This month’s Creepy Classic is The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien. There’s been a ton of buzz about this classic recently; that I felt the topic was timely. With the overwhelming success of Peter Jackson’s on screen depiction of Tolkien’s masterpiece, Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, it's no stretch to hear he’s planning a repeat performance with Tolkien’s original classic, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
The Hobbit thrusts open the door into the magical world Tolkien created. It brilliantly features some of the same trials and tribulations that young Frodo embarked. For Bilbo, his adventure starts when he sets off with a Gandalf and a band of dwarves. Between the wizard, dwarves and the hobbit, the story steadily builds from its unique cast of characters. On their thrilling expedition they face Trolls, Goblins, all-types of Elvish kind, Wargs, gigantic spiders, a dragon and, of course, Men too. To There and Back Again, masterfully depicts Bilbo, our clever Hobbit, blossoming from a hard-pressed survivor to a celebrated hero. I believe I have more of an appreciation for Bilbo Baggins after reading this. He was such a fascinating Hobbit, just like Frodo. And really…it all began with Bilbo.
For me, the book lit on fire after Bilbo found the ring and, of course, when he met Gullom. Witnessing Bilbo’s several near-death escapes was riveting. He was in every sense a survivor. Despite being constantly half-starved, and wanting of his 2nd breakfast, he persevered. And I loved him for it. Many of his friends said it was luck – which is highly likely – but I think it was more than that. He was a Hobbit and not just any Hobbit, but a Baggins. Having the ring and its invisibility magic certainly helped, but I doubt many others could wield it like Bilbo.
There were times in this book when I sympathized immensely for Bilbo, wondering how he’d manage to thwart Gollum, sting a spider or even speak in riddles to the dragon, Smaug. So many times, I was on the edge of my seat, feeling Bilbo’s fear, understanding his reasoning, or sensing his doom. And (I have to mention this) I wanted to kill Gandalf, who seems to be forever jetting off on some secretive wizardry task, leaving his companions and friends – namely Bilbo and Frodo – behind. Some friend, huh?
The Hobbit was so phenomenal; it truly made me fall in love with the series all over again. I was easily reminded how I was reading the beginnings of something truly great, am obvious classic. For me, Tolkien's The Hobbit was a 4.5. If you haven't had a chance to read this, do so now - at least before the movie comes out.
Until next time…looking for something to read, try a classic.