The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is a classic fantasy novel which precedes ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and sets scene for its series. It was written before ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series.
In the 75th edition there is an introduction given with reference to ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – you will get to know the backstory behind this and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series. The author talks about the characters that he had developed for the story, and inside the book Tolkien himself drew maps with illustrations in order to help readers to connect with the story and the setting.
This novel introduces us to the world of Hobbits. Bilbo is one good Hobbit, he lives in a hole. We also see dwarves, wizards, spiders, goblins, wargs, a dragon, and some Lake-town people – the book is full of interesting but strange characters.
Bilbo and Gandalf, a wizard, are two important character of the story – though intermittent but their presence adds momentum in the narration. Gandalf slyly tricks Bilbo to arrange a party for Thorins and his gang of dwarves. At this party dwarves create noise for the Lonely Mountain and the treasure hidden beneath it. They encourage Bilbo to come with them. Bilbo follows them. Here onwards Bilbo’s journey to mysterious places commences, and the rest of the narration is how they tackle the obstacles that come in their way.
The characterization of Gandalf may intrigue you. He, being cleaver, disappears often and resurfaces only to help them in the crises. Soon, Bilbo is lost in the tunnel, where he stumbles upon a strange creature who engages him into a deadly riddle game; meanwhile he finds a mysterious ring that helps him to escape from that tunnel.
Involvement of humans is very less and they appear almost in the end. Well, Bard from Lake-town kills the Smaug dragon.
This book will make you aware with the lifestyle of Hobbits and what typical things they expect from their lives and fellow mates. The world building part in the book is phenomenal and Tolkien was a master at that skill, so well thought out and so meticulously executed in the book that it sounds real, even though it is a fantastical world. It is a very well written book and worth reading. It captures your attention and draws you into the story. And the movie version of the book is also interesting as both stick fairly close together. Highly recommended for fantasy lovers.