adventure novel. The entire movement of the fantasy genre in our modern day all come from this book. The story of the littlest creature in the universe making a difference, and making the other more powerful characters successful is one that resonates through all of time. The story also works well to introduce the ring into the lexicon of this universe.This story is so ubiquitous now that some see it as cliched. However, I like the book as an introduction into the fantasy genre. This book also brings into focus many of the races that become important in later areas such as dungeons and dragons. The quasi-pagan universe is one that builds as one goes through this story and also the installments of Lord of the Rings.I teach this book to Freshmen in High School English class. I think they enjoy it, and I like it as an intro into this new exciting world. Special thanks should go to Peter Jackson for making this book into a new film this year.

Although the Films Are Good, Tolkien's Imagination Has To Be Experienced Firsthand To Be Believed

by D. Scott "D. Scott"

I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but as of recently I had never read The Hobbit. I got this beautiful edition for Christmas and settled in to let Tolkien's amazingly magical world of Middle Earth open up before my eyes. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for his own children, but even though it is supposedly a children's book it sweeps adults up as well and holds them in its spell through the entirety of Bilbo's fascinating journey.It is rare that a "children's book" is considered a prologue to an adult book, The Lord of the Rings (always considered by Tolkien as one book and not a trilogy). I am very glad I read The Hobbit first because it gets the reader acquainted with Middle Earth, and several characters and places are mentioned and continued in Lord of the Rings. At only about 300 pages The Hobbit is a fast and delightful read, and when you are finished you will probably do as I did and immediately begin reading and enjoying the incomparable Lord of the Rings.Although the films are good, Tolkien's imagination has to be experienced firsthand to be believed, and it all starts here with The Hobbit. Do yourself a favor and don't wait for years like I did to jump into the world of Middle Earth.

A disappointing adaptation

by DWD's Reviews "DWD's Reviews"

Performed by a full castDuration: 3 hours, 42 minutesAbridged and edited for the radio drama format.Way back in 1968, the BBC created a radio play version of The Hobbit to air in eight 30 minute segments with a full cast, original music and special effects. Due to a dispute between the Tolkien estate and the BBC the original tapes were to have been destroyed. But, the issues were resolved, copies resurfaced and since the late 1980s the BBC has re-issued this version of The Hobbit in various formats. I listened to a 1988 audio cassette version.Now, I truly love the story The Hobbit - it is a true classic and I listened to this version to give myself a little reminder of the story before the movie comes out at the end of this year.However, this audio version has some serious troubles.First, the positives. The narrator (a character created for this abridgment of the story) is quite good and I rather enjoyed the interaction between the narrator and Bilbo. It reminded me of someone telling a story around a campfire and another person coming in and clarifying a point from time to time as the story was being told.But, there are problems. The dwarves tended to blend together and sounded like a rowdy, whiny frat party most of the time with a lot of hooting, grunting and complaining. But, with 13 dwarves it would have been very difficult to do much with them anyway, except to cut down on the extra noise of having all or most of them speak at the same time in scene after scene. On top of that, the names are pronounced differently in this version than I have ever heard them. Gandalf is pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable and sometimes sounds like gand-ELF. Gollum is pronounced Gul-loom.But, that would have all been understandable and forgivable if that were the worst of the problems. The special effects are horrid. Sometimes they are too loud so that they dominate the scene (as in when they are carried by the giant eagles) and other times they are pathetic. For instance, in the scene with the wargs there is no attempt made to make the wargs sound wolf-like. Instead, the actors are all baying, "Woooo-ooooo-ooo!" at the microphone. Throw in the horrid voices of the thrush and the eagles and scenes that are meant to be a treat becomes something that must be endured. This adaptation was made on the cheap and it shows, especially when compared to the high quality work done by companies like GraphicAudio nowadays.

