Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Rating: 4 stars
I started reading this slowly, at the beginning of the year, in the hopes of savoring it until the movie arrived. I have to tell you, it started out all rainbows and nostalgia until someone told me that the movie was going to be split into three parts. I spent the remainder of the book angrily wondering how Peter Jackson planned to successfully pull that off without pissing off fans. It's a small book! Written as a young adult novel! Yes, there are many adventures along the road to the Lonely Mountain, but nothing that packs as much punch as the actual ending of the novel. There aren't any real clear starts and stops that - to my mind - make three separate, yet cohesive movies.
Anyway - film making aside - I first read this book when I was in middle school, so it's been a long, long time. Fifteen years, maybe? Perhaps a bit more. I was surprised by how many details have stuck with me over such a wide span of years. This time - knowing and loving Bilbo well, rather than having just been introduced to him - I was able to imagine that it was Bilbo himself writing the tale. The writing style is so vastly different from the Lord of the Rings trilogy that it isn't difficult at all to replace Tolkien's voice with Bilbo's. It's much more humorous and has the tone of a folk-tale - you can almost imagine Bilbo around a campfire, enacting his tale to a captive audience. Also - there's a lot less walking.
I'd say the 4-star rating of my memory holds up with my current reading of the novel. Middle-earth is a place I wouldn't mind continuing to visit time and time again.
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