Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Hobbit, J R R Tolkien
"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit."
Well now, what can I say about this one that hasn't been said a thousand times before? It really is The Ultimate Fantasy Quest Story, packed full of adventure and populated with the most imaginative and innovative (for its time) cast of characters. The book that lit the spark which fuelled hundreds upon hundreds of Fantasy novels across the world. An absolutely fabulous read, one to awaken your imagination at any age. Don't ever be put off by the fact it's billed as a children's book, I'm thirty four and even though I read this as a youngster, I still couldn't put it down last night. And it scared me! I was reading bits of it aloud to my three year old, and had to keep skipping parts...Goblin head on a spike, Wolves on fire, massive venomous arachnids, etc. Then I was up until 2am in the company of Bilbo & Co by myself, having a grand old time.
Even now, after some 20 odd years of obsessive fantasy reading, I don't know that there's anything that really compares to The Hobbit. It's got absolutely everything; Trolls, Giants, Elves, Goblins, Wolves, A Shapeshifter, Giant Spiders, Dwarves, and of course..Hobbits & Gandalf! You get to cheer on Bilbo and the lads and boo all the nasty beasties.
I like to think of it as One Bed time Story to Rule them all.... (sorry)
Tolkien's language is so poetic, it's completely immersive, and I'd hazard the opinion that even if Fantasy isn't your thing, if you've a love of language...you'll fall in love with this one all the same. There are so many little gems to discover! The riddles...the real story behind how golf was invented...and of course, how Bilbo found The Ring. My only gripe here is with the cheapskate edition I have, the black and white illustrations are near useless, but I'll be upgrading to a decent Hardback with proper illustrations come payday :)