In a hole in the ground

by E. A Solinas "ea_solinas"

"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." J.R.R. Tolkien first scribbed down the opening line of this book on an extra sheet of paper.And years before "Lord of the Rings" was seen by anyone outside Tolkien's circle, Middle Earth was first introduced to readers. "The Hobbit" is simpler and less epic than the trilogy that followed it, but Tolkien's brilliant writing, magical world and pleasantly stodgy hero bring a special life to this early fantasy classic. And with the first "Hobbit" movie coming out in a few months, it deserves revisiting.Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life, in a luxurious hobbit hole under a hill ("it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort"). He's the picture of dull respectability.But his life is turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield. They want to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar, even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life.So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. The quirky little band ends up battling goblins and spiders, nearly getting eaten, and imprisoned by Elves, while Bilbo finds himself in possession of a magic Ring from the treacherous Gollum. But even with a magic Ring, can he defeat a monstrous dragon and win a war against multiple enemies?Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and ancient Men for years before he ever came up with Bilbo's quest. But it's fortunately that he did, because while "The Hobbit" is overshadowed by the epic sweep of "Lord of the Rings" and the "Silmarillion," it's still an entertaining story that lays the groundwork for his more famous works -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.Tolkien's writing is swift, light and full of songs and poetry-laden descriptions, such as interludes in the shimmering, ethereal Rivendell and the cold, terrible Lonely Mountain. The pace in this is much faster than in most of his other works -- not surprising, when you consider it was originally a bedtime story for his children.Most of the book's action is about Bilbo trying to keep himself and the dwarves from getting eaten, torn apart, or rotting in elf dungeons, but with some quiet interludes like a night at Beorn's mountain home. And the last chapters hint at the epic majesty that Tolkien was capable of, as well as the idea that even little people -- like a mild-mannered hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.This book also first came up with hobbits -- the peaceful fuzzy-footed countryfolk -- in the form of Bilbo Baggins. He's a likable little guy, if the last person you'd ever expect to be a hero -- initially he seems weak and kind of boring, but his hidden strengths and wits come up to the surface when he needs to. By the end, he's almost a different person.The dwarves are more comical, and the elves more whimsical in this book, but the supporting characters are still impressive -- the crotchety, mysterious wizard Gandalf, the dignified, flawed Dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a Guardsman who becomes a king. Even minor characters like Beorn, Elrond and the menacing Smaug are given plenty of dimension."The Hobbit" started as a fluke, grew into a bedtime story, and became one of the best fantasy stories in literary history -- a charming adventure in the time that never was. Brilliant.

The Classic Fantasy of the 20th Century

by Edward Aycock

This book is quite simply, wonderful. It can stand on its own as a self contained story, but when read in conjunction with the Lord of the Rings, it's deceptive simplicity suddenly falls away. Many people have said you don't need to read this in order to enjoy "Lord of the Rings", and this is true. However, you are cheating yourself if you don't. Many major and key players from LOTR are introduced here, not to mention the extremely important moment when Bilbo Baggins finds a lost ring in the caves under the mountain. This story is less than 100 years old, yet it resonates and feels like Tolkien was basically rewriting old myths. The argument for this can indeed come from some of the source materials that Tolkien used, but as far as I can see, the story is wholly original. It's wonderful that in the age when everything was modern and sleek, Tolkien gifted the world with this age old story. This book may have been written for kids, but I have noticed that many more adults seem to enjoy it than children. It may be Tolkien's overly descriptive language can turn kids off, but this book is definitely worth the read.

Dull reading (Inglis version) and dismal adaptation (BBC version) of a beloved story

