The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien


Bilbo, the main character in the book, is an unassuming character. The book follows Bilbo as he leaves his relatively quiet ‘hole’ in a farming community and moves into the depths of Middle Earth, facing many dangerous creatures and circumstances.

As the journey moves along, with each chapter almost like a mini-story, we see Bilbo grow in both character and maturity; it’s interesting how Tolkien is effectively telling the reader to learn from their experiences and their mistakes.

Like Lord of the Rings, the writing is full of songs and poetry, and this adds an atmosphere and reality to the story that doesn’t exist in many novels – they help to keep the story light, despite some of the dangers Bilbo encounters.

Interestingly many people have pointed out that this book and Lord of the Rings parallels Tolkien’s war experiences, and in fact Lord of the Rings (the sequel) was written while Tolkien was at war as a serial story for his son.

The Plot

Gandalf, the wise and ancient wizard persuades Bilbo to host a tea-party for a band of dwarfs led by Thorin. Unbeknownst to Bilbo, the dwarfs have lost a vast treasure to the dangerous dragon Smaug.

As the party continues on, and the Dwarfs sing boisterous songs about how they will reclaim their wealth from Smaug, and with it their ancient home in the Lonely Mountain, Gandalf surprises Bilbo by asking him to become a ‘burglar’ for the intrepid dwarfs and assist in their quest. Despite the misgivings of the dwarfs, and Bilbo’s anger at being tricked into this situation, Bilbo journey away from his safe haven of Hobbiton.

Using a map that shows a secret entrance into the Lonely Mountain, the band of adventurers must cross the Misty Mountains. Captured by Goblins they are forced into some dank and dangerous caves – Bilbo manages to escape but gets lost; wandering around he happens across a strange ring, and is challenged by Gollum into a Rhyming duel. The ring is magical, and with the aid of it, Bilbo is able to become invisible and escape to rejoin with the dwarfs, who were rescued by Gandalf.

Thus begins the adventures in their quest to find the Lonely Mountain; along the way they’ll encounter Spiders, Trolls and other nasty creatures.

Will they succeed? Well you’ll just have to read the book won’t you!