I am so amazed by this book.
Quite a couple of years ago I tried to read the Hobbit in Dutch, but I couldn’t get into the story. The way it was translated and thus how it was told, was so very boring. I put it down even before I got to the ‘That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates’ song.
Luckily enough I realised this is a book that you really have to read at least once in your life. So, I bought a boxed set with the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy in it, but in English this time.
And buying the book in English turned out to be a very smart decision, because this time around I absolutely loved the book. Not only did I really like the way the book was written, but I also loved the story itself and I shed a few tears at the end.
It’s also extra pleasant that I saw the movie, because that gave me an image for all the characters. True, most of them are described and I should know what they look like, but I really like the casting of the movie and decided to go with those looks while reading the book.
The book is obviously very old and I do think that is notable from the way it’s written. That also might just have been what put me off in the Dutch version and I have to admit: it did take some getting used to, but after a while I flew through the book.
In the beginning, as we get to know Bilbo Baggins, the story doesn’t move very fast. However, as the group gets further on their quest, more happens in less time and the pace quickens. In the end, al lot happens at the same time and after a big bang (or, more truthfully, a big fight) it is kind of over and the story has ended.
The thing I loved most about the story is the character development Bilbo goes through. He starts out as a typical hobbit who doesn’t want to hear a thing about adventures and loves his quiet and peace.
Surprisingly, he still goes along with the dwarves and shares their adventure. At the start of the quest, they don’t think very high of him and he does nothing to prove them wrong, but as they continue, he proves his value multiple times and the dwarves begin to regard him as a friend and a companion.
The one thing I thought was a bit unlikely, was that none of the dwarves or Bilbo himself had thought of bringing a bow and arrow to the Lonely Mountain. Of course, they couldn’t have known Smaug’s breastplate was not complete, but a bow and arrow might have come in handy anyway. If they had thought of bringing (and using) a bow and arrow, they might have shot Smaug and the village wouldn’t have ended up in ruins.
Still, I can see past that one flaw (and I might even have some things confused and there might now have been an opportunity to shoot an arrow). I loved this book and the story it told and I am so happy that more movies are coming out to show us Bilbo’s adventure. It’s a story that deserves to be told over and over again in different media forms, because it is just that good.