4 / 5 Gnomes
THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME
Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo–alone and unaided–who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside . . .
~Barnes and Noble Description~
Luckily I grew up in a household that appreciated the creative genius that is Tolkien. My introduction to The Hobbit came at a young age, followed by no less than one hundred viewings of the animated 1977 TV movie of Bilbo and his great adventure. (I was more than a little excited when I found a DVD of the cartoon at Half Price Books just a few months ago!) It felt only right to revisit the classic again before the Decemeber release of Peter Jackson's new movie.
Apparently, there were quite a few things I had forgotten about the story. Let's start with the dwarves. At first glance you would think they would be a pretty awesome security detail on a long adventure, but au contraire, dwarves are not as stealthy or formidable as one would believe. Dude! They get captured every five minutes, and then they complain and blame poor little Bilbo. Not to mention that they're greedy little buggers.
And Mr. Tolkien, you amaze me, but enough already with the songs. I know they fill in context and set moods, but nobody sings that much, and without a tune, I'm just reading poetry, and I don't like poetry.
All that being said, The Hobbit is an amazing adventure, especially when you see the subtle ways that it sets up for the massive Lord of the Rings trilogy. For adventure lovers, fantasy enthusiasts, and world builders, Tolkien's entire saga really is the penultimate tale.