by eeoyrefan

*** 3 stars FOR THE AUDIOBOOK NARRATED BY ROB INGLIS:I purchased this audiobook version of the Hobbit for a road trip my husband and I made recently as he had never read the book(!), and, with the movie version coming out, I liked the idea of reacquainting myself with the tale.I was initially pleased that the narrator was British, as I have a fondness for the accent and the diction, finding it generally more rich than that of American readers. Sadly, that approbation did not last long. Granted, the reading of this story, with its many and varied characters, and many songs and poems, is a daunting task. Unfortunately, I found the narrator's soft, somnolent drone more suited to a bedtime story than an adventure tale, and I even dozed while driving! In addition, I found the pronunciation of the dwarves' names to be odd, and some of the voices to be not as I would have expected, most notably Beorn.Worst of all were the attempts at singing the various songs. It started with the warbling rendition of the delightful "That's what Bilbo Baggins hates/So carefully, carefully with the plates!", and concluded with a ghastly interpretation of one of my favorite song/poems "The Road Goes Ever On", the latter which was so awful I actually had to turn off the audiobook a couple of times to seethe before being able to listen to the entire thing.The best thing I can say for this is that it is unabridged narration, and it is better than the BBC dramatization (reviewed below since some quirk in Amazon can't distinguish between these audiobooks for review purposes). Perhaps with the movie spurring a renewed interest in this classic story a better audio interpretation will become available.** Two stars for the BBC DRAMATIZATION of the Hobbit: A dismal rendering from start to finish.For those of you who own and enjoy the stellar Lord of the Rings dramatization with Ian Holm, Bill Nighy, etc., you will unquestionably be, as I was, astonishingly disappointed at this dramatization of The Hobbit. From the cheezy, tinny opening horns, to the horrible voice of Gandalf (sounds more like an effeminate villian in a 1920's melodrama), to the absence of some of the charming passages that made the book colorful (only adventuristic aspects seem to have been included), to the jumble of narrator vs. Bilbo vs. some other character speaking all at once or on top of one another, to the mispronunciation of character names (Thorin sounds like "tureen", and Gollum is "gol-oom"...huh?!), this adaptation is, as they say, "one hot mess" and best avoided, especially for those of you who expect it to be on par with the LOTR radio drama aforementioned.

There are Problems, but Don't Miss it!

by Electric Squid

It bothers some people that so many of the characters in the Hobbit are undeveloped. Only Bilbo, Gandalf, and Gollum shine. This, however, is still workable. With Thorin as a distinct personality among the Dwarves, the others function all right as a group with whom Bilbo doesn't really interact on a personal level.A much more serious problem exists in the Hobbit - the mid-book action is too good! "Riddles in the Dark" makes such a memorable literary impression that following adventures, even if good, would pale. Worse, after Mirkwood, the book just peters out. The interview with Smaug stands out in an island of otherwise mediocre action. The Battle of Five Armies is almost skipped, definitely lacking the emotion of meeting the Goblins in the Misty Mountains. Bilbo's stealthy dealing with the Arkenstone adds some interest, but the end of this otherwise marvelous book just falls down.But don't mistake criticism for dislike. Even recognizing this, the Hobbit stands as an adventure akin to Treasure Island or the Wind in the Willows. The stay-at-home off to a grand quest makes for a wonderful beginning, the Trolls are fine, the eagles soar, Beorn is intriguing, and Mirkwood is haunting. The child who misses the experience of the Hobbit must face the only remedy - he or she must read it as an adult!


by Elizabeth Brewster

This product was sent in a timely manner and was exactly what I ordered. This buyer comes highly recommended. Wonderful!

You Should Read This One

by Elizabeth Hendry

The Hobbit is one of those novels that I have been saying I should read for a long time. I admit, I tried starting it a couple of times in high school, but just couldn't get past the first few pages. Fantasy fiction is not really my thing, however, now that I have finally gotten around to reading The Hobbit (many years after high school) I enjoyed it. The Hobbit is a well written, engaging, and oftentimes humorous work of fantasy. It is aimed at a youthful audience and I think it would be a marvelous next step for young people who have gotten through Harry Potter and long for more. If you've been saying you should read this one, just pick it up, there's no sense waiting anymore.Enjoy.

Introduction to Literature, 101

by Elsie Wilson

Read aloud to the girls. An enchanting classic ~ i find it casts a spell over me each time i read it. I am able to enter into the story, suffer along with the characters, feel with them, be sorry for their travails, be saddened by their foolishness, and mourn as Thorin Oakenshield, Kili and Fili die in battle. It is difficult to read this book and not see foreshadowing of "The Lord of the Rings," though that is not the best way to read it. It does not tie perfectly with the latter book, there are a couple of points which don't link, quite. But for the most part i see the trilogy in the book, and had to be careful not to push it too much to the girls ~ apart from anything else, it is probably a little above them right now, and it would certainly be a major commitment to read. Standing by itself, "The Hobbit" is a wonderful story, with a well-wrought plot, characters that are near enough human for us to relate to them, yet far enough from us for the enchantment to work, and enough stylistic ties to legend, myth, and saga that it is familiar to me and will ring echoes in the girls' ears as they read further.

