Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Snow After Fire

I gobbled The Hobbit up so quickly. I don’t think I fully appreciated it when I read it 10 or 12 years ago, but I loved it this time.

For all the beautiful language and general Tolkien-ness, The Hobbit is incredibly simple. It’s just the basic quest/hero’s journey story. You have your reluctant hero who is chosen for a task he doesn’t want to do and goes off on a perilous journey.

When I started reading The Hobbit again, one of my friends told me that she didn’t like the book because it was so simple. But I think that the simplicity is part of what I loved most about it. There doesn’t have to be an elaborate plot with crazy twists and turns or complex imagery or themes. The characters still feel real. The place still feels real and ancient (well, I mean, it is Tolkien, so of course it does). It works.

I think I liked The Hobbit so much because it let me feel like a little kid again. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Tolkien (the last time I read him was the last time I read The Hobbit as a preteen), but I didn’t remember his voice being so grandfatherly (for want of a better word). I felt like I was listening to this wonderful old man tell me an epic adventure story. At times I was almost like a child sitting at Tolkien’s feet, leaning forward and hoping for more detail. It was great.

I know that The Hobbit isn’t perfect, but it’s so hard to think about its flaws. I know the fact that it has a grand total of ZERO female characters is a huge sticking point for some people, but it doesn’t bother me too much (if I don’t think about it). It kind of bothered me when I was reading the book, but I just reminded myself that Eowyn exists in Lord of the Rings, and she’s pretty badass most of the time. Even though it’s annoying that Tolkien didn’t find room for any women in The Hobbit, I’m willing to forgive him. It actually might be the first thing I’ve ever read where there is absolutely ZERO romance.

Anyway, I love The Hobbit and I wish I’d appreciated it more the first time I read it. HOW was this not my favorite thing ever when I was younger?

Also, “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”

Tolkien, you are so wonderful.
Rating: ****
Up Next: The Sound and the Fury

Book #24: The Hobbit

I’m reading The Hobbit next. I thought it would be appropriate since the movie’s coming out soon. Also, there’s something about Prague that makes me want to read stories with magic in them. I’m super excited for this.

I read The Hobbit waaaaaay back when I was 10 or 11. I think I enjoyed it, but to be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot about it. I remember liking the story and not liking all the description so much. I also know that when I went through my obsessive Lord of the Rings phase in middle school (Orlando Bloom and Aragorn, anyone?), I read the books and didn’t like them as much as the movies (probably because there was no Orlando Bloom). I’m a bit nervous about facing Tolkien’s writing style, but I’m 10 years older than I was the last time I read him, so maybe it will be different this time.

Anyway, I’m really happy that I’m reading The Hobbit. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself into a genre fiction area, but I do love fantasy an awful lot. There’s something about magic and wizards and mages and stuff like that that I really like. I also like stories with castles and horses and fighting. This is gonna be super good.

Also, to make matters even better, I’m thanking Past Kelly over and over, because when she was packing for Prague, she decided to bring the real copy of The Hobbit (as well as The Lord of the Rings trilogy) with her because the book was small. So I’m finally reading a real book again instead of a Kindle. This is good, because I like reading real books. Also, when there are books with maps in them, I being able to flip to the maps to see where the characters are. That’s really had to do on e-readers and it’s really frustrating.

I’m looking forward to an all-around awesome revisit to Tolkien-land.

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