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Book Reviews of The Hobbit

The Hobbit
The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN-13: 9780345318589
ISBN-10: 0345318587
Publication Date: 1/12/1984
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 87

4.4 stars, based on 87 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

56 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Hobbit on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is the book that arguably started the fantasy genre. It's easy enough for kids to understand, but with a breadth and depth that will entertain the most jaded reader. This is one of the most influential books I've ever read!
reviewed The Hobbit on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Nice edition of the book. It has interesting illustrations, and as always draws the reader into a magical world.
marauder34 avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is perhaps one of the best-written books about the advantages of having parties. Written relatively early in his days as an Oxford don, "The Hobbit" is a strongly autobiographical novel about Tolkien and his status as a party man. His reputation as a party enthusiast was so secure, in fact, that Tolkien regularly was the host to impromptu parties as other Oxford and even Cambridge professors would appear uninvited at his home with the expectation of a good meal, some beer or wine, and rousing party games.

It is such experiences that form the basis for "The Hobbit." A sedentary fellow, much like Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins finds himself the unassuming host of a party of dwarves (more established professors) and the wizard Gandalf (the president of the university).

Wooed by promises of great wealth, and strongly encouraged by Gandalf, Bilbo joins the dwarves on a quest to regain their lost ancestral gold, an action that represents Tolkien's own quest for tenure, a position that, once secured, would guarantee him employment, a place to live, social status, and ultimately a healthy retirement package.

The story follows Tolkien-as-Bilbo's journey to the heart of the Lonely Mountain, where he must confront the dragon Smaug (the experience of teaching undergraduate and graduate students) and be swept up in the dramatic Battle of Five Armies, a situation not unlike peer review.

And in the course of the story, Bilbo acquires a magical Ring that secures his reputation with the dwarves, much as Tolkien's literary and liguistic prowess, developed through education, secured his position in academia.

A thoroughly fascinating and enchanting book, "The Hobbit" will have you wishing again and again for the opportunity to attend more parties and, even more, to host them yourself.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
this is a classic. i remember reading it as a child and loving it, then picking it up fifteen or twenty years later, reading it again, and still loving it. in my personal opinion, it's the best of the whole series.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
Nedheadz avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 128 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was one of the first books I chose to read as an adolescent. I loved the adventure and success of Mr. Bilbo Baggins in his role of 'burglar'. Growing up in a rural area with lots of trees, hills and streams my friends and I would often imagine we were in Mirkwood or in the Misty Mountains battling trolls, or orcs or escaping the wood-elves. I never thought about the fact that the story is all male characters and it certainly didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. The same is true today as I finished reading it again...I was looking for a light fast read that would take me away from some of the woes of the world we live in and I still find the story engaging and one that I can identify with as an adventure lover. I certainly appreciate Mr. Baggin's sensibilities more today than when I first read it.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 1221 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Having read a most abbreviated version of this novel to my children when they were young I decided to read the novel in its entirety. What joy! What pleasure! I remembered Gandolf as an overpowering figure. So he is but in this novel he becomes just one of many fascinating characters and I simply adored Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming hobbit who becomes caught up in an adventure when he would rather stay in his little home. And, the detail that the novel sheds far succeeds the earlier version I read so many years ago.

Since I recently read an authorized biography about the author I felt I had a good deal of insight into Tolkien's imagination. On occasion the author referred to himself as Bilbo Baggins and he tried writing poetry but was unsuccessful. Thus, I found myself chuckling each time his characters spouted poetry. I can add little to what others have said except that if you love creative worlds of fantasy this is one of the best.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a good book. I read it twice. The first time I didn't understand it, but the second time around I was older and more understanding. I hope someday to reread this book.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Like many, I fell in love with this book as a child, and I have revisited with much pleasure throughout my adult life. The story is told with such affection and humor, and the vivacity of the characters speaks to its enduring fame and seminal role in fantasy literature.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
riverdaughter avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the greatest adventure stories written for children. A must read introduction to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The hobbit includes roaring adventure, and unforgettable characters showing bravery, sacrifice, and courage in an alternate world that seems ever so familiar to the author's own landscape. This is "high reading" that will expand the reader's vocabulary by the author's rich descriptions, characterizations, and terms of his day. 21 C students should strive to rise above the dumbed down literature of the day and be enriched by the effort. Between the action, the adventure, the amusing songs that are sung by characters throughout the story and delightful and unexpected plot twists -- The Hobbit will continue to be known throughout the literary ages as a masterpiece.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A delightful book that will be part of my high schoolers "must read" list.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Tolkien the father of fantasy as we know it today. What more needs to be said. Wonderful book and a great read.
royaltech avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
FROM THE PUBLISHER

