Picture an eleven-year-old girl hunched on the floor, reading a book that had been left lying on the ground from yesternight’s reading. A few forgotten math textbooks lie forlornly on a desk next to a blue clock reading “9:00 am.” If you lived with me, you would often see me in this position. And when I was writing this review, I probably read one third of The Hobbit again before shaking my head and picking up my pen. The Hobbit is just that kind of book that makes time fly (as well as make you forget a half-finished review).
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, tells of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is an ordinary, respectable hobbit, which means that he likes hot tea, loves hearty meals, and hates dangerous adventures. But when the wizard Gandalf and a troop of dwarves camp in his home, Bilbo is swept up in a very dangerous adventure. The dwarves are reclaiming their Mountain from the dragon Smaug!
While the majority of books only have one race (humans), The Hobbit was teeming with different races. Hobbits, dwarves, elves—they all inhabited this book. Cheerful and simple, hobbits are impossible not to love. I always smile when Bilbo wishes to hear the sound of the kettle boiling. Dwarves, however, are the opposite of hobbits. Much of their character can be detected from their songs, which are fierce, determined, hardy, and proud. And then there are the elves—noble, isolated, yet skilled in many arts. These races are all marvelous, but for me, elves are the most magical.
The Hobbit contains some of the most whimsical rhymes I have ever read. Tolkien demonstrates his wit in the great riddle competition Bilbo has with the nauseating creature Gollum. The riddle about fish is permanently fixed in my mind; I repeat it a day in and day out. I relish the words on my tongue. Likewise, the tone of the dwarves’ song will never leave me, as well as the wood-elves’ merry lullaby. There is no doubt about it: Tolkien is master of rhymes.
The Hobbit is a masterpiece, a chef-d’oeuvre, a book that for me has become legendary. I cannot explain the exhilaration I felt while hunched over reading this book: The Hobbit is an enchanting world in which, once you get lost in it, you never want to find yourself again.
You can buy this book here.