Classic Fantasy at its Finest

by Emma Dickinson

I love this story! Bilbo is the least expected and most rewarding hero to read about. The plot winds and twists through an unexpected series of events that will tickle the imagination of everyone. A must read.-- Emma D, aka Anna Zimmerman

The ultimate adventure

by Enjolras

The Hobbit has always held a special place in my heart, even compared to Lord of the Rings. While The Hobbit obviously doesn't go as far in depth into the history of Middle-Earth as Lord of the Rings does, in many ways The Hobbit's simplicity is its charm. The book is quite simply the quintessential adventure tale. I love how the book begins quickly and follows with a series of short, ordered adventures. Tolkien handles the character of Bilbo brilliantly allowing him to become more adventurous, but also making sure that he doesn't lose his Hobbit roots. Best of all, Tolkien throws in a few twists that make the Hobbit far more interesting than most fantasy stories. The trouble doesn't end with the slaying of the dragon (for those few who haven't read the book yet, I won't spoil it). For readers wanting more than an adventure story, Tolkien also weaves a compelling commentary on the power of greed and the nature of adventures. No wonder this has become a classic. I can't wait for Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies to come out.A brief note about the annotations. There are a lot of them. Most of the annotations note changes from the previous versions, particularly changes made to account for discrepancies between the 1937 Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. The "Riddles in the Dark" chapter underwent particularly dramatic revisions. Other annotations discuss the origins of words or concepts in the story. The book also includes dozens of illustrations from various versions of the Hobbit. Few of these sketches impressed me, except for Tolkien's, whose is surprisingly good. I'd definitely recommend reading the annotated version if this is your second or third read through this story, but for first time readers it might prove more a distraction than a help.

The Hobbit

by Erez Davidi

The first time I read The Hobbit was many years ago, and I decided I would like to read again before watching the movIe. I didn't remember much about it except that I quite enjoyed it as a young child. This time I also enjoyed reading it, but to a lesser degree.Perhaps the best thing about The Hobbit is that it sets the stage of how Bilbo Baggins came to possess the Ring of Power, relating the necessary background for The Lord of the Rings. My main issue with The Hobbit is that it was, as opposed to The Lord of the Rings, specifically written for children. The plot is very predictable and told in a fairly childish manner, and lacks the more mature style of The Lord of the Rings.

Among the best of children's fantasy

by Eric San Juan

J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is a classic of children's fantasy for good reason - it is fun, light-hearted, full of adventure, episodic in nature (so no need to follow a complex plot), and simply BEGS to be read out loud. All this combines for a perfect adventure tale.Those coming in fresh from "The Lord of the Rings" should be forewarned, the tone here is much lighter that the `trilogy,' the writing very much meant for children (or to be read to children). It's a great read, but if you come in expecting more of what you got in "The Lord of the Rings" you will be disappointed. Be prepared to read a children's book, because that's what this is.For those willing to plunge into children's fantasy, however, "The Hobbit" is simply a delight. Bilbo Baggins, something of a homebody, is the hobbit in question. He is pulled into an adventure with a wizard, Gandalf, and a troop of dwarves. Their quest is to venture across dangerous mountains and dark forests to reclaim treasure stolen by a terrible dragon, Smaug.What follows is a series of adventures that have our heroes meeting trolls, goblins, wolves, giant spiders, elves and more. Each encounter is an adventure unto itself, with a thrilling climax that leads us to the next. The adventure is nonstop. Each chapter brings a new discovery.Tolkien's writing is clear, straightforward and very `English.' It is also written with an ear for reading aloud, breaking the "fourth wall" on occasion to speak directly to the reader. This book is meant to be read to children - and no wonder, since Tolkien wrote it specifically to read to his own kids.Fans of Middle Earth discovering the wonderful land through "The Lord of the Rings" will find things to enjoy here (if they are willing to sink into the lighter tone). We see our first glimpses of Gollum and the One Ring. Elrond, too, appears in Rivendell. We hear about some of Middle Earth's ancient lore, like Gondolin, see the origins of famous swords like Sting, and meet dwarves who play a part in "The Lord of the Rings." The cross references, while not vital, will bring a smile to your face and will enhance your enjoyment of the famous trilogy.For those looking to explore Tolkien's world, "The Hobbit" is a no brainer. Along with the classic trilogy and "The Silmarillion" (a difficult read for some), it makes up the three essential Middle Earth works.For those simply looking for a good children's fantasy in the same realm as C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles or Lloyd Alexander's Prydain saga, you won't go wrong with "The Hobbit." This is fun stuff that even adults will enjoy.

