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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Book Review of
The Hobbit written by J. R. R. Tolkien
By Scott Koors
The Hobbit is a very interesting and exciting book. The main character, Bilbo, is a little dwarf person that doesn't wear any shoes that they call a hobbit. Bilbo and a great wizard, Gandalf, set out on a great adventure together. The two of them overcome some unbelievable hardships...
Published on April 16 2004 by Scott Koors

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 70th anniversary edition rather disappointing, go with ANNOTATED HOBBIT instead., October 24, 2007
[This is a review of the 70th Anniversary Edition, not so much of THE HOBBIT itself. I've reviewed the book proper elsewhere, and would rather focus on the actual edition itself.]

THE HOBBIT is one of those few books that I have felt justified to buy multiple copies over the years. It is a book I have read and cherished, and a book I dearly love. THE HOBBIT is...
Published 24 months ago by Mike London


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, April 16 2004
By 
Scott Koors (Indianapolis, IN USA) - See all my reviews
Book Review of
The Hobbit written by J. R. R. Tolkien
By Scott Koors
The Hobbit is a very interesting and exciting book. The main character, Bilbo, is a little dwarf person that doesn't wear any shoes that they call a hobbit. Bilbo and a great wizard, Gandalf, set out on a great adventure together. The two of them overcome some unbelievable hardships. They also make some new friends and at the same time some new enemies.
This book allows you to let your imagination run wild. I found that I was putting myself into the different character's shoes during the story. I just imagined how scary, but at the same time, how exciting it must have been for them. Even though there is a lot of science-fiction things in the book, I could still picture all of the scenes and settings. The book wasn't too abstract. I also felt that the book was very detailed. I could almost paint a picture of what was happening in the book in my head.
I have always enjoyed reading adventurous books and this one was no different. The book kept me entertained the whole time. I found it hard to put it down, I just couldn't stop reading it. I had to keep reading just to find out what happened next. This was pretty unusual for me, since I don't really enjoy reading that much. The Hobbit was just an all around good book that keeps your attention, while at the same time allows your imagination to run wild. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventurous book, that is written very well by J. R. R. Tolkien.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely copy to entice the younguns, Nov. 19 2009
By 
Malkie Bear (Toronto, Ontario CANADA) - See all my reviews
A classic, plain and simple. The illustrations are whimsical, sophisticated, and there are plenty of them. A nice copy printed on quality paper, this edition will stand up to many, many readings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to childhood imagination, May 27 2002
By 
Christopher Little (Owen Sound, Ontario) - See all my reviews
The Hobbit written by JRR Tolkien is an adventure fantasy novel in which contains a profusion of courage, adventure and Imagination. These three qualities unite, and create one of the finest adventure novels of all time. Tolkien keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat begging to turn the page by delivering climax after climax in this famous fantasy novel.
Tolkien initially grabs the reader with his in depth descriptive writing. His words describe the adventures of Bilbo Baggins so vividly that the reader becomes overwhelmed and begins to believe that he/she is indeed the protagonist. Although Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be a children's novel, the writing is still relevant for all ages. The Hobbit can take any average overscheduled adult away from his/her everyday stresses and return them back to their untainted childhood imaginations. This getaway is created on behalf of Tolkien's fantastically vivid descriptions of landscapes, feelings and characters. Even though the story is completely unbelievable, Tolkien describes everything in such incredible detail that the reader starts to believe that Hobbiton is a real place and being Bilbo Baggins is not fictional anymore.
The Hobbit is also a great read because of the never-ending climaxes throughout the book. Tolkien grabs the reader and keeps them captive for an entire novel. It becomes hard to put down the book because you are dawning on another expedition right after you just finished one. One could argue that Tolkien attempted to create a tie between the reader and the protagonist. Tolkien creates this tie through the comparison of Bilbo's sleeping patterns and that of the readers' patterns. Whenever Bilbo has had a long stretch without sleep the reader has not put down the book, however when Bilbo goes to sleep it is in a recession in the story's peaks. For example after Bilbo had left home he had slept very little until he went to Beorns house. This patterning style gives the reader an opportunity to take a rest. This use of literacy makes The Hobbit a very entertaining read.
