View Full Version : The Hobbit

31-05-2010, 20:51
There is a discussion thread about 'The Silmarillion' here already, so I thought that I would start one about The Hobbit - the book has a lot of nice and intricate details that really benefit from reading LOTR and The Silmarillion.
Also, I just wanted to let those who may not have heard that Guillermo Del Toro has left as director of The Hobbit.

31-05-2010, 23:46
I hope this doesn't negatively affect the film. Am looking forward to GWs The Hobbit range!

31-05-2010, 23:49
I am increasingly thinking that the hobbit movies are not going to happen.


As for the book, I don't really like it nearly as much as LotR. The story comes across to me as much simpler and more episodic. To be expected since it was aimed more for children, but still, I rarely see a reason to read the Hobbit when I could read LotRs instead.

01-06-2010, 01:19
Yeah. The Hobbit was a kid's book, while The Lord of the Rings was more of an Adults. Not as good a read. It's the kind of book you only need to read once, while the LOTR trilogy can be re-read again and again.

05-06-2010, 22:58
It's the kind of book you only need to read once

To pot with that! :p It may be intended for a younger audience, but it got a lot of adult approval when it was published - because it's a great story in it's own right, rather than an unneccessary 'prequel' you 'need' to slog through to call yourself a Tolkien fan.
Although I like LotR a lot, I think The Hobbit matches it - and maybe even bests it - for atmosphere and imagery, in places. The short length and episodic layout keeps the story rolling along at a great pace, IMO. It's maybe not the same flavour, not so 'epic' or philosophical or melancholy; but it's a ripping little yarn. A Boys' Own adventure.
And c'mon, you can honestly say you didn't like Bilbo's first experience of The Wild in the form of a distant fire on a dark, wet night and three looming trolls called Bill, Bert and Tom? The desperate escapes from goblins and wargs through mountains, forests and the air? The eerie otherworldliness of Mirkwood and it's inhabitants? The Battle of Five Armies? The best chat with the best dragon outside of the Silmarillion or ancient legend?

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/84171)

Dr Death
06-06-2010, 11:51
Verm1s is very very right- The Hobbit is a great story in it's own right. I will admit though that as a kid i couldn't stand it- couldn't get past the first page since it bored me stiff. Once i had read LotR in my early teens though, it all came naturally.

What i love about The Hobbit is the humour. Tolkien does have a great sense of humour, in spite of his image as this dour, curmudgeonly literary maverick. The Hobbit is essentially a comedy of manners, and Tolkien's handling of the terribly proper country-gent of Bilbo in his relations not just with the dwarves but with the whole lot, goblins, elves, spiders, and of course the two big 'battles of wits'- Gollum and Smaug.

Having read LotR first though does give a nicely portentous frisson to reading The Hobbit though, and i think it's more or less accepted that whatever form the film takes it will be a far more 'post LotR' take- more of a sense of growing menace under the light campy adventure of bilbo and co. It's going to be very interesting to see.

Dr Death

captian Maklai
06-06-2010, 14:33
I agree with verm on this except that i don't think it was made for children, i think it was different in the way that it was written because for the most part it was one of the one's actually fully completed, some of the others had to be pieced together using tolkeins old notes. But anyway i think that the hobbit was one of the best reads I've had mostly as it was in a style of writing i like, one that goes deep into the surroundings and appearances of the characters and gives them a good refined defined personality. I have only read it once, but i've been wanting to read it again for a while, but i lost my book :(

Chaplain of Chaos
07-06-2010, 00:58
The Hobbit was strongly modeled after medieval literature. Many of the quest conventions are lifted straight from older literary techniques.

Welsh story telling, french questing themes, etc.

I also disagree, in my opinion The Hobbit is a beautiful piece of work in it's succinctness.

07-06-2010, 14:40
The hobbit is a great book, but was written as a story aimed at children, i studied the book whilst at school. The hobbit is in my humble opinion a classic book that everyone should read, Tolkien's humourous take on relations and interactions in this book obvious stike a chord with adult audiences and the tale is a great adventure, certainly drawing its ideas from medievil literature, as pointed out be 'chaplain of chaos'. Also at the risk of sounding controversial it is a refreshing read compared to LotR were Tolkien has a tendancy to over describe small details and ignore more prevelant and relevant goings on.

07-06-2010, 20:15
The Hobbit is a wonderful book that was written for children but was also written as a book meant to be read aloud over a series of evenings. When I was 10 my mom read the hobbit to me, over the course of about 3-4 months, and basically ignited my passion for both reading and for Middle Earth.

18-06-2010, 13:22
I think that the Lord of the Rings suffers from being quite an obtuse text and is very hard to read (good story aside), whereas the Hobbit tells a wonderful narrative in a text that is easy and pleasant to read. That doesn't make it a "Children's Book", it just makes it light reading. To quote a good friend of mine on a similar matter... "Some days you want to watch La Dolce Vita, other days you just want to watch Bring It On 5...". That is to say...some days you just want some easy reading.

21-06-2010, 02:21
I read The Hobbit fairly late, I was like 14 then, but I blazed through it in one afternoon and I never was the same again. :D Somehow for me it was and still is the founding narrative of fantasy genre. And that was the impression of the kid who knew Greek mythology by heart, a bit of Arthurian legends, played fantasy-based computer games and read various fantasy books before getting to know Tolkien.

23-06-2010, 14:41

10-07-2010, 04:32
While it supposed to be more of a 'kids' book, I still think that it has a very deep story and doesn't have to be enjoyed only by kids, but is 'fun for all ages'.

12-07-2010, 01:23
I've never read it. My wife has the LOTR, Hobbit, and the Silmarillion (?) here somewhere, but I've only ever read the LOTR - and only AFTER seeing the films.

13-07-2010, 01:40
I've never read it. My wife has the LOTR, Hobbit, and the Silmarillion (?) here somewhere, but I've only ever read the LOTR - and only AFTER seeing the films.

I recommend that you give it a read, if you enjoyed the LOTR books then you would probably enjoy the Hobbit as well.

14-07-2010, 17:25
I recommend that you give it a read, if you enjoyed the LOTR books then you would probably enjoy the Hobbit as well.

Is it written with the same... difficult to digest verbiage as the LOTR?

16-07-2010, 20:12
Is it written with the same... difficult to digest verbiage as the LOTR?

Not so much, because Tolkien had written it originally for kids, so it is an easier read. And although it was written for kids, I dont think that it is tremendously simplistic, and is still enjoyable for people of all ages.

20-07-2010, 12:49
The Hobbit starts as a children's book and ends a completely different creature. It is representative of an incredibly talented mind and work.

20-07-2010, 21:01
A good example of the difference is in the portrayal of Orcs. In the LOTR, Orcs are pure evil, brute and vicious, and not a whole lot else.

In "The Hobbit", orcs are more like rowdy lads, singing rude songs and bullying anyone they can. They are just as cruel and dangerous in both books, but they are portrayed in a more lighthearted fashion in "The Hobbit".

Kroot Lord
27-07-2010, 00:40
Actually, both "The Hobbit" as well as "The Lord of the Rings" were aimed at children, but the latter was considered too much of an adult book to be so, probably due to the length (if you read 2 pages of the trilogy a night to a child, it'd take a year and a half to finish it!) and, perhaps, the violence. Likewise, Tolkien intended the trilogy to be just a single book, but his original publisher deemed it too large to be a single book, and "forced" him to split it up into three sections.