"The Hobbit"

by Eula Chesterman

Foryears, younger readers have told me that I should read "Lord of the Rings" books. I put it off for several years. When I received my Kindle, I decided to start on the trilogy by reading "The Hobbit" first. Apparently, "The Hobbit" is the platform for trilogy and introduced the concepts and characters for the other books. However, it is a stand-alone book as well. The accomplishment of the mission was done with interesting word pictures. Thanks for this book, now I will read the rest of Tolkien's books!

An amazing novel

by Evan Wearne

I am sure there are many reviews for this book already, but I will heap more praise upon Tolkien's genius. The Hobbit relates the reader to the character. The story is also adventurous and exciting. I remember the first time I read the book in fifth grade, it thrilled me then, as it thrills me now when reading for the third time. A land of hobbits, dwarves, dragons, and wizards. The adventure is suspenseful and well worth the time. After reading the rest of Tolkien's books, I appreciate the Hobbit even more. It is a small part of his work, but the detail he uses to weave a creative plot is astounding.

The Hobbit (Leatherette Collector's Edition)

by Fantasy Junkie "Marty"

Another masterpiece of Tolkien! A Classic that i would ask my children to read... Nothing compares to what Tolkien has accomplished.. Even in death he speaks to us through the pages of his work...

The adventures of Bilbo Baggins. Short. Much too short...!

by Farnoosh Brock

It took me about a year to read The Lord of the Rings - all books and about 2-3 weeks to devour The Hobbit. I like to say that Tolkien wrote the former for someone of similar education as him, a professor of English or some such at Oxford, an expert of the English language and history, whereas The Hobbit was written for children - for well-educated smart and savvy children but still for children and who knows? Maybe I am a kid at heart. I Loved The Hobbit!The story is beyond engaging. The descriptions are brilliant. The humor is well-placed and just delicious. The dialogues that Bilbo Baggins carries on in his head and the conclusive remarks that Tolkien makes here and there, makes you think he is just sitting in a park, surrounded with kids, doing a reading... and making observations. Oh I just loved it.I do wish there was more of Smaug, and I had hoped that he would be the ultimate climax to the end. I felt a similar way in The Lord of the Rings. The ending happened and then Tolkien was going on and on in an anticlimactic sorta way. The story really should've ended but who am I to complain? There was more of Bilbo to read and love.Fantastic read even if you are not a fantasy fiction junkie. Tolkien paints a world that all would enjoy entering so enter.

Great Classic

by Felicia Williams

I never read this book as a kid. I just remember watching an animated version of The Hobbit. I always loved that cartoon and suspect it's one of the reasons I enjoy the Elder Scrolls RPG series. It's wonderfully written and I now understand why it's still a classic.

A great and classic tale

by Frikle

There have been few collections that have been held in such high international regard than the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings novels. Even before the LotR movies, Tolkien was synonymous with THE original classic fantasy works and now they're absolutely huge. With this set, you'll get to see what the fuss is all about.The Hobbit is a prequel to the LotR. It is considered a children's tale and indeed Tolkien wrote it for his children. However, it's still very enjoyable for the adult and forms a great, easy introduction the the Middle-Earth universe. It tells the tale of how Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the wizard and a bunch of dwarves set out to "rescue" a treasure-trove of gold from Smaug the dragon. The journey takes, to my recollection, something in the space of a year. In the course they experience all the classic elements found in a fantasy world - giant monsters, weird and wonderful characters, fantastical battles, spirited and magical helpers and loathsome dungeons. And all this told in the most easygoing and kind-hearted prose imaginable.For more serious fans of the Middle-Earth universe, the linkups to LotR give the tale an extra twist of flavour. It is here that the Ring is first encountered, and it is here that we first feel the breath of the enemy...If you've seen the movies and want to read the books, The Hobbit is a great place to start.

about THIS edition

by Furio

This is not a review abouth "The Hobbit"; it is about this specific Harper Collins edition of this work.The novel itself I love.This edition, currently inexpensive but quite pricey when it came out, is good:- paper is fine- print is fairly good- binding is solid enough.The illustrations are those by the author: they are "authentic" but no masterpieces.I think this edition is perfect for youngsters who love their books and keep them safe from rain and ketchup and for adults who are looking for an affordable hardcover of this tale.

