It’s hard to beat Tolkien on my list of favorite authors. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are classics, and I think everyone should be forced to read them at least once a year until the age of eighteen when that choice would become optional. Strongly recommended, yes, but optional.
As you can see, I have strong feelings about these two works. It is difficult, however, to combine them for the purposes of a review. For that reason, I’ll focus on The Hobbit for now, then pick up The Lord of the Rings at a later date.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien, was perhaps my first introduction into the world of actual literature. I instantly fell in love, as there was much to love about it. The adventure was a solid one, complete with maps and dragons and caves–all the things a boy could want. In fact, this was what launched my love for fantasy novels.
Additionally, the reading challenged me at the age of ten or so. While I had to peruse some sections multiple times, that never lessened the excitement for me. In fact, in many ways the challenge made it even more enjoyable.
But most of all, I enjoyed the wording. I found Tolkien’s writing to be charming, delightful, and cozy. It felt like a carefree romp, much like his descriptions of scenery. Right from the opening, he strolled out of the gate and meandered through the hills and pastures of the world he created, making it look easy and just plain fun to write a story.
And yet, I had no idea how exquisite Tolkien’s writing was until years later when I learned to appreciate the dance of literature. To me, J.R.R. Tolkien embodies the spirit of the quaint, British countryside. While some decry his writing for its ambling nature, I consider that a stylistic choice and have always admired it.
Truth be told, I haven’t read Tokien’s work in many years (aside from the opening to The Hobbit and other snippets here and there). To be completely honest with you, I don’t know if I’ll ever pick it up again. Part of this is due to a lack of time: when I only have so much time for reading, I prefer to try something I haven’t read before. But part of this is because I don’t want to spoil the memory. I’ve done this before–picking up a childhood favorite only to find it lacking to an adult mind. I don’t want that to happen with The Hobbit, so I choose to leave it in the past. Some things are better left there.
5 stars out of 5