Concerning the title, I did say I like heavy beat music… so yes, the stupid video techno-mash-up of “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard,” has been blasted on my computer speakers more times than I’ll admit. 😉
Anyway, I finally finished JRR Tolkien’s “The Hobbit!” I should have read this back in junior high for the classic it is. It might not quite match up to today’s standards, but that’s mostly because the story has been told and retold in so many ways. Tolkien basically created adventure high fantasy as we know it. That alone should make any other fantasy book put their hands up and back away from the throne slowly in reverence.
The setting is what really sets this novel apart as you get fully enveloped in the world with its magical creatures and wondrous landscape. I’ve heard Tolkien’s infamous for his descriptions (being unnecessarily lengthy and boring), but I didn’t get bored for even a moment. (I have also heard “The Hobbit”‘s not nearly as bad as “The Lord of the Rings.” …Those are still on my “to read” list.)
I actually read “The Hobbit” through Audible, narrated by Rob Inglis. He did a great job of making the characters sound unique (and still enunciated) and even sang the songs! I highly recommend this version.
As with any book-to-film adaptation, watching the movie is not enough! (I still need to see the final movie, and plan to do so). From what I’ve seen, they did a decent job of keeping the story, omitting only a couple scenes and adding backstories, side-plots, and drama to others.
The plot is the next best part about this book. It has a theme of “adventures” and contrasts it to “the comforts of home.” Reading through it, it actually makes a bit more sense of why they split the movie into different parts. There are SO MANY sub-plot adventures during the main-plot adventure!
Concerning the characters, that’s where the movie adaptations shine above the book, since Tolkien gives the creatures’ stereotypes and a quirk or two for a few characters, then leaves it at that. Granted, “The Hobbit” has a large main cast, so the easiest way to define one dwarf from another is to say “the fat one.”
I’m really debating with myself whether this is a 4 or 5 star. There’s a fair amount of whining and a couple Deus ex machina conclusions that make me less likely to read it again, but it’s such a classic with great story and story-telling that I do think everyone should read it. Bagh! Curse my indecisiveness! *****4.7**** stars it is!