Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

Posted December 1, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

The Hobbit

It is part of the Middle-Earth Universe, series and is a on October 29, 1984 and has 290 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

The prequel to the Lord of the Rings fantasy series and revolving around Bilbo Baggins and his adventures, there and back again.

My Take

My sister turned me on to the whole series thousands of years ago when I was young, and I bought the books as soon as I could afford them.

It’s interesting to re-read The Hobbit after some years of editing and being so aware of how an author uses language and points-of-view. In reading Tolkien, I was taken back to his time period and his social class, hearing Tolkien speak, so to speak. There were many a’many places where I wanted to insert a preposition until I reminded myself of the times.

I adored how Tolkien took us along on Bilbo’s ride, driving up the tension and drama only to turn it on its head with a quip, and deflate that strain. Just a’bob-bob-bobbin’ along on waves of emotion, as though we were children listening to a fairy tale before bedtime.

I loved the Bilbo we met at the start and loved him even more at the end. It was all that Tookishness combined with the love of a bit of bread and cheese, a warm fire, and a book. I do wonder how far into the future Gandalf saw. Did he know that Bilbo would need this adventure, so Frodo would be more inclined to set off on his?

The speech and actions of the book Gandalf reminded me very much of the LOTR Gandalf. I could just hear Ian McKellen declaiming as he waved his staff, LOL. When Tolkien describes the grim dwarves under Dain’s command, it was John Rhys-Davies who came to mind in helm and chainmail — hordes and hordes of him!

Tolkien pulled me in, as ever. Such characters…and settings that left me cold, tired, and hungry. And much too hot when we encountered Smaug! There’s something about Bag-End that makes me yearn for a snug warm hole in the ground with a round door and numerous round windows looking out over the garden. With a cup of tea in hand.

The Story

A peaceful morning in the Shire is shattered when a wizard shows up on Bilbo’s doorstep. Too odd, too pushy, when all Bilbo wanted was to enjoy a quiet pipe on a sunny morn.

It’s not to be as Gandalf sets Bilbo up for a series of encounters that will have him reeling and spinning, with no time to stop and think. Can’t have that. Our burglar may choose not to go!

Think of the adventures he would miss out on: escaping trolls, spiders, goblins, and elves. Treacherous waters and scarier woods. Trials and tribulations galore. Mmmm, makes me want to pull up an armchair and a good book…

The Characters

Bilbo Baggins is the son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took and lives in the lovely hobbit hole his father built, Bag-End, Under-Hill. It’s on this journey that Bilbo acquires his mithril coat of mail and Sting. The Sackville-Bagginses are moneygrubbing cousins.

Gandalf the Grey is a wizard, unknown in the shire. Indeed, unknown in many parts. In their journeys, he picks up Glamdring, Foe-hammer, a sword that the king of Gondolin once wore. Radagast of Mirkwood is his cousin.

Dwalin, Balin son of Fundin, Fili and Kili are Thorin’s nephews, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifor, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin Oakenshield son of Thrain who desires to be King Under the Mountain. Thorin takes up Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver (the goblins call it Biter). Another famous sword much like Glamdring, both made by the High Elves of the West. Dain son of Nain rules in the Iron HIlls.

William, Burt, and Tom are the trolls Bilbo encounters. The Great Goblin is the goblin king who takes the company prisoner. Gollum is the sun-starved sneak whom Bilbo battles in a game of riddles. Smaug is a great red-gold dragon who knows his treasure horde to the nth degree.

The Last Homely House is the elf-friend’s home, Elrond of Rivendell. Lord of the Eagles of the Misty Mountains takes an interest in the affairs of goblins. Beorn is a skin-changer who mostly turns into a great bear. Roäc son of Carc is chief of the great ravens of the Mountain.

The wood-elves are shyer, more elusive than most elves. The Men of the Lake are all that’s left of two once-flourishing towns. Bard is a descendant of Girion, Lord of Dale.

The Cover and Title

The cover of the book I read is one that I own with a deep green leather binding and gilt lettering and lining.

The title is simple and to the point, for it’s all about one person, The Hobbit.