Living in his little hobbit-hole in Hobbiton, Bilbo Baggins is not the adventurous type. He is content with his normal life: eating good food, which a favorite past-time of hobbits, sipping piping-hot tea and serving it to his guests, and strolling through the rolling hills watching the sun set. Little did Bilbo know, that one bright morning in May, his life would change as a result of a few unexpected guests. Journey with Gandalf the Grey, a mysterious wizard, thirteen dwarves, and a hobbit that redefines his identity as they travel through the dark Forest of Mirkwood, past the City on the Lake, and battle the dragon Smaug the Magnificent to reclaim their long-lost treasure. You’ll be sure to like this book due to the author’s amazing talent, unbelievable fantasy setting, and the epic struggle between good and evil.
The author, J.R.R. Tolkien, delineates this epic fantasy “as if he is actually sitting in front of you telling a story”. He is able to paint a picture in your imagination with compelling words, and hold you captivated throughout the entire story. For example, Tolkien writes, “The entrance to the path was like a sort of arch leading into a gloomy tunnel made by two great trees that leant together, too old and strangled with ivy and hung with lichen to bear more than a few blackened leaves.”
The fantasy world Tolkien creates, Middle-Earth, contains memorable characters, in accord with an editor of Barnes&Noble.com, in which he mentions, “Bilbo Baggins, the polite and peaceful hobbit; Gandalf, the wise and powerful wizard; the eerie and sinister Gollum”. Reading this book will take you out of ordinary life and transport you to a world filled with adventures. For example, Tolkien remarks on Gandalf: “If you had heard a quarter of what I have heard about him [Gandalf]…you would be prepared for any sort of remarkable tale.”
The struggle underlying the story is essentially the fight between pure evil and complete good. Tolkien writes about Smaug the Dragon, who represents evil: “There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke…” Imagine how Bilbo felt for the first time seeing him, himself being only half the height of a man. You will find yourself tense in the encounter between Bilbo and the goblins and elves, but you always have confidence that good will always prevail.
Although the names of all the characters can be difficult to remember at first, halfway through the book you will feel that you are immersed in their world now.
This is one of the most loved books of the twentieth-century, and if you like good storytelling, a fantasy setting, and a plot of good versus evil, this book is for you. You will become immersed in a great adventure; just as Tolkien writes, ” ‘…this account based on his [Bilbo] personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare’ “. You will be swept off your feet and, “by the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come —– and so is the reader”.
Courtney from Study Moose
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