Tolkien's The Hobbit is a classic, and Inglis' narration is fantastic

by Gary Hoggatt

I'll be honest. It's pretty much impossible for me to really review J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Tolkien's 1937 prelude to The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book, ever, and has been ever since I first read it upon my father's recommendation when I was twelve. Since then, I've re-read it more times than I can count. However, with this read, I've done something new - I listened to the fantastic audiobook rendition read by Rob Inglis. So, I'll be focusing on that.Many readers, especially fantasy fans, are already familiar with The Hobbit, and even those who don't fit those categories are likely to know the basic premise with the recent first film in Peter Jackson's three part adaptation of the novel. So, I'll only briefly discuss the novel itself.The hobbit of the title is Bilbo Baggins, a well-to-do and - on the surface - boring hobbit of the Shire. To Bilbo's surprise, the wizard Gandalf recruits Bilbo to join exiled dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and his company of twelve dwarves in reclaiming their home and treasure at the Lonely Mountain from Smaug, the terrible dragon who conquered the Mountain many years ago. Of course, even getting to the Mountain is no small task, and Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, and company have many exciting adventures.In Recorded Books 1991 production, narrator Rob Inglis delivers a masterful reading of The Hobbit. It's a rather challenging book, when one reflects that it contains dwarves (thirteen of them!), elves, men, goblins, trolls, spiders, wargs, Gollum, and a dragon, all with major speaking roles. Inglis does a fantastic job of giving each character a unique voice while also making them recognizable as one of their kind. No small task, that, but on top of it, Tolkien includes a great deal of singing and poetry in The Hobbit, and Inglis even sings like dwarves, elves, or goblins.This production was recorded a decade before Jackson's Lord of the Rings films and two decades before The Hobbit films, so Inglis never imitates the well-known actors when creating his voices but uses his own excellent interpretations of the characters. Inglis also recorded The Lord of the Rings for Recorded Books. I'm sure that will be excellent as well, and it's next on my listening list.This unabridged recorded of The Hobbit runs approximately 11 hours, and is a full telling the book as written, and not one of the various dramatizations produced over the years. As such a fan of the original book, I'm happy to have found this unabridged and well-narrated but not dramatized edition.I highly recommend The Hobbit as a novel to anyone, and am currently reading it to my children. Fans of The Hobbit or audiobooks will be very pleased with Rob Inglis' performance of the novel. The Hobbit is a classic well worthy of the name.

Prequel to Lord of the Rings

by Gary Selikow

Professor JRR Tolkien had made his mark as an authority on Anglo-Saxon language and mythology, by the time he wrote The Hobbit, in 1937, but the novel was his first great literary success, and of course what introduced many to it's majestic sequel, The Lord of the Rings.65 years later, it still enthralls millions of readers, both young and old. It is a wonderful story to captivate readers aged 10 to 110. It has inspired much creative work, including the theme of a popular computer game during the 1980's. In essence Tolkien was the father of the Sword and Sorcery genre of literature, which has provided the material for so many successful novels, movies and games.Lighter in tone than the Lord of the Rings, it nevertheless contains many references to things deeper and darker than on the surface, such as Gondolin, the last White Council, the Necromancer, and the ring.The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion provide a deeper journey into Tolkien's Middle Earth. But younger readers can also enjoy it, for it's own benefit.I first read the book, when I was twelve. It wet my appetite for all things Tolkien and led me to then read the Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.The Hobbit is the story of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit of the green and pleasant country of the Shire, recruited by the wizard Gandalf and a company of Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, to wrest the Dwarves inheritance from the Dragon Smaug under the Lonely Mountain. The company must first battle Trolls , Goblins , Wolves , and Giant Spiders , and comes into contact with Elves , Eagles , Men and other inhabitants of Tolkien's wonderful world.