In this novel we meet many different characters, enemy or friend. All of which seemed to be relevant except for the thirteen dwarves Bilbo travelled with. It would seem as though Tolkien added these characters just to aggravate the reader. During the novel these thirteen dwarves who were supposed to be running the show did nothing accept slow the process down by either passing out, getting lost or being captured; with the exception of Elrond, who is able to translate the moon-runes, and Bard, who is able to understand the language of the bird, Roac. Therefore leaving only two practical dwarves. Throughout the novel the reader continuously ask himself or herself 'why doesn't Bilbo just leave these idiots and do it himself?' This question remains unanswered at the end of the novel, in turn leaving the reader irritated. This is indeed a small blunder created by the author, however if he did indeed make these dwarves relevant it would have enhanced the story.
All things considered, The Hobbit is a fantastic adventure novel for all ages. It constantly brings the reader out of the frying pan and into the fire. It is truly unbelievable how imaginative Tolkien was. His literary intelligence gives every reader of The Hobbit a reminiscent taste of what it was like as a child with a wild imagination. The novel truly tickles the minds imagination, leaving us believing that everyone should have a little Bilbo Baggins in them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood favorite, April 20 2002
By 
Ms Diva "cycworker" (Nanaimo, B.C. Canada) - See all my reviews
I read this book when I was about 9 or 10. Up until that time, even though I was a good reader, I didn't particularly enjoy it. Tolkien showed me just how powerful literature could be, and I haven't stopped reading since.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the well developed, three dimensional characters. I could almost picture them in my mind. Tolkein had a gift for creating imagery that is beautiful and realistic. His use of language totally enraptured me and kept me engrossed in the story.
What's really neat about this book, as well, is that I think it will have as much appeal to girls as it does to boys. That has not been the case in other fantasy-type books I've read. In fact, this novel is really the only one of it's genre that I've ever enjoyed. So, don't be put off if you think you don't like fantasy. I would also note that there is an abridged version with illustrations that younger children (I saw a grade one class sit totally still as their teacher read from it to them) will likely enjoy. Despite being pegged by some as a "kid's book", however, this book is actually one that will appeal to readers of all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Prerequisite to The Lord of the Rings, April 19 2002
By 
Kent Wittrup (Lynn, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Literarily speaking, chapter one of The Hobbit is the best thing ever written for children in English. What follows is a series of increasingly improbable adventures, which arose naturally out of Tolkien's storytelling practice with his own children.
While by no means proof against enjoyment by girls, it must be admitted that The Hobbit is very much a boy's book, its cozily domestic subtext serving to highlight its absence of female characters, its wilderness settings and grisly violence. Its saving grace is Tolkien's enchanting sense of humor, which continues to be consistently reassuring throughout.
What it requires of its readers is not however boyhood, or even childhood: what it requires is a sense of adventure. Anybody with one of those is ill-advised to neglect reading this justly renowned neo-saga, which was legendary in character to begin with, and has since become legendary in nature as well.
Its most distinctive features are the maps, the verses, and the medieval authenticity. There are two maps, one of which is used in the story repeatedly. The verses are in ballad measures, including dwarf and goblin as well as hobbit songs. The early section of the Old Norse Elder Edda (Dvergatal), from which Tolkien took the names of his dwarves and wizard, remains even now displaced in an appendix at the end of Hollander's standard translation.
Initially published in 1937, The Hobbit's composition was contemporary with Tolkien's pioneering published lecture on Beowulf, which revitalized the scholarship on and initiated a modern criticism of that sternest of British works. Read for publication by Tolkien's future lifelong publisher Rayner Unwin at age 10, The Hobbit sold unexpectedly well in the United States in its slightly inferior first edition (later revised to conform with The Lord of the Rings) and produced an immediate demand for a sequel, which did not however appear until those who had read The Hobbit as children were beginning to have children of their own.
Various protestations to the contrary, The Hobbit remains an indispensable prerequisite to The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Rings movie might have been better, if its producers had filmed The Hobbit first.
I trust that it will eventually be confirmed, if it isn't known for a fact already, that the Los Angeles meteorologist, who coined our familiar term for urban air pollution, really did mean to name it after the dragon in The Hobbit.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 70th anniversary edition rather disappointing, go with ANNOTATED HOBBIT instead., October 24, 2007, Sept. 1 2012
By 
Mike London "MAC" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Paperback)
[This is a review of the 70th Anniversary Edition, not so much of THE HOBBIT itself. I've reviewed the book proper elsewhere, and would rather focus on the actual edition itself.]

