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3 of 3 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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15 of 18 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 on Sept. 1 2012 by Mike London


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4.0 out of 5 stars The Hobbit (C. E.) - Very Nicely Typset and Bound..., Jan. 6 2013
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The presentation of this collectors edition is very nice. Although I'm always afraid of Gold embossing wearing off in my hands, this cover looks well done. The hard cover is finnished in a green leatherlike textured (paper?), as is the slip case. The presentation of the cover of the box slip case would have been better if the title picture had been inlaid instead of adheared to the box as a sticker (the reason for the loss of one star), but of course it is only a cover. I found the typesetting large, clean, and easy to read on its bright white paper with bright green title accents. Most Illustrations are in a woodcut two colour wimsical style with a few full colour watercolour paintings. I think you will find this edition a joy to read. The cover presentation is far better than the 50th anniversary single volume edition of "The Lord of the Rings" by Harper Collins, which has a gold embossed, near black (seems faded) paper dust jacket covering a red gold embossed canvas-textured paper hardcover.Lord Of The Rings Single Volume Cl
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming Adventure Right From The Get Go, Oct. 30 2012
By 
Koopa90 (Cape Breton, NS.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
I absolutely LOVED this book. A big thank you to my friends who recommended I read it.
I watched the Lord of the Rings movies and absolutely despised them, didnt understand the appeal at all. But after much consideration, decided to read 'The Hobbit' thinking, maybe I missed something. And I sure as hell did.

The Hobbit is full of action, adventure and tons of charming humour from the way the characters are written and the world is depicted.
Very few books flow so smoothly and make you feel like you are really riding along with the group on their adventure through plains, mountains, caves, valleys and forests SO WELL! The writing is very easy to read, occasionally a weird word crops up, but Tolkien explains in enough detail as to what the item is to keep you interested without dragging it out aimlessly like Ive had with some previous authors who either over explain, or dont explain at all and expected you to know what a 'Ghathort Of Negreon' is.
(that was purely an example, I made up the words)

Id highly recommend this book to anyone that likes a fun adventure that is a nice and easy, well paced read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins, Aug. 28 2012
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is suddenly dragged unwillingly from his comfortable hobbit hole on a treasure hunt with thirteen dwarves and a wizard. Their mission is to take back the dwarves’ treasure from a terrible dragon who had stolen it long ago and they want Bilbo to be their burglar. On their journey, Bilbo ends up by himself in a mountain with no clue where to go. He wanders to a dark lake where he meets something that calls itself Gollum\Sméagol. Bilbo manages to get away from the creature and accidentally stumbles over a ring that belonged to Gollum. After being chased by Gollum, Bilbo finally escapes the dark confines of the mountain and finds the dwarves. They travel through plains and woods and after many escapades, come to the mountain they had set out to find. Bilbo goes in through a secret entrance and kills the dragon with some help from the dwarves. Once the dwarves’ treasure is restored, Bilbo goes back to his lovely hobbit hole. Bilbo is definitely my favourite character. He’s brave, kind, and funny. Tolkien’s writing is masterful and engaging. I have read it many times and cannot get enough of it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a hole in the ground, Jan. 11 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." J.R.R. Tolkien first scribbed down the opening line of this book on an extra sheet of paper.

And years before "Lord of the Rings" was seen by anyone outside Tolkien's circle, Middle Earth was first introduced to readers. "The Hobbit" is simpler and less epic than the trilogy that followed it, but Tolkien's brilliant writing, magical world and pleasantly stodgy hero bring a special life to this early fantasy classic.

Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life, in a luxurious hobbit hole under a hill ("it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort"). He's the picture of dull respectability.

But his life is turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield. They want to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar, even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life.

So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. The quirky little band ends up battling goblins and spiders, nearly getting eaten, and imprisoned by Elves, while Bilbo finds himself in possession of a magic Ring from the treacherous Gollum. But even with a magic Ring, can he defeat a monstrous dragon and win a war against multiple enemies?

Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and ancient Men for years before he ever came up with Bilbo's quest. But it's fortunately that he did, because while "The Hobbit" is overshadowed by the epic sweep of "Lord of the Rings" and the "Silmarillion," it's still an entertaining story that lays the groundwork for his more famous works -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.

Tolkien's writing is swift, light and full of songs and poetry-laden descriptions, such as interludes in the shimmering, ethereal Rivendell and the cold, terrible Lonely Mountain. The pace in this is much faster than in most of his other works -- not surprising, when you consider it was originally a bedtime story for his children.