Three Cheers For Bilbo!!!!!

by Geetha Krishnan

The book is often considered as just a prequel to Lord of the Rings, but it is no such thing. It is an extremely good book from a great author. If you are reading it after you've read the Lord of the Rings, you are going to be quite pleasantly surprised.

Bilbo and the Thirteen Dwarves

by General Breadbasket

When I was in fourth or fifth grade, every afternoon we'd have private reading time. One kid in our class had a copy of this book called "The Hobbit", with this smug looking dragon on the front guarding some glowing gold. Between the pages of his book there was a bookmark with a royal red tassell on the end. I was more interested in the bookmark at the time, but I'd never forget that image. For ages I thought a hobbit was a type of dragon!A couple of years later, my younger brother got into Tolkien and would tell me bits and pieces about "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" (the riddles, the heroes, Gollum, etc). One of my Dad's friends was into Tolkien and Middle Earth too. I had an encyclopedia of works of fantasy, and they spoke of Tolkien like he'd hung the moon. I was into fantasy, but looking at the covers, thick volumes, and the elven language everywhere, I avoided Tolkien's books. For ages, the only work of his I'd looked at had been "The Father Christmas Letters", which I thought was all right. I saw the "Lord of the Rings" movies, tried to follow them, though I ended up falling asleep halfway through "Return of the King". Though to be fair, I hadn't got much sleep the night before I saw that one.What was wrong with me? Fantasy lovers seemed to get so much out of Tolkien, but I could never catch on, try as I could. I tried one last time the other day, picking up a copy of "The Hobbit". Tolkien had written this as a children's story, so maybe I might be able to plug into his world a little easier here. I was right, and I did. It's a pretty good book.The book is all about a hobbit (a quiet, short creature with hairy feet) named Bilbo Baggins. He's very friendly, very helpful and a something of a homebody. He lives in a world full of all sorts of magic and wonder, but he has no interest in adventures. Or does he? Gandalf the wizard seems to think he'd be quite an adventurer, a burglar in fact. Gandalf is so confident about this that he's gone and invited thirteen dwarves to Bilbo's house. Gandalf has told them that Bilbo is going to lead them back to their ancestor's homeland, to get back both their treasure and territory guarded by Smaug the dragon. Despite the promise of a share in the plunder, Bilbo is not at all interested. Still, he gets dragged along, and after facing trolls, goblins, wolves, elves and giant spiders, becomes all the more stronger a hobbit for it.I think the main reason I'd been so put off by the idea of Tolkien's work is the way that others have interpreted it. Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films, for example, are all in washed out, filtered or pastel colours and are full of mud, sweat, metal and bleakness. I found this book showed Tolkien's fantasy world to look nothing at all like that. In the book of "The Hobbit" the dwarves wear bright hoods, the autumn leaves are a deep red, enchanted waters are a mysterious black, the gems in Smaug's cave reflect light in every colour of the spectrum. There's a flavour to the work that's just absent in about every interpretation I've seen of the work. It's hard to put a finger on it. C.S. Lewis described such moments as "the joy" and "northerness". It's like behind every object, every tree, there's something deeper. This is a world you can get lost in. The narrative is warm and witty, as if your grandfather was telling it to you, complete with asides and hints at the story to come, which was nice. There is something of a twist at the end, with a message within the twist. It's not what you'd expect, and it may disappoint some, but I found it to be rather interesting.J.R.R. Tolkien was a Anglo-Saxon language professor of at Oxford university, and it really shows. He's very particular about the words he uses. Check out the way that Gandalf tells Bilbo off for his vague use of "good morning", for instance. There's a lot of plays on words too, and lots of poetry. I haven't read as much ancient and classic literature as I'd have liked to, but I can see elements of what I have read in the Hobbit. Beowulf, one of the oldest stories in the Anglo-Saxon language, (and one I've read) features great halls, feasting and battles with a horrible beast by water, and so does "The Hobbit".I heard that during the 1960s a lot of the trendier types were into to Tolkien (the Beatles had wanted to make a movie around one of his works, for example). "The Hobbit" has strange creatures, unusual names and a wizard who can puff mulitcoloured smoke rings which he can command, so I do kind of understand why this happened. Kind of funny actually. I also think it's funny that throughout the book Bilbo is caught in a fantastic place, longing to be in his warm and cosy home, while Mr Tolkien was probably in his warm and cosy home writing, longing to be in a fantastic place.The edition of the book I read came with illustrations and a couple of maps, I'm guessing drawn by Tolkien himself, as there's no other credit for them. They also added to the depth and the "northerness" of the story."The Hobbit" I can see now has been rather influential on the world of modern fantasy. Joe Dever's "Lone Wolf: Flight from the Dark" features green scaly Giaks riding Doomwolves, similar to the goblins and the wolves they ride in Tolkien's work. Dever's sequel "Fire on the Water" features a mountain with a cave going through it, rather like Smaug's mountain. J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" has a dark forest full of giant spiders, as does the Hobbit. I could go on listing examples, but I think my review's getting a bit long.I'll probably get round to reading "The Lord of The Rings", but before I do I'll probably get my hands on one of those Middle Earth inspired prog rock CDs (Jon Anderson's "In Elven Lands: The Fellowship", Glass Hammer's "The Middle Earth Album", etc) get some atmosphere going.Recommended to lovers of fantasy and adventure.

