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THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien, Excerpt

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien, Excerpt

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4.28

(14,519)
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When Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves embark upon a dangerous quest to reclaim the hoard of gold stolen from them by the evil dragon Smaug, Gandalf the wizard suggests an unlikely accomplice: Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming Hobbit dwelling in peaceful Hobbiton.

Along the way, the company faces trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and worse. But as they journey from the wonders of Rivendell to the terrors of Mirkwood and beyond, Bilbo will find that there is more to him than anyone—himself included—ever dreamed. Unexpected qualities of courage and cunning, and a love of adventure, propel Bilbo toward his great destiny . . . a destiny that waits in the dark caverns beneath the Misty Mountains, where a twisted creature known as Gollum jealously guards a precious magic ring.
When Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves embark upon a dangerous quest to reclaim the hoard of gold stolen from them by the evil dragon Smaug, Gandalf the wizard suggests an unlikely accomplice: Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming Hobbit dwelling in peaceful Hobbiton.

Along the way, the company faces trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and worse. But as they journey from the wonders of Rivendell to the terrors of Mirkwood and beyond, Bilbo will find that there is more to him than anyone—himself included—ever dreamed. Unexpected qualities of courage and cunning, and a love of adventure, propel Bilbo toward his great destiny . . . a destiny that waits in the dark caverns beneath the Misty Mountains, where a twisted creature known as Gollum jealously guards a precious magic ring.

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Publish date: Sep 18, 2012
Added to Scribd: Aug 27, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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04/07/2014

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Activity (343)

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shanaqui_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I should probably stop admitting to how many times I've reread The Hobbit and LotR, but I doubt I ever will. I think I'm past the point where I find something totally new every time, definitely, but there are things I appreciate differently each time. And this time I just read it for fun -- not for my course, not with conclusions from my essays in mind. I even managed to recapture the guilty childhood reading-by-streetlight feeling I had when I was a kid, by staying up late reading even though I had my gym induction this morning.

I'm badass like that.

I think what I noticed most this time was Bilbo's hero's journey. The film makes it so much more blatant, plays with the original narrative to give us a quicker payoff. Tolkien's Bilbo, though, is more subtle than that. We don't need to see him bravely trying to rescue his pony to know that there's a potential in him as yet untapped. I was always really happy with the Lord of the Rings films as adaptations, but I'm not so keen on The Hobbit. I know exactly why they're making most of those decisions -- I don't think they could do otherwise. But I still prefer Tolkien's original, and the movie has a hard time keeping me going, because I don't want Bilbo to be too like Frodo. I want him to be a pompous ass at times, to stand on his dignity... We've already had the story where a hobbit turns out to be brave and the saviour of mankind. I hope to goodness they keep Bilbo away from the Necromancer...
eidzior_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I had no idea just how enjoyable "The Hobbit" would be! Tolkien is hilarious and I loved pretty much everything about this book. I'm very much looking forward to reading the Lord of the Rings!
satyridae reviewed this
Rated 5/5
9/2012- I've got nothing to add. This is glorious, hilarious, wonderful. I don't care about the inconsistencies, I hardly notice them, so caught up in the story am I.


2008-I adore Tolkien, and Inglis is a perfect narrator. The combination is unbeatable. Highly recommended.
sullywriter_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Last time I read this I was in high school and I've been meaning to revisit it for some time. As delightful as I remembered, maybe more so.
auntieknickers reviewed this
Rated 5/5
It's hard to know what to say about Tolkien -- either you love him or hate him, I suspect. I certainly know people who would drop this book like a hot potato after two pages, and others, including me, who read it over again every few years. Although I'm generally a fast reader, I do hear the words in my head, and never more so than with Tolkien, when I am immersed in Middle-Earth. (I must note that I've never gone on to [book: The Silmarillion} and the other elaborations on the theme; The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been enough for me).
jenneb_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This one held up a lot better to rereading than LOTR, I thought. It takes itself a lot less seriously, which is a big relief.
I like the looser, more whimsical style, where the narrator talks to the reader and seems to be just making it up as he goes along, e.g. "It happened a hundred years ago last Thursday".
dulac3_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I have a long and very personal history with _The Hobbit_. My first experience of it was, I think, at the age of 7 or 8 when my older brother (13 years my senior) read the story to me and I was immediately captivated. After that came readings from the LotR and I was a Tolkien fan forevermore. My re-reading of _The Hobbit_ immediately prior to my most recent one was a bit of a disappointment. Somehow the same old magic didn’t all seem to be there and I was perhaps most discomfited by the gaps in style that were apparent between this story and its even more famous descendent, _The Lord of the Rings_. On this re-read, however, I found much of my initial love of the tale coming back to me and many of the same episodes stirred memories of my first hearing of the tale.