Most of the book's action is about Bilbo trying to keep himself and the dwarves from getting eaten, torn apart, or rotting in elf dungeons, but with some quiet interludes like a night at Beorn's mountain home. And the last chapters hint at the epic majesty that Tolkien was capable of, as well as the idea that even little people -- like a mild-mannered hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.

This book also first came up with hobbits -- the peaceful fuzzy-footed countryfolk -- in the form of Bilbo Baggins. He's a likable little guy, if the last person you'd ever expect to be a hero -- initially he seems weak and kind of boring, but his hidden strengths and wits come up to the surface when he needs to. By the end, he's almost a different person.

The dwarves are more comical, and the elves more whimsical in this book, but the supporting characters are still impressive -- the crotchety, mysterious wizard Gandalf, the dignified, flawed Dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a Guardsman who becomes a king. Even minor characters like Beorn, Elrond and the menacing Smaug are given plenty of dimension.

"The Hobbit" started as a fluke, grew into a bedtime story, and became one of the best fantasy stories in literary history -- a charming adventure in the time that never was. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a hole in the ground..., Dec 14 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." J.R.R. Tolkien first scribbed down the opening line of this book on an extra sheet of paper.

And years before "Lord of the Rings" was seen by anyone outside Tolkien's circle, Middle Earth was first introduced to readers. "The Hobbit" is simpler and less epic than the trilogy that followed it, but Tolkien's brilliant writing, magical world and pleasantly stodgy hero bring a special life to this early fantasy classic.

Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life, in a luxurious hobbit hole under a hill ("it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort"). He's the picture of dull respectability.

But his life is turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield. They want to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar, even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life.

So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. The quirky little band ends up battling goblins and spiders, nearly getting eaten, and imprisoned by Elves, while Bilbo finds himself in possession of a magic Ring from the treacherous Gollum. But even with a magic Ring, can he defeat a monstrous dragon and win a war against multiple enemies?

Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and ancient Men for years before he ever came up with Bilbo's quest. But it's fortunately that he did, because while "The Hobbit" is overshadowed by the epic sweep of "Lord of the Rings" and the "Silmarillion," it's still an entertaining story that lays the groundwork for his more famous works -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.

Tolkien's writing is swift, light and full of songs and poetry-laden descriptions, such as interludes in the shimmering, ethereal Rivendell and the cold, terrible Lonely Mountain. The pace in this is much faster than in most of his other works -- not surprising, when you consider it was originally a bedtime story for his children.

Most of the book's action is about Bilbo trying to keep himself and the dwarves from getting eaten, torn apart, or rotting in elf dungeons, but with some quiet interludes like a night at Beorn's mountain home. And the last chapters hint at the epic majesty that Tolkien was capable of, as well as the idea that even little people -- like a mild-mannered hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.

This book also first came up with hobbits -- the peaceful fuzzy-footed countryfolk -- in the form of Bilbo Baggins. He's a likable little guy, if the last person you'd ever expect to be a hero -- initially he seems weak and kind of boring, but his hidden strengths and wits come up to the surface when he needs to. By the end, he's almost a different person.

The dwarves are more comical, and the elves more whimsical in this book, but the supporting characters are still impressive -- the crotchety, mysterious wizard Gandalf, the dignified, flawed Dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a Guardsman who becomes a king. Even minor characters like Beorn, Elrond and the menacing Smaug are given plenty of dimension.

"The Hobbit" started as a fluke, grew into a bedtime story, and became one of the best fantasy stories in literary history -- a charming adventure in the time that never was. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a hole in the ground, Sept. 11 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." J.R.R. Tolkien first scribbed down the opening line of this book on an extra sheet of paper.

And years before "Lord of the Rings" was seen by anyone outside Tolkien's circle, Middle Earth was first introduced to readers. "The Hobbit" is simpler and less epic than the trilogy that followed it, but Tolkien's brilliant writing, magical world and pleasantly stodgy hero bring a special life to this early fantasy classic.

Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life, in a luxurious hobbit hole under a hill ("it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort"). He's the picture of dull respectability.

But his life is turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield. They want to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar, even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life.

So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. The quirky little band ends up battling goblins and spiders, nearly getting eaten, and imprisoned by Elves, while Bilbo finds himself in possession of a magic Ring from the treacherous Gollum. But even with a magic Ring, can he defeat a monstrous dragon and win a war against multiple enemies?

Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and ancient Men for years before he ever came up with Bilbo's quest. But it's fortunately that he did, because while "The Hobbit" is overshadowed by the epic sweep of "Lord of the Rings" and the "Silmarillion," it's still an entertaining story that lays the groundwork for his more famous works -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.

