Thursday, 17 May 2012

Book Review: The Hobbit

And so we meet Bilbo, whom many (like myself), are guilty of only knowing for being the owner of the ring, for we were a select few members of the generation who delved into the film series of Lord of The Rings before even attempting the novels.
The Hobbit tells the tale of Bilbo’s main adventure, his adventure with thirteen dwarves in order to help them reclaim the Lonely Mountain with it’s treasure, but there’s a problem: there’s a dragon in the way.
This was such a wonderfully delightful story to read! There were so many charming quirks, Bilbo’s love of tea and cakes (of which the poor dear is continuously derpived of), his little buttons, his little handkerchiefs and hat, the Dwarves poetic singing, but then you have the most fantastical scenes of battles and goblins and spiders - Tolkien establishes, in my view, the most perfect balance of adventure with charm.
There was one main thought I had from the beginning of this novel: the ring. I came in knowing what it was capable of, yet I was so surprised at how differently it is treated in this novel. I was also expecting so much from Golem, but no, he has a chapter and is gone, never again. Now that was amazing. The secrets of the ring and Golem are touched on so lightly that it made me respect Tolkien even more than I did before, for now I realise how fantastically he developed these plot lines in the next three novels!
What I was always concerned about was the notion that this would be a very heavy ‘fantasy novel’. I’m not someone who’s into very severe and in-depth fantasy stories, stories which are borderline WOW. That never appealed to me and still doesn’t today. What’s strange with this novel is I kept forgetting it was a fantasy book, the details weren’t too heavy but that isn’t a bad thing, on the contrary, it made it such a beautifully pleasant read!
My years of worries about this novel were all so unnecessary, nothing was complicated, nothing was dark and heavy like I expected. They are rather unusual adjectives to use when describing fiction so allow me to elaborate - I read some fantasy novels when I was younger and they were fictional version of steel and iron; masculine, brash, forceful, not really my cup of tea. Thus I expected Tolkien’s novels to be so too, as they were labelled to me when I was younger as ‘boys’ books’. Whoever described them as such should be punished for depriving me of such a tale for so long! ★★★★

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