The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best known and best loved fantasy books. First published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937, The Hobbit has been translated into over 50 different languages and sold well over 100 million copies.
The Hobbit was written by Professor Tolkien for the reading pleasure of his own children, of whom Christopher became the editor of Tolkien's posthumous work such as The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales.
This is a far more light-hearted tale than the Lord of the Rings and introduces to the world the unforgettable Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum. The Hobbit is a book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike and authors from J.K. Rowling to David Gemmell class it as an inspiration upon their own work.
A book full of adventure, heroism, song and laughter, featuring landscapes that are quintessentially English - the Shire the Hobbits inhabit could easily be an England of yesteryear. But soon the Shire is left behind and Bilbo, our reluctant hero, encounters Dwarves, Elves, Goblins, Eagles and Wizards as the party passes through Rivendell, The Misty Mountains and Mirkwood on their way to the Lonely Mountain, in order to take back treasure stolen by the great dragon Smaug.
One of the most appealing aspects of The Hobbit is that we can all find our inner-Hobbit; the part of us that wants nothing by an easy and confortable life. But there is still something inside all of us that perks up at the thought of adventure and a journey into the unknown and I think this is why The Hobbit is such a firm favourite and fondly remembered by all who read it.
The mother of our particular hobbit - what is a hobbit? I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colour's (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leather soles and thick brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner which they have twice a day when they can get it).
From: The Hobbit - Chapter: An Unexpected Party
I would suggest reading the illustrated version if you have the choice, the artwork by Alan Lee* is so good that it manages to improve a story that is already fabulous.
The Hobbit is quite simply a must read, a real delight.
* Alan Lee is an English artist, he has studied Celtic and Norse myths and remains fascinated by mythology. He was inspired by The Lord of the Rings and as well as providing the artwork for the Hobbit he also illustrated the centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings.
This The Hobbit book review was written by Floresiensis
Review last updated 2015-01-10
Have you read The Hobbit?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Dragonsdome Chronicles
The Dragons of Ordinary Farm
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Kaylee from New Zealand
The book is amazing! It's such an interesting read and seeing what Peter Jackson has done with the book is interesting. I would totally suggest this book to other readers if they haven't read it already.
Adele from United States
I think the book was okay, but it was so simple and straight forwards! There were no deeper meanings and it didn't make you think, excluding the part of the riddles. I love Tolkien, but I would expect him to have made a bunch of metaphors and stuff like that! He is a great author, but this is too simple for me to like.
Petwa from Murica
Well Julia you should go back to reading Twilight!
Himika from India
A fitting prequel to Tolkien's epic!! I liked LOTR better but The Hobbit is also a wonderful book!! Bilbo is simply adorable! The only thing I did not like was the lack of females (which is why I am giving it a 9), but that does not reduce the book's charm. While LOTR is a more dark novel, The Hobbit captures every young readers' imagination. I read the book when I was thirteen, and two years later my heart still lingers in the green fields of the Shire, the dark forest of Mirkwood and the steep slopes of the lonely mountain. A definite masterpiece!
Bilbo from The Shire
I love this book, it is literally my life and Frodo's in a little trilogy.
Jasmine from Slovenia
The only reason that I have given it a one, is because there are no zeros or N/A options and I have not actually read the book yet. I plan to check it out of the library tomorrow, because I feel as if I owe it to a good friend of mine to read at least one of his favorite books, because he's read two of my favorites already. Truthfully, I haven't had a lot of exposure to the fantasy genre, being more of a realistic fiction person, but I suppose that there's a first time for everything:) Thanks for letting on-the-fence readers such as myself your opinions. It always helps:):):):)
Christine from The United States
The Hobbit is one of my favorite books. It's a great story, full of adventure and laughter and sadness. My favorite part is when they go to Mirkwood. I've always been fascinated by elves, especially Legolas and was happy when I got to read about where he was from and meet his father. I absolutely adore this book and really enjoy the movies as well!
Rakshit from India
I felt bad when this story ended, I was lost in story. And Bilbo, my friend, I felt like I was with him throughout the story, doing adventures... Love this book.
Aasim from India
Awesome book. Love it.
Aniya from US
This was an amzing fairytale. It left me wanting more and feeling like Fili, Kili and Throin at the battle of the five armies. Tolkien to me is an amazing author that created a fantasy land where it doesn't end with happily ever after. He shows that fantasy isn't necessarily a happy thing. He showed me this. Thank you J.R.R. Tolkien.
Ridz from India
Oh gosh!!!!!!!! Love dis book ;) Dis can't be compared to Harry Potter or Percy Jackson n stuff coz this falls in a different league..... the descriptions r so vivid I really think I am ready to meet d Hobbit n party n go for an adventure. Book is better dan d movie.
Navid from Bangladesh
The book was just spectacular . The story was amazing, awesome, astounding, fantastic and mindblowing.
Jen from US
The Hobbit is a children's book that fully deserves the tag classic. I have read it twice now and each time have found myself completely lost in the world that Tolkien has created. The book is definitely better than the film.
