J.R.R. Tolkien's classic prelude to his Lord of the Rings trilogy was first published in 1937 based on a tale that Tolkien told his children. It was not at first an integral part of the world that Tolkien was to create.
Almost 40 years ago, in 1973, I first read the Hobbit after reading Lord of the Rings(LOTR). I have revisited it a few more times since then. Most recently I decided to read it again before going to see the movie that has put the novel back on the map.
In part in response to the plan to break this quite short book in a trilogy. A Trilogy I thought…someone wants to cash in. Perhaps three short movies…but a long first movie dashed that thought.
I read the deluxe 50th edition that I bought in 1988 or so, but had never read. (The book was first published in 1937).
The Hobbit is based on the life and adventure of Bilbo Baggins, a comfortable hobbit of The Hill in the Shire. Not very glamorous, nor very adventurous – until Gandalf the wizard comes calling. Soon Bilbo is on an adventure with thirteen dwarves including the illustrious Thorin Oakenshild, the grandson and heir of the King under the Mountain.
They face obstacles and adventures as they travel east to face Smaug the Magnificent, a large and dangerous fire dragon out of the far north. Smaug ends up not being their greatest obstacle…but please read the book!
The movie that you may have seen does a good job of telling the story. He is not rushed with 9 hours of film for a 300 page novel. He can add things (some that the book passes over in a paragraph or two and some that he has dwelled into from LOTR). While he gives us many details in the movie that directors are usually forced to omit from the book, he keeps a good pace.
Warning we do have some excesses in the chase scenes which seems to be a folly of the director (Jackson). Just because we have the technology does not mean that we have to use it Mr. Jackson.
A good read for young and old and a good movie for those young of heart!