Great Read

by GG

I wanted to read this book before I see the movie and had no problem reading it it 3 days. I sprang for the narration and I highly recommend you do the same, it was absolutely captivating. Now I am ready to dig into the whole series. No other book held my interest quite like this one did an I normally don't like fantasy stories. Read On!

The Hobbit is Forever

by Glenn Gallagher "scholarly bureaucrat"

There is no way any review can do justice to the greatness of The Hobbit. I consider this one of the essential books that everybody should read before they die. Suitable for kids and grown-ups alike. I first read it when I was ten, I read it aloud to my children when they were about 7 and 9 years old, and I'm reading it again at the age of 50. One of those stories that works well across all age groups, cultures, and current political-economic trends.


by Glinda King

Having been a Tolkien fan for a long time I knew I would love rereading this one on my Kindle. It still has punch and retained my attention from the beginning. I chose to review it again since the movie is being released in three parts and I wanted to see for myself how it would be divided and how closely they followed the story line.It kept my interest again and clarified so much for me as an adult that I had missed in my younger years.

And how many times have we read this before?

by Gloria

Still great-oh my prescious go to book in the winter.I First read it in my teens, many years ago.

This adventure changed a hobbit. It changed me!

by Godly Gadfly

Because of Tolkien's reputation as a master story-teller, I began reading this book with absurdly high expectations. The slow beginning confirmed my suspicions that such high expectations could not possibly be realistic, and I prepared myself to be gloriously disappointed. Quite honestly, by the end of the first chapter I shared the opinion of the protagonist, the hobbit: I was rather unenthusiastic, and doubtful that the "adventure" which lay ahead could truly be as exciting as it promised to be.But Tolkien rarely disappoints. Within pages, along with our hobbit hero, Bilbo Baggins, I found myself launched into the famous fantasy world that is the product of Tolkien's imagination, a world of never-ending adventure, mystery and magic. As I joined the hobbit on his remarkable quest to defeat the dragon Smaug and reconquer the dwarves long-lost treasure, I met a wonderful array of friends and foes - wizards, dwarves, elves, trolls, goblins, and a myriad of other fantastic creatures - and my imagination and interest never waned.By the end of the hobbit's adventure, like Bilbo, I was thoroughly satisfied. At the conclusion, the wizard Gandalf remarks to the hobbit: "My dear Bilbo! Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were." Yet it was not only the hobbit that had changed as a result of this adventure. As a reader, I had to confess that I too had changed. My initial lack of enthusiasm had entirely vanished. I had participated in the hobbit's adventures, and like him, returned the better for it. Tolkien's imaginative world is a world so vivid, that you cannot fail to return to the real world a changed person. His descriptive abilities cannot fail to imprint his imaginary world in your memory. This story is not deep, but it is delightful and unforgettable. And like the hobbit, you will return to life the better having read it.What's more, you can go "there and back again" again, and again, because the joy of this fantastic adventure won't quickly wear off. For all ages, this book is eminently readable and re-readable, and belongs on every bookshelf. Don't miss it, because you will miss one of the most enchanting escapes that literature has to offer.

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