Tolkien's writing is swift, light and full of songs and poetry-laden descriptions, such as interludes in the shimmering, ethereal Rivendell and the cold, terrible Lonely Mountain. The pace in this is much faster than in most of his other works -- not surprising, when you consider it was originally a bedtime story for his children.

Most of the book's action is about Bilbo trying to keep himself and the dwarves from getting eaten, torn apart, or rotting in elf dungeons, but with some quiet interludes like a night at Beorn's mountain home. And the last chapters hint at the epic majesty that Tolkien was capable of, as well as the idea that even little people -- like a mild-mannered hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.

This book also first came up with hobbits -- the peaceful fuzzy-footed countryfolk -- in the form of Bilbo Baggins. He's a likable little guy, if the last person you'd ever expect to be a hero -- initially he seems weak and kind of boring, but his hidden strengths and wits come up to the surface when he needs to. By the end, he's almost a different person.

The dwarves are more comical, and the elves more whimsical in this book, but the supporting characters are still impressive -- the crotchety, mysterious wizard Gandalf, the dignified, flawed Dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a Guardsman who becomes a king. Even minor characters like Beorn, Elrond and the menacing Smaug are given plenty of dimension.

The 70th anniversary edition has some nice extras -- Tolkien's son Christopher wrote a new prologue for it, which is never quite as interesting as it should be. It also contains reedited text, foldouts, and it apparently has all of Tolkien's quirky, solid illustrations.

That's more, this nicely-bound edition includes a duplicate of the original cover, from when the book was originally published -- a gorgeous scenic view of mountains, forests and sky, all done in black, green and blue, with runes all around the edges.

"The Hobbit" started as a fluke, grew into a bedtime story, and became one of the best fantasy stories in literary history -- a charming adventure in the time that never was. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a story that grows with the reader., June 25 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hobbit (Hardcover)
In a mythical or maybe just forgotten time, many creatures lived in places like the Shire, home to Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit. Hobbits are comfort loving creatures with no real sense for adventure. A knock on the door and Bilbo's life is about to change.

Calling this book children's book is like calling "Alice in Wonderland" [see "The Annotated Alice"] a children's book. Yes children can read this book and it is fun. How ever there is a lot more to this book than a cute story. And it has all the depth of the other Tolkien works with the exception of being shorter.

Many people look at this story as a prequel to "The Lord of the Rings", where in reality it is a stand-alone story with a perfectly good beginning, middle, and end. When you read "The Lord of the Rings" there is enough description to forgo "The Hobbit." Personally, I find that reading The Lord of the Rings first gave me the in-depth background to better appreciate The Hobbit.
Many of the creatures and adventures will put you on the edge of your seat. You will recognize the personalities and grow along will Bilbo as he faces new challenges as he learns to deal with life.
A good book to read first would be "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. Then you get a clearer picture of why the story progresses as it does.
ISBN: 0395177111
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5.0 out of 5 stars There and back again, March 4 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hobbit (Hardcover)
"The Hobbit or There and Back Again" is the first story of Middle-Earth that was ever read by the masses. And to this day it remains a beloved favorite due to Tolkien's exceptional writing, realistic and lovable characters, and the fantastic, complicated world with its unlikely hero: a fuzzy-footed hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life in the Shire, in a luxurious hole under a hill. ("It was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort") But his life is completely turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves. The dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield, want to regain the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug, who drove out the dwarves long ago. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar (even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life).

So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. Bilbo and the Dwarves battle goblins and spiders, are nearly eaten twice, are captured and Bilbo is forced to riddle with the treacherous, withered Gollum, and ends up escaping with a magical Ring. But even after these obstacles, the dragon Smaug is still in the Lonely Mountain, and Bilbo is not entirely sure what to do to deal with this enemy.

Author J.R.R. Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and Men for years before writing "The Hobbit," but "The Hobbit" is the first story that people had the opportunity to read. It's sillier and lighter, with less dignified Elves and Dwarves. But it provides the springboard for a lot of the stuff in "Lord of the Rings" -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.

Much of the book involves Bilbo leading the stubborn dwarves through many dangers, and getting himself out of nasty situations such as spiders, trolls and a deadly riddling game. The last chapters of the book hint at the epic majesty Tolkien was capable of -- and through it all is the idea that even little people -- like a hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.

Tolkien's writing is quick and light, while providing sufficient detail to let you picture what's going on. The dialogue is less influenced by Old English than his later works, and the pace is a lot faster -- not surprising, since it was originally read to his kids before bedtime.

