The hobbit Bilbo Baggins is very content with his comfortable life, when the Wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarves invite him on a quest to travel the continent and rob a dragon of his treasures.
Bilbo soon finds himself in a dangerous world, where trolls, goblins, spiders and mortal’s greed make for thrilling adventures.
When you go to your preferred search engine and use the prompt “classic fantasy book”, it’s almost a given you’ll find The Hobbit among the search results. The tricky thing with classics is that – though the reason for their initial popularity can probably always be recognised – it’s not always garantueed they withstand the test of time. After recently rereading this book, however, I’d say Tolkien’s The Hobbit still holds up.
People often refer to The Hobbit as a children’s story. This is indeed how it originated, but I believe most people tend to forget that children’s literature often contains themes and stories that are also relevant for adults. Furthermore, Tolkien’s prose in The Hobbit is a lot less dense than in The Lord of the Rings, making it a lot more accesible.
Sure, The Hobbit is at times prone to silliness and has a severe lack of female characters, but it’s fast-paced and ultimately contains some very serious morals. Furthermore, the clever use of an omniscient (unreliable?) narrator makes it a very relevant study case for people interested in writing themselves. For people that are already familiar with the extensive lore of Middle-Earth, The Hobbit also provides a lot of intruiging questions, if you’re willing to read between the lines.
If you’re still not convinced, I’d like to emphasize that this story contains musical dwarves and one of the coolest dragons in dragon history. Just saying…