Max from USA
Although this book is slightly hard to read, once you get into the story it is interesting and exciting. J.R.R. Tolkien conveys a great message that there is more to a person than meets the eye. Through all of the adversity that Bilbo has to endure, he uses his wits to be the unlikely hero in every situation. Although he is not the ideal hero, Gandalf sees that Bilbo is a courageous person inside. This book is appealing to all ages and to both men and women. Just as there is more to Bilbo Baggins than meets the eye, this book is much deeper than just an adventure story.
Everybody from Everywhere
This book is the Jesus of fantasy novels!
RJ from Philippines
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Henry from Not telling
I LOVE THIS PIECE OF LEGEND BY DR.LEGEND HIMSELF J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Levi from America
It's a great book that deserves more than just my mere praise. I applaud Tolkien not only for his brilliant series, but his vast imagination and contribution to the world of writing.
Pelle from Sweden
Fantastic! I have read The Hobbit several times, and it is one of my favorite books of all time.
Nick from Canada
Ignacio from United States
This is the best book ever, the description was so vivid, it was like I was in the book, and the adventure thrilled me with every word.
Classified from Australia
Awesome book, I think everyone should get it. I can't wait until the move comes out, so exited!
Julia from USA
Worst book ever written. I hated it.
Kevan from India
I am surprised that The Hobbit is as low as the 18th in your list. It is an outstanding novel with few peers.
Darin from USA
Amazing book, I love how it describes everything, it feels like I could envision being there. A must read.
Nobody from Nowhere
I love this book, it's full of adventure danger, and self conflict.
Joshua from England
I gave the hobbit a 10 because it is dynamic and so well written and so detailed that I could never possibly vote it lower then a 10, never. For those of you who have read the brilliant The Lord of the Rings would realise the structure of the book and how diffrently it is written. So to the point, The Hobbit is a classic and Tolkien is the king of all fantasy and as a 13 year old school-nerd would like to become an author so in a word I will describe The Hobbit as brilliant. Thanks for reading.
Luffy from One Piece
It was a really epic book but some of the words were kind of hard...
Tom from UK
Great for ages 14+ if you love fantasy. Not as complicated as The Lord of the Rings, so it's a great taster for the fantasy genre and Tolkien's books meaning a younger audience will enjoy it just as much as the older audience.
Henry Pickup from Leeds
I think the book is gripping because when I read the first page I went on and read a 100 pages in one night and then the next day I finished it!
A.R. Fallaha from Syria
This is the best book I've ever read.
Jonathon from Glasgow
A great read, just finished reading it for the first time and I'm sure I'll read it many more times. It chronicles the quests of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins on his journey to the Lonely Mountain and his adventures when he finally arrives. It is a deceptively large adventure in a deceptively small book.
Mariah from Arizona
I really enjoyed reading The Hobbit. I like fantasy in general, and I like seeing the backstory to Lord of the Rings, which I am currently reading. Both are good stories, but The Hobbit is faster-moving, more lighthearted, and somewhat easier to get through.
Je from Banbry
I love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is just as good. I love them both!
JOJO from Miami
The Hobbit will have any reader lying on the couch for hours not wanting it to end.
SIMPLE SPLENDID IMAGINATION AND BRILLIANT ADVENTURE Simple - splendid imagination and brilliant adventure.
Mimi from Manila
Would love to read it over and over. Tolkien could bring the stuff in children's dreams and nightmares to life.
Peter from Canada
The Hobbit is a recital of events, expressing divinity abroad an air of nothingness, an otherwise logical mind will find it will be able to start an unquenchable, superabounding desire to know more about Tolkien and his works of secondary identity.
Anthony from Cardiff
This book is brilliant and a must read! I preferred it to the Lord of the Rings.
Rob from Huddersfield
Thank you to my year 1 high school english teacher (sorry, I forget your name). This was the first book he assigned me to read, and I have loved it ever since. What else is there to say but perfection and when my son is old enough to appreciate it, I will read it to him too.
Aaron from USA
This book was recommended to me by my freshman English teacher in high school. It is one of my, if not my favorite book of all times. I will keep reading this book until the day I die, and I will also have it berried with me. :)
Nicolau from USA
This is the best book I've ever read and I believe it is his best work, much better than LOTR.
Likkamatti from Finland
It was so much fun reading The Hobbit. It wasn`t better than LOTR but it`s still one of my favourite fantasy books. It was happier than LOTR and it`s more comfortable for younger readers. A very good book.
My favorite fantasy book. Tolkien is simply amazing when it comes to writing. Bilbo is such a good and solid character!
Unknown from Coolsville
I love all the Tolkien books but this one is my favourite!
Lara from Stoke
This book is now over 70 years old and reads as well today as it did back then. The label "Timeless classic" is given to too many books but in the case of The Hobbit it is fully deserved. Bilbo Baggins is the best character ever and even without the Lord of the Rings this book would still be around today. What can I say? A timeless classic!
Jane from England
The Hobbit is a lovely book, I must have read it at least 15 times between the ages of 12 and 30 and it gets better each time. I think you have the rating spot on with 9 out of 10.
9.4/10 from 48 reviews
What did you think about The Hobbit? Submit your own reader review and award the book the rating you think it deserves.
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read. See past winners.
George RR Martin
Half the World
Mark Charan Newton
The Boy Who Wept Blood