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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit (original 1937; edition 1985)

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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55,5067398 (4.26)5 / 1652
Title:The Hobbit
Authors:J.R.R. Tolkien
Info:Ballentine (1985), Paperback
Collections:Your library, 1001 List
Tags:1001 list, fantasy, read

Work details

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)

  1. 890
    The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (aang2014, JqnOC)
    aang2014: Starts the trilogy very good, I loved it.
  2. 306
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (ErisofDiscord)
    ErisofDiscord: Written by J.R.R. Tolkien's friend, C.S. Lewis. Although their styles of writing are very different, I have found both of them to be highly enjoyable and the quality of both of the authors books are unmatched.
  3. 240
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Percevan)
  4. 223
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: Quality, epic fantasy.
  5. 2410
    The Hobbit: Illustrated Edition by J. R. R. Tolkien (Percevan)
  6. 197
    Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (benmartin79)
  7. 80
    Bilbo's Last Song by J. R. R. Tolkien (Michael.Rimmer)
  8. 70
    The Elfin Ship by James P. Blaylock (DCBlack)
    DCBlack: Another quest tale of the reluctant hero who would rather be sitting in a comfy chair by the fireplace than getting mixed up in all sorts of adventures. Full of humor and whimsical charm.
  9. 92
    Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en (DavidGoldsteen)
    DavidGoldsteen: If you like a quest story, here's the real deal. A Chinese classic first that first appeared as a novel over 500 years ago. Monkey is a lively, funny, exciting story.
  10. 40
    The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson (chrisharpe)
  11. 85
    The Last Ringbearer by Kiril Yeskov (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Great alternate history version of the Middle Earth saga--told from the 'evil' Mordor side.
  12. 20
    Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
    sturlington: In addition to Arthur Dent, Gaiman's Richard Mayhew is a reluctant adventurer like Bilbo Baggins.
  13. 31
    Deep into the Heart of a Rose by G. T. Denny (StefanY)
  14. 10
    Die Elfen. by Bernhard Hennen (PitcherBooks)
    PitcherBooks: While I enjoyed The Hobbit a bit more than the Elven, I like The Elven much more than the LOTR. I have yet to read the sequels but Elven had the feel of a fantasy classic to it. Time will tell... Pros: Great world-building and characters, mostly action, adventure and magic with only the last tenth or so devoted to the obligatory war. Since I'm not big on wars this was a major plus. Con: The Hobbit was shorter, more endearing and faster moving. Elven is a lengthy tome but the characters and adventures held my interest even so.… (more)
  15. 10
    Sprookjes van Tolkien by J. R. R. Tolkien (Smitie)
    Smitie: Three fairy tales from Tolkien
  16. 33
    Abarat by Clive Barker (Death_By_Papercut)
  17. 77
    The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Tolkien was very familiar with this work, certainly from the old translation by J Giles (which in turn probably influenced Tolkien's own Farmer Giles of Ham)
  18. 12
    The Prophecy of Zephyrus by G. A. Hesse (OccamsHammer)
  19. 23
    The Whale Kingdom Quest by Ming-Wei (Rossi21)
    Rossi21: This is a alternative science fiction type of novel, very interesting
  20. 1012
    The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis (Death_By_Papercut)

(see all 22 recommendations)

1930s (1)
Unread books (1,162)