THE HOBBIT is one of those few books that I have felt justified to buy multiple copies over the years. It is a book I have read and cherished, and a book I dearly love. THE HOBBIT is a novel that deserves to be bought multiple times over, and I always enjoy looking at new editions of this classic work. So imagine my excitement when I found out they would be publishing a 70th anniversary edition of one of my most cherished novels!

This has been a big year for Tolkien fans. Christopher Tolkien published THE CHILDREN OF HURIN, a newly completed version of Turin's legend, in April. We've gotten (at long last), THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT, expertly handled by brilliant Tolkien scholar John D. Ratcliffe and published in two separate volumes. And of course, we have the 70th anniversary of Tolkien's first primary work, THE HOBBIT, which this edition is published in celebration of that momentous occasion. And does it live up as a major new edition of this fantasy classic?

That's a pretty easy answer. The answer is NO.

First off, here are the positives. The 70th anniversary edition is pretty much how the first edition of THE HOBBIT was actually published back in 1937 with some notable improvements, and conforming to Tolkien's pretty exacting specifications, including how the dust jacket should appear, as well as the art and maps that accompany the text.

These are the notable differences between the first edition and this edition. Due to cost, Tolkien was not able from a production standpoint to have the book appear exactly as he envisioned. The 1937 publication cut some of his artwork, the map was not how he so desired, and the dust jacket, due to printing cost, was limited to three primary colours (green, black, and white). Originally, Tolkien wanted the sun on the front cover and the dragon on the back cover to be totally in red, but this was not feasible.

Obviously Tolkien's work is successful enough that these production costs are no longer an issue, and so this is a relatively accurate facsimile of what Tolkien would have wanted to publish in 1937 had money not been an object, as it too often is in the real world. For that, this edition has some worth.

Now, there are some negatives. And these are big negatives.

First off, paper quality and binding. It's bad.

Then there's the actual art work. The colour artwork is quite nicely implemented into the main text, and overall I don't have a problem with the colour artwork from a production standpoint. The paintings are bright and colourful, and remain true to higher quality prints of Tolkien's phenomenal painting. But unfortunately the same cannot be said of the black and white illustrations. Like a reviewer said before me, it appears Tolkien's drawings were reproduced on a cheap scanner. Tolkien's artwork is highly valuable, but unfortunately the drawings here are rather badly reproduced in this edition.

Then there's the advertisement for LOTR at the end that's rather annoying. They reproduce the first chapter of FELLOWSHIP and place it at the end of the novel, acting like a cheap plug for Tolkien's masterpiece. I don't have any problem with plugging LOTR, but to me this inclusion of the first chapter just cheapens the whole book, especially when it's supposed to be a major edition of a major work. We all know about LOTR. Do we really need the first chapter here? Rather tacky, to say the least.

Then there's the problem of Christopher Tolkien's forward. This is what I was most looking forward too, actually. Having read E. A. Solinas's review, I was under the impression this was a new forward prepared specifically by Christopher for the 70th anniversary of his father's work. Not the case. It's simply a reprint of the forward he wrote for the 50th anniversary of THE HOBBIT, twenty years previously.

As far as textual authenticity, I must be honest in the fact that I've only browsed it at a Borders bookstore, but I'd be very surprised if they did not use the text from The Annotated Hobbit, as it is the most definitive and accurate text yet established for the book. Still, I can't verify that that is the case.

Overall, this is a fair edition of THE HOBBIT. It could have been a lot more. What sets this apart from the other copies is this is how Tolkien truly envisioned how he wanted the book to appear, and for that fact alone, this is a valuable edition to the Tolkien collector. Unfortunately the poor production quality of the black and while illustrations, the rather tacky inclusion of LOTR's first chapter, and the disappointment of the publishers' just reprinting a twenty year old introduction to the 50th anniversary publication rather brings the whole affair down. I think I'll pass on this one.

