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.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001).
After picking up, putting aside and reading this novel in fits and starts three or four times in the last few years, I finally began reading it properly in preparation for Peter Jackson’s film of the same name.
The story, written for Tolkien’s children, is simply told with much detail provided about the arrival of the dwarfs, preparation for the adventure, Bilbo’s inner thoughts, and the landscape the fourteen travel through.
Overall, the story was quite easy to read and enjoyable, but I did find parts of the novel a bit tedious (too much description). The best part was (having read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy first) learning the beginnings/background of all that leads to the conflict in Middle Earth. Recommended.