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English (680)  Spanish (13)  Finnish (9)  Dutch (8)  German (7)  French (6)  Swedish (3)  Danish (3)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Polish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Serbian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (739)
Showing 1-5 of 680 (next | show all)
50th Anniversary Edition
  InTooBooks | Oct 2, 2015 |
I've not only read The Hobbit, my favorite college class was a literature class on this book! A true classic, The Hobbit is like no other book. The fascinating and diverse characters are well developed, they draw you in, and you become invested in the outcome. This is the beginning of the ultimate adventure. One of my all time favorite reads! ( )
  bearlyr | Sep 30, 2015 |
For those of you haven’t read Tolkien I am going to try very hard not to give away spoilers. It was a pretty easy read I think, maybe it is because it is the umpteenth time I have read it. Since I am a fan, I thought I should include a little bit of fun facts and history. Tolkien was fascinates with languages, which is what lead to him creating his own. He was a professor of Philogy, which is a branch of linguistics that studies written records. When he moved to Oxford to teach at Premboke College, the countryside inspired him to begin writing stories in which his languages would have been spoken. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings stemmed not from the story but the stories stemmed from the languages.
The Hobbit follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is a respectable bachelor who lives in his burrow Bag End . Bilbo is smoking his pipe on his front step one day when Gandalf the Grey, a wizard, stops by. Gandalf is looking for someone to join him on an adventure. Bilbo makes it clear that he does not want an adventure, but Gandalf feels differently and secretly leaves a mark on Bilbo’s door. The next day 13 dwarves arrive at Bibo’s house for tea and enlist him in a treasure hunt. The dwarves tell of the dragon Smaug that attacked the dwarves home under the Lonely Mountain, and slew most of the dwarves and claimed the treasure there for his own. Something stirs in Bilbo and to his own surprise he leaves with the dwarves on the adventure. They first are delayed by trolls, which they defeat and take some of their weapons for their own. Then they make it Rivendell and visit with the elves there. It is in Rivendell that they discover the secret door into the lonely mountain. After leaving Rivendell they are captured by Goblin’s and get separated. Bilbo finds a golden ring on the floor and puts it in his pocket without even thinking about it. Bilbo finds Gollum in the bowels of the Goblin lair, and participates in a riddle contest with him. Bilbo wins and Gollum is supposed to lead him out, but Gollum tries to trick him and Bilbo slips the ring on and becomes invisible. Gollum become outraged, because he realizes that Bilbo has the ring and in his rage he heads for the exit and Bilbo follows him out. While escaping they are treed by the Goblins and wargs (giant wolves), and are rescued by the Mighty Eagles. After leaving the Eagles, Gandalf leaves the group and the dwarves and Bilbo have to navigate the forest of Mirkwood on their own, which is disastrous. First the dwarves are captured by spiders and when Bilbo rescues them, the whole group is captured by Wood Elves. Bilbo escapes capture by slipping on his ring again. Bilbo rescues them by putting the dwarves in barrels add floating them down the river, where they are rescued by the men of Rivertown. From there they finish their journey to the Lonely Mountain, and Bilbo sneaks in and gets his first view of Smaug. It is there that he notices that there is a scale missing from his chest, right over his heart. Bilbo sends a message to Bard in the Rivertown with this information, and when Smaug attacks Rivertown in his anger over Bilbo’s visit and theft, Bard is able to slay Smaug. Afterwards the Men and Elves of Mirkwood demand treasure from the dwarves, however the dwarves do not want to share, and a war is started. The dwarves summon reinforcements from his cousin. It is during this battle that the Dwarves, Elves, and Men are attacked by Goblins and the Eagles join the battle, which becomes known as the Battle of Five Armies. The Goblins are defeated and in the spirit of the alliance the treasure was shared. Bilbo returns home with his treasure and his ring.
I think of all the books, this is my favorite because it is such an easy read and so whimsical. Hopefully, once we get into the trilogy there will be a discussion of the different tones to the stories. I feel that the trilogy defiantly shows more adult focused audience in Tolkien’s writing style, whereas the Hobbit was written for children and it reflects that. The Hobbit was originally stories told to Tolkien’s children, and it was his good friend CS Lewis that persuaded him to submit it for publication. Which I for one am very thankful for.
Hobbits are a race completely invented by Tolkien; the other races in the books were infused by Tolkien’s studies of Norse, Welsh, and other myths to form their descriptions. I love the descriptions of fat little hobbits that are fond of food and drink and smoke, but are made of much sterner stuff than they first appear. Look at how many messes Bilbo got the dwarfs out of. As Gandalf said at that first dinner in Bilbo’s home “There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself. You may (possibly) all live to than me yet.” Which is true, Bilbo pulled the dwarfs asses out of the fire many times.
Tolkien is so descriptive, but not in a way Steinbeck or MacLean descriptive. To me at least Tolkien’s descriptions are just detailed enough to draw you in and paint the picture in your mind, without boring you. It makes me want to live in a hobbit hole, and visit Rivendell. The Mirkwood scares me, and the River town sounds like a great vacation spot. My imagination formed Middle-Earth in my mind the first time I read the hobbit in 5th or 6th grade and it hasn’t changed over the years, only become more enriched each time I read the book. I am actually quite nervous to see the movies, because middle earth is so formed in my mind, and it was one of the things that upset me about LOTR trilogy movies. Some things were better than I imagined, while others did not live up to my expectations. Although, I do admit that when the songs are sung in the book I hear them in my head the way they were sung in the1977 cartoon version.
So between every reading of the Hobbit, I forget about Beorn, so every time it is like a new discovery, I’m not sure why this section of the book is so forgettable to me, because it isn’t badly written. I just can’t seem to keep it in my brain.
It amazes me how easily Bilbo picks up the ring and puts it in his pocket. With no thoughts, it called to him, and with no chance to resist he starts the whole LOTR story in motion.
As a side note, I haven't seen the movie The Hobbit yet, but I was speaking to a friend at work and he said that the Movie incorporates parts of the Simirillion in it as well, and that is why it is three hours and three movies long....which makes sense, but makes me VERY nervous.
For additional reviews please see my blog at www.adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com
  Serinde24 | Sep 27, 2015 |
In sixth grade, my best friend was hugely into The Lord of the Rings. She used to carry with her everywhere an edition of the three books combined. She would use this enormous book to defend me against the boy who kept hitting me over the head because, my mom said, he "liked" me and all of the parents and teachers just looked on and smiled rather than telling the jerk to stop it. Seriously, what were grown-ups thinking in the 80's?

