Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien


Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 366
Rating: Slow but Immersive. Worth picking up.

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Immersive World

This was my first glimpse into the Lord of the Rings world through a book. I had seen the movies plenty of times, so much that I ruined the VHS tape I had of them. It made me fall in love with the series so much that I had to pick up the books.

I started reading The Hobbit because I knew it was a sort of prequel to the series. I was amazed by how detailed and immersed Tolkien is with his writing. There were times where it felt too detailed, but it was never overwhelming.

The world was so detailed you could feel that Tolkien could tell you any detail of Middle Earth and it would make perfect sense. This amount of detail can only be found in books by amazing authors, and it was one of the key reasons I fell in love with the epic fantasy genre.

Mediocre Plot

The plot of the story doesn’t completely make sense. There are some holes and conveniences in the narrative, but they can be forgiven because it is a fantasy story.

The rules we have come to understand in our world don’t need to make sense in a fantasy world.

One could argue that the mission didn’t make sense, and how it ended was less interesting, but I don’t think you would be right. Too often stories try to wrap things up in a nice bow, giving us the best answers to the questions and the best endings to our characters.

I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t see the need for it. Life is miserable, it doesn’t always have a happy ending to it. The ending doesn’t always make sense.

Over Before You Know It

The Hobbit is a quick read. It is just under 400 pages so the story is over just as it begins. I think having known the Lord of the Rings world before reading The Hobbit made it more enjoyable when I went to read the books.

It gave me the beginning of a story I loved so much.

Unfortunately, the story is just a small book. It’s not drawn out into three books, so by the time you learn about the world and get an idea of who they are, they’re either gone or the story is over.

Some things that could take chapter after chapter in a normal book are done in a few sentences.

Tolkien doesn’t make the story unfulfilling though. You aren’t left wanting or asking for more. You feel like the story is still over, there are no more questions to ask.

It’s a true testament to why he is one of the most famous authors of all time.

Final Thoughts

The Hobbit is a great entry point into epic fantasy. It doesn’t overwhelm the reader with dozens of names, countries, cities, etc that other epic fantasies can and do.

It’s a simple tale and a simple world. The story is linear and doesn’t take too much to understand what is going on.

If you haven’t read it yet, which would surprise me, I definitely recommend it.

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