“Being a Hobbit came easy to Bilbo; with his furry feet, his hole in the side of the hill in Hobbiton, and his propensity to like more than one breakfast, Bilbo was a model hobbit. He was gentle and perhaps a little staid, and was devoutly inclined to live his life merrily and without too much excitement.
However this was all set to change when the kindly old man known as Gandalf turned up for tea. Not only did Gandalf drop by, but so did a steady stream of dwarves and soon the humble hobbit found himself hosting a tea-party.
Of course, Bilbo is a wonderful host, and soon has the dwarves settled with food and drink – they are so relaxed that soon they begin to sing about their lost home, and tell tales of the nasty dragon Smaug who stole their home and the gold therein. It soon becomes evident that the dwarves fully intend to go back to their home and evict Smaug!
Something inexplicable soon happens to Bilbo as he is invited to come along on the adventure as their ‘thief’; now if that’s not inexplicable enough, the normally quiet Bilbo somehow finds himself agreeing to this and embarking on a quest across mountains to face many evil creatures including trolls and ogres . . .”
The Hobbit is a stunning example of great storytelling, excellent characters and a brilliant ability to create a plot that is convincing and compelling at the same time. JRR Tolkien, who went on to write the literary classic Lord of the Rings has provided the reader with a fun filled, and yet often danger filled adventure that kindles the imagination, and really becomes a hard-to-put down book.
As you begin to read the book, you are instantly transported into a vivid world full of character; with his amazing writing Tolkien has managed to convey a real world, with real and idiosyncratic characters that are full of strengths and weaknesses. The storyline is very exciting, especially for older children, and manages to hold the reader, with its attention to detail, and yet non complex style.
As you move from encounter to encounter, you find yourself forming a bond with the characters, trying to figure out how they will survive the tortuous journey and really getting involved in the dangers that they face along the way.
It’s this ability of Tolkien to get the reader really involved in the story and he characters that make The Hobbit so good. The book is written in a way that young children will be able to read and understand, however there are a few frightening elements that parents should consider whether the book is suitable for younger children.
It’s a great introduction to the world of Science Fantasy, and particularly to the world of Middle Earth and the subsequent book Lord of the Rings.
The Bottom Line:
* Superb story telling
* Excellent plot
* Excellent characters
* May not be suitable for young children