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the greatest stories ever told and this is my favorite copy of "The Hobbit" that I have had the pleasure to read. I have held in my hands much more expensive copies but this is the most comfortable to read. The heft and size is just right without being too big and heavy to hold for a long time. The illustrations are great, also.
reviewed The Hobbit on
Helpful Score: 1
My favorite adventure book!! Loved it as a child, still love it, now my kids are enjoying it.
reviewed The Hobbit on
great book a must read before the movie comes out
reviewed The Hobbit on + 2 more book reviews
Very good adventure story book.... Easy reading and if you have any kind of imagination you will love it!!!!!!!
reviewed The Hobbit on
Great book!
keweenawkim avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 9 more book reviews
So much has been written about The Lord of the Rings yet so little about its prequel The Hobbit. I fortunately came to Tolkien via The Hobbit first. Not as ambitious as the trilogy yet just as engrossing. In this one volume you meet many variety of races, go on a journey with the reluctant Bibo Baggins, battle trolls, orcs, spiders, evil elves and of course Smaug the dragon!I was lucky enough to have this be the first book that transported me from our world to a realm vivid with colorful characters, landscape and adventures.There isn't as many all out battles or the darkness of the trilogy but there is plenty of adventure to be had. If you liked the Trilogy and haven't experianced The Hobbit, you owe it to yourself to go back a generation and find out who Bilbo was and what he had to do with the One Ring!!!!
becca63 avatar reviewed The Hobbit on
The Hobbit is a wonderful work of literature. Although it is officially a children's classic, the fantastical storyline and creative writing make it truly a great story for adults and children alike. Audiences will be thrilled with the characters Bilbo the hobbit, Gandalf the wizard, and the likeable company of Dwarves. A wonderful story!
reviewed The Hobbit on
Excellent listen, excellent narrator
reviewed The Hobbit on
Superlative rendering by narrator Rob Inglis.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 190 more book reviews
A very good classic.
loveangel avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 148 more book reviews
this was a very diff. kinda book than I'm use to but it ended up being a very good read to me
TomasBar avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 6 more book reviews
As always a great read, starts everything. A nice book to get lost in for a few hours a day. Would recomend to everyone to read at least once in their life.
reviewed The Hobbit on
Whatever the edition, I have to say that I found The Hobbit a very good story, but nowhere near as interesting as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since I first read both as a college student, it is possible that my lesser enjoyment of The Hobbit was due to my age.

Whatever...for me, LOTR is absolutely wonderful, while The Hobbit is just very good, and even a trifle boring in a few places.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 3 more book reviews
This is the illustrated edition. It's interesting, but paraphrased; a lot like a comic book.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 10 more book reviews
It's The Hobbit. Need I say more?
reviewed The Hobbit on + 11 more book reviews
Bilbo Baggins leaves the comfort of the peaceful Shire for adventures in lands unknown. His traveling companions are a troup of dwarves and a wise and good wizard. A very entertaining read, you will want to continue the story with other Tolkein books.
buzzby avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 6062 more book reviews
I read it again after seeing the (1st Peter Jackson) movie (and having last read it 40+ years ago). It's definitely a young person's book, it loses some of its geographical realism for me, and it's obvious that Tolkien was not a tactical warrior. I liked the book much better than the movie, the book is light-hearted (if you ignore the constant killings), the movie takes itself way too seriously.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
A Classic!
reviewed The Hobbit on + 19 more book reviews
Wonderful warm inviting tale. The Tolkein book for people who love Tolkein, and those who find his other tales "difficult reads". Great to read as a family, as well.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 52 more book reviews
Fantastic!!! Fantasy classic!!!
reviewed The Hobbit on + 78 more book reviews
What a delightful story; really enthralling. This is the prelude to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy
reviewed The Hobbit on + 5 more book reviews
Excellent.
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
blazedale avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
Simply the best book ever written. I know there are few who can feel the true enchantment I feel for this book, but I think all will love it.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 58 more book reviews
One of my all time favorites, J R R Tolkien is a master!
cmtdrt avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 46 more book reviews
I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 36 more book reviews
While The Hobbit isn't my favorite Tolkien story, this is the one I recommended to everyone. Of his work, it seems to have the broadest appeal or, at the very least, does not take a lifetime to finish. This is the litmus test for the rest of Tolkien's work. If you finished and enjoyed The Hobbit, then venture further into Middle Earth with "The Lord of the Rings" and other stories where the text becomes much more dense and detailed.
nrlymrtl avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 297 more book reviews
Part of me feels like this timeless classic hardly needs a review. But I am going to do it anyway. First off, say Bilbo three times fast without snickering. Go on, I will wait over here for the giggles to subside.

All in all, I greatly enjoy Tolkiens simple plot and expert word play with character and place names. For the linguists out there, Tolkiens works are riddled with ancient myth and cryptic language references. If you get some of these, you can sit around and feel extra superior as you read your special hardback edition at the cafe while drinking your spiffy fancy tea .
reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
Great book, although not bound very well.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 3 more book reviews
This is a book to read and read again; no home library should be without it.
reviewed The Hobbit on + 212 more book reviews
Its been a little more than a decade since I last read The Hobbit, I know that I read it before the LotR movies came out, but that was quite some time ago! With The Hobbit coming out in December, or at least the first one, I wanted to refresh my memory of the book that started it all. One of the things I love most about reading The Hobbit is that you have no idea the significance of anything. This was written as a childrens story, and is presented as such.

Reading it after reading LotR, you look at things a little differently. For example, I adore that Gimli is the son of Gloin, who is on this journey, but has a reasonably small part in the adventure. It would have been so easy for Tolkien to make Gimli the son of someone like Balin, or even Thorin somehow, but I love that he picked a lesser part dwarf. And Legolas is the son of the Elvenking of Mirkwood, but that is also not mentioned at all in The Hobbit.

To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog.
buzzby avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 6062 more book reviews
Best book ever written! Despite the fact that JRR refers to those 8 legged beasts as insects at one point. (He'd probably have some erudite excuse involving medieval usage.) Don't see the movies, they are triune abominations!
reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
Hi!
reviewed The Hobbit on + 7 more book reviews
in perfect condition. must read for fantasy lovers. check out two others in this set. (forth book is "the fellowship of the ring" which i don't have, unfortunately.)
reviewed The Hobbit on + 7 more book reviews
This is a great story! It sums all the LOTR books up!!!
cloverluv avatar reviewed The Hobbit on + 129 more book reviews
Thought I would really like it, but I found it hard to follow. Usually really love Fantasy...this not so much. I'll stick with the movies. I know, I'm a terrible reader...
reviewed The Hobbit on + 4 more book reviews
just great! need I say more?
reviewed The Hobbit on + 23 more book reviews
Jacket worn but otherwise book in good condition.
reviewed The Hobbit on
Pertty old copy from Ballantne Books.
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