Publisher’s Summary: Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all – a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug.
In this fantasy classic, master storyteller J.R.R. Tolkein creates a bewitching world filled with delightful creatures and thrilling dangers. Narrator Rob Inglis will hold listeners of all ages spellbound with his skillful portrayal of hobbits, dwarves, and enchanted beasts.
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For lovers of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings the Hobbit may seem to be a step back into a simpler time, however it does have its attractions for younger readers (as well as those who are young at heart).
The story of the Hobbit, which sets the stage for the later and much more dark Lord of the Rings Trilogy is an innocent yarn set in a magical land full of history and intrigue.
Although the settings are familiar – there is the bucolic village of Hobbiton and its inter family intrigue as the Baggins clan fights for possession of Bag End – where Bilbo, urged to action by Gandalf has stated that his birthday will be a great time of change.
And so it proves to be when Gandalf’s spectacular fireworks which are the climax of Bilbo’s birthday celebration set the stage for a rollicking adventure featuring a cast of noble dwarfs, elves and a hoard of dragon’s gold.
As is usual with Tolkien’s Middle Earth adventures the journey is filled with encounters of the land’s many creatures – some friendly, some puzzling and others with an air of palpable evil.
For the fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy The Hobbit sets the stage for the later adventures. We are introduced to the ring, the origins of the armor that Frodo will wear during his later journey to Mount Doom and even Sting, the sword that Bilbo finds (and later hands to Frodo) that glows in the presence of Orcs.
On the face of it The Hobbit appears an innocent romp across the varied landscape of Middle Earth – however there are real moments where the later darkness of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is foreshadowed.
It is apparent to the reader that the time of the Elves and even of the Hobbits is drawing to a close and the time of men is about to become reality.
We learn about the way in which the magic of Middle Earth is fading into the darkness. There is a melancholy tone to some of the encounters that Bilbo has during his trip to steal the gold of Smaug, the legendary dragon who holds the key to restoring the kingdom of the dwarfs.
The Hobbit can be read on many levels. It makes the ideal bedtime story for children who are beginning to understand the complexities of the adult world. However there are scenes and moral quandaries woven into the story that can cause confusion among younger readers.
The Hobbit is without doubt a splendid introduction to the world of the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. Much of the plot of The Two Towers and The Return of the King, as well as the Fellowship of the Ring are introduced in this splendid novel.
Any avid reader of Tolkien would recommend it wholeheartedly it is a fabulous introduction to the deep mythos of the Tolkien universe and is filled with the sense of wonder that makes this story teller the darling of many who love the imagination and fine detail of Middle Earth.