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PostPosted: Monday 1 May 2006 6:04:26pm 
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I've got to start my comments on The Hobbit by saying that, after about a quarter of a century of my own life, I've found for certain that I was very wrong. Back when I was around 13 years old (yes, it's scarey but that was 25 years ago), a friend of mine at school was very much into JRR Tolkien and The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. At that time he let me take a quick look at the Hobbit - I think I can remember exactly where it was, probably to the accuracy of a few metres, in the School playground all those years ago. I read the first paragraph, (and I think I may have gone a little further down the first page) and decided the book wasn't for me.

After being totally bowled over by Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I had been thinking of someday re-trying JRR Tolkien's works (after all, the books were where the story of the fim came from), so when Scellanis suggested The Hobbit for the first discussion here for BaO's Book of the Month discussion, it seemed an ideal chance to give this book a try.

I still remembered that first paragraph from all those years ago, but this time kept reading and I'm so glad that I did. When I had first read the very beginning so long ago, I guess the very start seemed a little unclear and maybe even a little muddled, but going on (and I admit, with Peter Jackson's excellent portayal of Bilbo's Hobbit Hole in the movie the back of my mind), the introduction to Bilbo's home turned into a vivid portyayal by JRR Tolkein's words.

In the first chapter or two, JRR's style of writing, which is quite unlike most books I've read, still seemed to be a little distracting though, including occasional parts where he would talk to me directly. But as I got further into the book and deeper into the story and began to get used to his style, it began to very much grow on me, and I realised that this was part of the overall charm of the book.

I think the way that language is used too, which I guess partly derives from the time that the book was written, is quite enchanting, particularly the way that Bilbo is described as a decent fellow, and other similar references to the Dwarves.

All in all, I've turned totally from being a sceptic into a total fan of JRR Tokien, at least from The Hobbit anyway. Which is great because I know that one day I will be able to totally enjoy the lord of the Rings Trilogy of books without fear.

What do you think? Did you, similar to myself, like the unique style of JRR Tokein or do you think it doesn't appeal too greatly to the modern reader?


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PostPosted: Monday 1 May 2006 10:35:08pm 
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It most certainly appeals to me, before my big sister read me and my little sister The Hobbit one Christmas (probably when I was in primary seven) I hated reading and just didn't. I'd hardly read any books at all but Tolkien got me started and since then I've been a massive fan of fantasy books and dragons. Of course I read it several times (including Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion) before the movies had even been announced so I don't think they affect my reading of it...well not the hobbit anyway but I have found the Lord of the Rings to be a bit hard going since the movies but thats because they missed so much out that now the books seem slow.

I always really loved Tolkien's opening paragraphs for both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings though...perhaps because I'm not a strong reader and its amusing so it catches my attention...and possibly just because I'm absolutely obsessed with Hobbits.

I enjoy how he address the reader, kind of draws you into the story instead of just watching it. They do it on tv too sometimes in the funnier programs, having a narator that will whisper to the audience...I love it.


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PostPosted: Wednesday 3 May 2006 9:23:36am 
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I read The Hobbit when I was about 14. An adult friend of mine, who is a primary school teacher, gave it to me saying that she discussed it in her classes. So I assumed it was a children's book.

Compared to the Lord of the Rings it is written in more simple words and its plot is traditional on the one hand and intriguing on the other hand. As all good books, however, it can be as interesting for an adult as it is for a child.

As a child one reads it as a magic story, as an adult one starts to analyse, to see more behind the plot and the characters. Thus, I find Bilbo's journey a great metaphor of a person's self-development. We see how an innocent domestic hobbit is discovering that he is brave and smart, getting mature and finally accomplishing the difficult task.

I agree that the style of the book is very charming, I think it appealed to me from the very beginning. I wanted to read more and more.


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PostPosted: Thursday 4 May 2006 12:33:41am 
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i just love how he draws you in to the story be having the narator adress you directly

i started by reading lord of the rings when i was sixteen, i read the hobbit when i was 18 because i started to really like the books because of the lotr-movies
i do get confused somimes with the silmarillion, there is too much history in too little time

but i like the style, it makes me want to read more


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PostPosted: Thursday 4 May 2006 9:34:04pm 
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One of the worst bits about Tolkien's writing is his inability to write interesting female characters, probably because females didn't really get powerful lead roles in adventures at the time he was writing but when they make movies now everyone who hasn't read the book wants to see female main characters...its possible to squidge them out of Lord of the Rings...there are a few in that that can be expanded but there are almost no females at all in The Hobbit and as far as I can see no opening for them either. It doesn't bother me as a book to have no female characters but I am slightly worried about what will be done to it to fix this when they make it into a movie. I doubt its gonna work well...


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PostPosted: Friday 5 May 2006 8:21:19am 
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That's exactly what I found strange about The Hobbit - practically no mentioning of a female at all! It's only when I read The Lord of the Rings that I discovered that there are actually some females in the Middle Earth! :D


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PostPosted: Friday 5 May 2006 1:05:13pm 
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No there is one female...Lobelia Sackville Baggins...shes the one selling his silver spoons at the end of the book...lol

We have been discussing it on the Lord of the rings forum, trying to guess which bits they will chop and who will be unfortunate enough to be turned into a girl because they can't just add someone extra as the number in the party is significant.


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PostPosted: Friday 5 May 2006 8:49:45pm 
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i hadn't really noticed it until you pointed it out

there are a few female characters in the silmarillion (melian, ...) but they only get a short story compared the males


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PostPosted: Friday 5 May 2006 10:29:10pm 
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The absence of females in the book is a good point that I'd not realised either. I can't see them changing any of the Dwarves into a female for the movie - it would be too much of a difference to the book itself.

There is a brief mention of women and children being huddled into boats during Smaug's attack on Lake-town, but no particular individual characters. Although they're not mentioned, there would have been females in Rivendell, and female Wood Elves too (not to mention other female Hobbits in addition to Lobelia)...I'd guess that for the movie maybe one or more particular female characters could emerge from Lake Town, Rivendell or from the Wood Elves to take an interesting role.


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PostPosted: Saturday 6 May 2006 12:45:36pm 
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We actually think that the most likely is that thing is that one or more dwarves will be turned into females...there is a line in the Two Towers movie (possibly the extended) when Gimli tells Eowyn that there are female Dwarves but nobody recognises them because they look so much like the men....someone on the lotr forum I was on guessed that Fili and Kili have the most female sounding names and so they could get a gender change.

I half wonder if they might try to get Arwen into the story seeing as they spend time at Rivendell. In theory we ought to see Legolas during the Mirkwood part of the story or even at the battle of five armies at the end, his father was definately there. I wonder if they will remember that Legolas and his father are different types of elf from the people that they rule...the people they rule are woodelves and definately should have brown hair.


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PostPosted: Saturday 12 July 2008 1:08:03pm 
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I love this book !
His writing style is quite like poetry, it sometimes makes me feel like I have to read it aloud.


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