In gratitude to my friend, I tried to read Fellowship, but I was more of an Anne of Green Gables girl, and I just couldn't get into it. I enjoyed listening to the LP of The Hobbit movie soundtrack when I was a little kid, so I figured maybe starting with that book would be a fun way to ease my way into the other books. The book took a lot longer to get through than the soundtrack, and it took me until eighth grade---after many false starts---to finally make it through whole thing.

I can't say I liked it. It was boring, I couldn't keep track of the characters, and what the heck was up with all of the songs? So I postponed trying LOTR for another ten years or so until the Peter Jackson movies came out, at which point I did read them and did like them. In fact, I'm reading the giant, all-together edition aloud to my kids right now.

Listening to the audiobook of The Hobbit with them was a better experience than my first attempt with the book---I found it less confusing and the songs a little less annoying and it was actually kind of funny in some parts---but it's just not as good as LOTR. My kids love it (except for the notable lack of female characters, which both the ten-year-old and the six-year-old noticed) and would probably rate it higher, but I'm giving it a solid "liked it" and feeling grateful that I still have the last few chapters of The Return of the King to read to them. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Sep 23, 2015 |
Still love it after all these years. ( )
  MizPurplest | Sep 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 680 (next | show all)
A flawless masterpiece
added by GYKM | editThe Times
The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and those who are going to read them.
added by ed.pendragon | editSunday Times
A finely written saga of dwarves and elves, fearsome goblins and trolls ... an exciting epic of travel and magical adventure, all working up to a devastating climax
added by GYKM | editThe Observer
Mucho menos pesado que el resto de libros del Señor de los Anillos, más facil de leer.
Culmina las tres grandes obras del Señor de los anillos de Tolkien.
added by martinmuniz | editEl hobbit
This is one of the most freshly original and delightfully imaginative books for children that have appeared in many a long day. . . . a glorious account of a magnificent adventure, filled with suspense and seasoned with a quiet humor that is irresistible.

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barcia, Moises R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ensikat, KlausIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Figueroa, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hague, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hehn-Kynast, JulianeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansson, ToveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeronimidis Conte, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lauzon, Danielsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ledoux, FrancisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parcerisas, FrancescTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitkänen, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Popkema, Anne TjerkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rajamets, HaraldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rajandi, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodrigues, Fernanda PintoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scherf, WalterÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skibniewska, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szobotka, TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vrba, FrantišekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zetterholm, ToreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit"
"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!"
Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception.
There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
J.R.R. Tolkien's complete work The Lord of the Rings consists of six Books, normally bound in three Volumes, as follows:

Volume I: The Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Book 1, "The Ring Sets Out" and Book 2, "The Ring Goes South";
Volume II: The Two Towers, consisting of Book 3, "The Treason of Isengard," and Book 4, "The Ring Goes East"; and
Volume III: The Return of the King, consisting of Book 5, "The War of the Ring," and Book 6, "The End of the Third Age," with Appendices.

This LT Work consists solely of The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again, a precursor to The Lord of the Rings; please do not combine it with that complete work, or with any part(s) thereof, each of which have LT Works pages of their own. Thank you.

Publisher's editors
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Book description
[R.L. 6.6] The story of hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he travels across middle earth with a group of dwarfs and a wizard. He faces trolls and dragons. Meets elves and shape shifters. And hopes to acquire great treasure as his adventure continues.
Haiku summary
So I'm a thief now.
What I really should have took?
Comfortable shoes.
The dwarves had a plan.
They didn't say anything
about hungry trolls.

Nasty Bagginses
stole the Precious, yess, and we
hates them forever!
A ring in a cave?
I’ll take it. I doubt that the
owner will miss it.

Wizard at the door?
Twelve dwarves too? You'll be telling
me a dragon's next!

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618260307, Paperback)

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13 fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit's doorstep in search of a burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.

The dwarves' goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves--and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest. It is from this life-or-death game in the dark that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, would eventually spring. Though The Hobbit is lighter in tone than the trilogy that follows, it has, like Bilbo Baggins himself, unexpected iron at its core. Don't be fooled by its fairy-tale demeanor; this is very much a story for adults, though older children will enjoy it, too. By the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come--and so is the reader. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:16 -0400)

(see all 19 descriptions)

Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 46 descriptions

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