Friday, January 29, 2010

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

I was very excited when the Tolkien Read-Along was announced. It's been years since I read any of these books and, as is the case with almost every book I read -- even those I love, I had forgotten most of the stories.  I usually remember the gist of the book but none of the details.  This made my reading of The Hobbit all the more exciting because so many parts were almost new to me again.  There were characters that I met again for the first time and others that I visited again after a long absence.  It was very satisfying.

I think the thing that stood out the most to me in this reading was the briefness of each part of the story. The scenes built quickly and then resolved in a timely manner. Any time that the adventurers were waylaid for longer periods, the narrator glossed over it with a few simple sentences. This really could have been a much longer and drawn out novel but I appreciate that it wasn't. Much of the beauty of this book is the simplicity of Bilbo Baggins and this is reflected in the simple manner of storytelling.

I'm very glad to have read The Hobbit again and I can't wait to continue through The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The storytelling is incredibly different in those books but satisfying in its own way.

There and back again,

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  1. One of my all time favourite books.

    I have loved it since my Mum read it aloud to me as a little tacker.

    I appreciate it all the more now I can appreciate the skill that went into crafting it.

    Publish or Perish

  2. I loved this book too! I am still reading it, but I should be done tonight or tomorrow! Can't wait to pick the next book!

  3. I really love the cover on this version. I really need to schedule some time for this trilogy; it sounds amazing.

  4. I hope to revisit The Hobbit at some point in the future. I read it right after the first Lord of the Rings movie came out and just loved it. I am glad it is just as magical in the re-reading.

  5. I finished just a couple of days ago and should have a post up soon about it. I'm so glad to have revisited it!

  6. I always preferred "The Hobbit" to LOTR for exactly the reasons you stated ... it just tells the story simple and quickly.

  7. Al - I hope that you also read it to your girls!

    aths - Was this your first time reading it? I'm glad you loved it!

    Diane - I hope that you do try these out.

    Feline - I love revisiting books like these after a long break because you really do experience it anew.

    Teresa - I love that this read-along happened! It's just what I needed right now in my reading.

    Jenners - Yes, it's definitely a simpler book and much less heartbreaking. It's one that you can daydream about ... much harder to do that with LOTR. Too much danger and evil!

  8. I was going to comment about preferring this one over LOTR, but Jenners simply said was I was going to!! So, ditto to her!

  9. Tif - I'm excited now to read the LOTR books again though because I last read them before the movies started and now that I've seen the movies a billion times, it's going to be interesting to switch back to the books.

  10. I can't wait to read your thoughts! I read them pretty close to the movies and remember thinking they stick pretty close to the books, particularly the extended editions. But, it's been a while for me too still!!