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The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit Encounters with trolls goblins dwarves elves and giant spiders conversations with the dragon Smaug the Magnificent and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of the Five Armies are some of the adventures that befall Bilbo But there are lighter moments as well good fellowship laughter and song Bilbo has taken his place among the immortals of childrens fiction The Hobbit is a complete and marvellous tale in itself but it also forms a prelude to JRR Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings Verdict This is magical stuff I was surprised by how accessible it was Having read the likes of Pratchett and Rankin I would be lying if I said I did not miss a lighter touch It was the first book of its kind and for that we owe it a huge debt It is not as great as its legendary status would suggest though in my humble opinion It flows awkwardly from one instalment to the next the spark that is there so brightly in the first quarter somehow dimming Also it comes to a very abrupt end making it obvious that inspiration had probably run out for this particular book at least Ideally Tolkien would have shortened the journey to the treasure by omitting sequences that could instead be used for a more detailed journey home perhaps on a slightly different route Even so very worth a read
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