on December 15, 2013
There is something magical in THE HOBBIT that grabs you from the very beginning, Tolkien's voice that can be heard in your head, in the tradition of the legends told and told again, by the fire, or with the accompaniment of a harp. I left like he was talking to me, and I was that kid sitting with my eyes open, listening to a fascinating story that had hobbits and elves and dwarves and orcs, and wizards, and dragons, and skin-changers, and many more amazing creatures and peoples of whom I never heard about but who became so very real on the pages of the book that I felt like I was there, together with them, taking a part in an adventure. And that's the beauty of this book, it speaks of the most basic and simple things we experience every day in our lives, without trying to make them complicated or burdensome or load then with extra meaning. It's this simplicity that grabs you, because it's how history has been made. People called things the way they saw them, like kids. So it is in this book. The hill where the hobbit lives is The Hill. The hobbit goes on an Adventure. To the mountain that is Lonely. Bilbo likes his comfort, his tea time, his home. There are things we can all relate to, but this is where fantasy takes over, and we get to see ourselves through the multitude of characters, the stubborn proud dwarves, the greedy gold-hoarding dragons, the light-footed magical elves. And then, of course, Bilbo is an unlikely hero, someone who has to learn to fight, to steal, to bargain, and to survive as he goes. That's how it is in life, isn't it? None of us are superheroes, we're just people thrown into this thing called life, trying to make the best of it and learning as we go. I think that's why this book has withstood the test of time. Every generation has to learn life anew, and every generation has to do it from ground zero, as there is no manual on how to live life, unfortunately.
Well, to the story itself. It's a tale of a hobbit, a short sweet fella with hairy feet, who by a strange turn of luck lands himself into an adventure. Or, rather, you could say it was all Gandalf's fault. Wizards are like that, they like to fool you, and Gandalf is, of course, a great wizard. A dozen and one dwarves pile into Bilbo's hole, to his surprise, and bewilderment, and even a little irritation. They speak of a quest, a quest for Lonely Mountain where the vast treasure lies, pillaged by dragon Smaug from the dwarvish kingdom of old. Bilbo is supposed to be the burglar, and he doesn't approve of the idea, no, not at all. At first. Despite himself, he joined the traveling party and embarks on a journey unlike any other, and one that will change his life, and not only his, but the lives of many many others, from dwarves to elves to men to… well, I can't tell you more, because if you haven't read THE HOBBIT, you are truly in for a treasure. Stop reading this review and go read the book. You won't want to stop, and when you have to, you will look up at whoever it is (or whatever it is) that interrupted you with eyes completely blank, your head back in the Bag End, or Mirkwood, or wherever it is you have last seen our friends Bilbo Baggins and his adventure companions.