The Hobbit or There and Back Again
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Published Date: January 1937
Number of Pages: 304
Setting: Various locations in the imaginary world of Middle –Earth
Time Period: The Third Age of Middle-Earth 2941-2942
Summary: Bilbo Baggins is a peaceful and contented hobbit that lives in Bag Ends but all that changes when he invites his family friend, Gandalf over for tea but ends up with him and thirteen dwarves. Thorin the leader of the dwarves wants to reclaim his treasure from Smaug the dragon and he wants Bilbo (who’s evidently an expert burglar) to help him do it. Of course, Bilbo isn’t an expert burglar but he was so flattered that Gandolf thought so highly of him that he agrees to join them all. They encounter elfs, goblins, and giant spiders to name a few on their journey to Lonely Mountain to retrieve the treasure from Smaug. It’s also during this time that Bilbo finds a ring that makes him invisible. Will Bilbo retrieve the treasure from Smaug? Will everyone survive the journey? Please read this classic fantasy novel to find out.
Characteristics of Fantasy
Detailed settings depict another world, often Earth, but out of time…
The settings in Middle Earth such as Bag End, Rivendell and Mirkwood are vividly detailed.
Story lines feature good versus evil as protagonist’s battle and ultimately conquer the malevolent forces- although victory does not come easily or cheaply.
Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves are the good ones who battle the Goblins and the Wargs and Smaug. They do win but there are causalities as well.
Titles are frequently part of a series with a continuing story told over several books.
This is a stand-alone book but there is The Lord of the Rings series that has some characters (Bilbo, Gandalf) and elements (ring) in them.
In general, books start slowly as the author sets the scene, presents the challenge, and introduces the cast- frequently involving a group of diverse characters who are brought together to fight a new or resurging evil in an unfamiliar world. Pacing increases later as more adventure elements appear.
This book started out slowly with the third person narrator describing the area, Bilbo and his mother. When he starts having his adventures with Gandalf and the dwarves, the pacing does increase.
Language creates verbal pictures of characters and landscape…
The author uses very descriptive words to describe the landscape and characters.
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