For those looking for the best edition of Tolkien's book, buy THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT, first published in 1988 and republished in a new format in 2003. The second version of THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT is the definitive edition of this phenomenal work as far as I'm concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit, a must read for anyone who has the ability!, April 23 2002
The Hobbit is probably one of the best books ever written in history. It keeps me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, and makes me feel as if I was there, walking beside the group of dwarves or Bilbo himself. The details are rich, you can feel the awesomeness of this amazing story, and it is a _great_ prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's interesting looking at the level of greed in the dwarves. They care for nothing but treasure, or so it seems. Another thing is probably Tolkein's writing style and how it changes from this book to the rest of the trilogy. The Hobbit is a must read for anyone who enjoys books and diving in to a great story. This book is truly amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a page-turner, June 22 2003
i used to think i would hate lotr books, never having been a fan of the genre and dwarfs, elves, etc...
i borrowed hobbit off a freind and picked it up till i could find something else to read. But, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! I LOVED every minute reading it, and had to literally force myself to leave it! The characters are likeable and real, not the stereotypes i expected, and the plot is fast-paced and keeps you riveted, with lots of action and suspense. I found one particulair scene with smaug the dragon, breath-taking.
Im shocked that I liked it so much, really didnt expect to! Next im getting the lotr trilogy- never thought i'd say that!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book For All Ages, May 14 2002
By 
Karen L. Wood (Walla Walla, Wa United States) - See all my reviews
Imagine sitting down, picking up you childrens bedtime story and not being able to put it down untill the end. This is what it is like reading The Hobbit. When this book was first written by Tolkien, he ment it as a bedtime story for his kids but as you might know it is a very good book that even adults but is also simple enough for adults. i really enjoyed this book and liked the storyline a lot. the characters in it are great and it is a very enjoyable book to read. If you have ever tride to read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and haven't gotten very far i think you would really enjoy this book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There And Back Again, A Hobbit's Holiday, July 22 2012
By 
Dave_42 "Dave_42" (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Hobbit or There and Back Again" by J. R. R. Tolkien was published on September 21st of 1937. It is the success of this book that paved the way for "The Lord of the Rings". "The Hobbit" is definitely geared towards younger readers, and it received favorable reviews from papers in the U.K. and the U.S., and it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, as well as the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1938.

"The Hobbit" is often over-shadowed by "The Lord of the Rings", and this is especially true when one treats "The Hobbit" as the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings". To consider it as such is both fair and unfair. It is fair, because clearly the events in "The Hobbit" took place prior to, and are key to the "The Lord of the Rings", and of course there are common characters in both stories. However, it is also not fair in that "The Hobbit" clearly was written for a younger audience, and even when reading one of the revised editions, where some passages were altered to better fit with "The Lord of the Rings", the overall tone of the work is much lighter. There was a brief attempt by Tolkien to rewrite "The Hobbit" in the same style, but he soon gave it up because it destroyed what was so good about the original. As a result, it would be better to consider "The Hobbit" as the children's telling of the events which took place prior to "The Lord of the Rings" and not attempt to hold it to the same standard.

Another thing that people have noted about the two stories is that at a high-level outline the two stories are very similar. The adventures both start in the Shire and are initiated by Gandolf, they travel to Rivendell, they go through caves and have to deal with the goblins/orcs therein, they meet elves on the other side, there is a huge war between numerous armies, and of course they return to the Shire to find things changed that they have to put right. Of course, that is an overly simple way to look at either of the two novels, especially "The Lord of the Rings", even though it is true on the surface, but it is an interesting observation.

As beings that are roughly half the height of a man, Hobbits make an ideal hero for a children's story, as it gives them a hero with whom they can identify. The story has a fair amount of humor in it, and a light-hearted feel through most of it, though certainly as an adventure there is a fair amount of peril, whether from the trolls, worgs (wolves), goblins, spiders, and even the wood elves, not to mention the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent. Despite being accessible to younger readers, older readers can still enjoy "The Hobbit" as well.
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Hobbit (Essential Modern Classics Edition)
Hobbit (Essential Modern Classics Edition) by J.R.R. Tolkien (Paperback - Dec 10 1998)
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