Bilbo is a likable little guy -- he seems to be the last person whom you'd expect to be a courageous hero, but he shows incredibly strength and smarts when he's under pressure. He's supported by Thorin Oakenshield, the most dignified, proud and impressively flawed dwarf there is. Crotchety wizard wizard, Bard the Guardsman-turned-King, and even Smaug himself are never cookie-cutter, but complex and sometimes menacing.

"The Hobbit" was written for children, but adults can appreciate and enjoy it just as much. So read this book, then scoop up "The Fellowship of the Ring" and continue reading. A timeless treasure and classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There and back again, Feb. 24 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"The Hobbit or There and Back Again" is the first story of Middle-Earth that was ever read by the masses. And to this day it remains a beloved favorite due to Tolkien's exceptional writing, realistic and lovable characters, and the fantastic, complicated world with its unlikely hero: a fuzzy-footed hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins lives a pleasantly stodgy and dull life in the Shire, in a luxurious hole under a hill. ("It was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort") But his life is completely turned upside-down by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves. The dwarves, led by the exiled king-in-waiting Thorin Oakenshield, want to regain the Lonely Mountain (and a lot of treasure) from the dragon Smaug, who drove out the dwarves long ago. Why do they want Bilbo? Because Gandalf has told them that he'd make a good burglar (even though Bilbo has never burgled in his life).

So before Bilbo is entirely sure what is going on, he is being swept off on a very unrespectable -- and dangerous -- adventure. Bilbo and the Dwarves battle goblins and spiders, are nearly eaten twice, are captured and Bilbo is forced to riddle with the treacherous, withered Gollum, and ends up escaping with a magical Ring. But even after these obstacles, the dragon Smaug is still in the Lonely Mountain, and Bilbo is not entirely sure what to do to deal with this enemy.

Author J.R.R. Tolkien had been crafting his mythos of Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and Men for years before writing "The Hobbit," but "The Hobbit" is the first story that people had the opportunity to read. It's sillier and lighter, with less dignified Elves and Dwarves. But it provides the springboard for a lot of the stuff in "Lord of the Rings" -- especially the magical Ring that Bilbo finds in Gollum's cavern.

Much of the book involves Bilbo leading the stubborn dwarves through many dangers, and getting himself out of nasty situations such as spiders, trolls and a deadly riddling game. The last chapters of the book hint at the epic majesty Tolkien was capable of -- and through it all is the idea that even little people -- like a hobbit or a bird -- can change the world.

Tolkien's writing is quick and light, while providing sufficient detail to let you picture what's going on. The dialogue is less influenced by Old English than his later works, and the pace is a lot faster -- not surprising, since it was originally read to his kids before bedtime.

Bilbo is a likable little guy -- he seems to be the last person whom you'd expect to be a courageous hero, but he shows incredibly strength and smarts when he's under pressure. He's supported by Thorin Oakenshield, the most dignified, proud and impressively flawed dwarf there is. Crotchety wizard wizard, Bard the Guardsman-turned-King, and even Smaug himself are never cookie-cutter, but complex and sometimes menacing.

"The Hobbit" was written for children, but adults can appreciate and enjoy it just as much. So read this book, then scoop up "The Fellowship of the Ring" and continue reading. A timeless treasure and classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a story that grows with the reader., Sept. 16 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit (Mass Market Paperback)
In a mythical or maybe just forgotten time, many creatures lived in places like the Shire, home to Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit. Hobbits are comfort loving creatures with no real sense for adventure. A knock on the door and Bilbo's life is about to change.

Calling this book children's book is like calling "Alice in Wonderland" [see "The Annotated Alice"] a children's book. Yes children can read this book and it is fun. How ever there is a lot more to this book than a cute story. And it has all the depth of the other Tolkien works with the exception of being shorter.

Many people look at this story as a prequel to "The Lord of the Rings", where in reality it is a stand-alone story with a perfectly good beginning, middle, and end. When you read "The Lord of the Rings" there is enough description to forgo "The Hobbit." Personally, I find that reading The Lord of the Rings first gave me the in-depth background to better appreciate The Hobbit.

Many of the creatures and adventures will put you on the edge of your seat. You will recognize the personalities and grow along will Bilbo as he faces new challenges as he learns to deal with life.

A good book to read first would be "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. Then you get a clearer picture of why the story progresses as it does.
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Hobbit Illustrated Edition
Hobbit Illustrated Edition by J.R.R. Tolkien (Hardcover - Oct. 23 1997)
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