BookOfTheWeek:

This week’s book is filled with magic and wonderment. Wizards and dragons, dwarves and elves. Distant fantastic lands. No, I am not talking about “Harry Potter,” I’m talking about the classic. The one and only, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “the Hobbit.”

This timeless tale travels back to a world where school classes and grades were of no concern to fantasy. The world that Tolkien created was a deep one, full of history, culture, language and even music. He paints a beautiful world of mystical creatures; creatures like hobbits.

The novel is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a small hobbit (of course all hobbits are small), who while going about his hobbity ways (eating mostly), received a visit from a clan of dwarves and an old wizard friend, Gandolph. The dwarves tell Bilbo a tale, through music, of a great treasure, which belonged to their ancestors, but was stolen by the great dragon Smaug. Through the musical tale, the dwarves somehow convince Bilbo to join them in their quest to regain the treasure.

All together, the clan set forth across the lands of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Along the way, they encounter many dastardly foes and savage beasts. From trolls to orcs to wolves, and to the final encounter with the monstrous Smaug. They also encounter many friendly folk, like the shape-shifting Beorn, the elves of Rivendale, and the great golden Eagles.

While traveling through the Misty Mountains, Bilbo stumbles down a tunnel and, while crawling along the ground, finds a ring. But he doesn’t find just any ring; he finds the fabled ring of power. He also finds a very curious creature that goes by the name Gollum, named after the sounds that he makes. Bilbo sits, telling riddles in the dark, to avoid being eaten by Gollum, until finally he puts on the ring and disappears.

Tolkien’s writing style in this book is very detailed and descriptive, making it easy to imagine the landscapes of Middle Earth or the facial expressions of an attacking orc. “The Hobbit” is a great fantasy novel that stands alone or as the prequel to Tolkien’s world famous trilogy “the Lord of the Rings.” I recommend this book to anyone with an overactive imagination.