For those two or three people not in the know, this is the story of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins by name, and his unexpected adventure with 13 dwarves and, for part of the time at least, the wizard Gandalf. Thorin Oakenshield and his followers have long been exiled from their home, the far-away and fabled dwarf-realm of Erebor at the Lonely Mountain, after its pillaging by the dragon Smaug. We follow Bilbo as he moves from inept bungler to expert burglar and begin to see, along with the dwarves, just why Gandalf chose this particular hobbit to round out the unlucky number of the dwarves’ party as his inner courage and resourcefulness grow. We see Bilbo through many adventures, from an encounter with trolls and a harrowing escape from goblins, to a dark journey through the treacherous spider-haunted deeps of Mirkwood and a creeping view of the great dragon upon his misbegotten mound of gold. There are many great characters to meet in the journey from Bilbo’s hobbit hole to the Lonely Mountain, even if only a few of the dwarves are fleshed out to any great detail. A personal favourite is the irascible Beorn, a vegetarian skin-changer and unwitting host to the party who eventually becomes a staunch ally; and am I wrong in seeing in the enigmatic and laconic Bard the bowman something of a prototype for Aragorn?

This is, of course, a children’s story, and as such does not always seem to sit well as a prequel to the later work, the Lord of the Rings (though of course in its original conception the tale was not meant to be a prequel to anything and its ultimate inclusion into the storied history of Middle Earth only grew as the tale did and the significance of certain elements, namely the Ring, became clearer in Tolkien’s mind). Whether it is the silly songs sung by the elves of Rivendell (can anyone picture Fëanor or Thingol singing these things?), the faux-cockney accents and names of the trolls encountered by Bilbo and co., or the various authorial asides, this book can appear hard to reconcile with the later tales. Of course one valid approach to this is simply to say, “who cares?” and move on. This is certainly valid, but after my most recent reading I found that taking into account the conceit of Tolkien’s that all of his tales from Middle Earth (even the posthumously published _The Silmarillion_) exist as documents taken originally from the “Red Book of Westmarch”, a hobbit tome detailing the adventures of the Shire’s most famous sons, and subsequently handled and translated by many hands before coming down to us was a helpful approach. In essence we can see in _The Hobbit_ how Bilbo’s diary of his own adventures was turned into an adventure tale for children, while the higher matters of the LotR were possibly deemed unsuitable for such treatment. Thus we have talking spiders, tra-la-laing High Elves, and silly trolls mixed in with berserk shape-changing warriors, hints of malign necromancy, and a final battle on the doorstep of the Lonely Mountain.

Bilbo is an excellent main character, both unsure of himself and eager to prove his dwarven compatriots wrong in their initial impression of him to be “more a green grocer than a burglar”. Many may criticize Tolkien for his apparent anachronism with the hobbits and the Shire in Middle Earth, with their mantel clocks, singing tea kettles and other modern conveniences in the midst of what appears to be a medieval world of saga and epics. Yet it is this familiarity that allows us to identify with Bilbo as he is thrown into the strange epic world outside the bounds of the Shire. To my mind, despite his estrangement from it, Bilbo sits much more comfortably in this world than do a pack of modern British schoolchildren crossing dimensions or some other conceit that might have been used to allow the reader to identify with the hero. This also gives Bilbo the chance to grow into something more akin to a hero and leader than we ever would have expected of him based on his origins and it is this growth that gives impetus to the story amidst its many colourful episodes. The most famous of these is, of course, the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum, a suitably creepy game played by Bilbo for nothing less than his life and the keystone moment that links this smaller tale to the greater epic of the LotR as we see just how important that question Bilbo asks is: “What have I got in my pocket?”

Bilbo not only grows in courage and resourcefulness, but shows his inner worth when he resists the call of the dragon horde, unlike the unfortunate Thorin, and even attempts to broker peace between those who ought to be allies when greed and anger threaten to destroy all that the quest attempted to achieve, at the possible cost of his own safety and the friendship of his comrades. This is a great story for children, of any age, and will provide them with not only an exciting adventure, but also some good lessons and a fine model for true heroism. It’s also a great introduction to the world of Middle Earth and you won’t regret your time spent with the charming Mr. Baggins of Bag End.
aelizabethj reviewed this
Rated 4/5
hmm. I don't know if I just wasn't feeling it this time or what, but as hard as I tried, I just could not get into this reread.
canadianbill_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A heartily enjoyed children's book, that I re-read as an adult. Tolkien was able to capture the mythical world that all children dream about, yet set it among a reality not far from our own.
a_reader_of_fictions reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Bilbo Baggins, a perfectly respectable hobbit who never went on any adventures, finds his life turned up upside down at the arrival of Gandalf the wizard. Bilbo ends up accompanying Gandalf and thirteen dwarves on a quest to recover treasure from a dragon. I tried several times, unsuccessfully, to read this book when I was younger, but loved pretty much every page this go round. This book differs a bit from The Lord of the Rings, primarily because Tolkien wrote it for children probably. The Hobbit has quite a bit of humor, beautiful language, even more songs and bursts with onomatopoeia. A beautiful, engaging read.

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