The Hobbit, and subsequently The Lord of the Rings, is the book that is chiefly responsible for the fantasy genre today; either in influencing or reacting against it. Nearly fifteen years after reading The Hobbit for the first time, I returned to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth to find the experience just as fun as I did back then though my memory of events turned out to be incorrect as I followed Bilbo Baggins on his adventure.
For mature readers like myself, getting into the rhythm of the text can be tricky as one has to remember that the story was originally based on from bedtime stories Tolkien told his children. Plus the text feels like it was transcribed from an oral telling like around one told around a campfire or a warm hearth in a hobbit hole, but this only helps enhance the adventurous aspect of the story Tolkien tells. The vivid descriptions of locales and fantastic creatures adds great detail to the story that in a way sets the stage for the more grown up tale of The Lord of the Rings.
While this particular edition does seem to have some strange word choices that forces the reader to go back disturbing the flow in a few spots, it doesn’t diminish the overall book. Others might decry The Hobbit being childish, but that’s who Tolkien was aiming for in 1937 and anyone who thinks this is A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) or The Wheel of Time or The First Law needs a reality check before they begin this book. For any fan of fantasy, if you haven’t read The Hobbit I whole recommend that you do but only with the perspective.