The Hobbit

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Lee

I was quite worried, when I sat down and finally decided to dive into "The Hobbit", that I wouldn't enjoy it. I have heard from many people that it's the kind of book that you either love or hate, and I hoped I wouldn't be on the latter end. One of the things I enjoyed over the course of reading it was mentally comparing the book to the movie - I watched all the Hobbit movies and the Lord of the Rings before reading the actual books, so once I pick up the Lord of the Rings it'll also be a movie-to-book comparison. Many people said The Hobbit was more accurately adapted into the movie that the Lord of the Rings trilogy, although I found that in comparison to the book there were quite a few things that Peter Jackson allowed himself to add in, and for once I cannot blame him. His additions did spice up the story quite a bit, although the only complaint I have is with the Azog part of the story line, which was made quite a bigger deal of that in the book.

Now, as for the book itself, I ended up enjoying it, and I can honestly say I really liked it. However, as someone who watched the movies first and then read the book, I didn't get as much excitement out of the original story as I did from the movie (although I will say I strongly disliked "The Battle of the Five Armies", which I though was a huge mess that spanned around 2 hours). It's difficult to compare the two as you have an original and an adaptation, and each is wonderful for its own respective reasons.

"The Hobbit", as the original book, reads like a traditional fairytale, and already that makes it very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to directly turn into a movie without changing anything. Considering how impatient and easy bored today's audience is, I think another factor is that some people have just lost appreciation for literature and its value, regardless of whether they liked it or not, and so an adapted, more 'energetic' movie version has to be made. I for one enjoyed the book as it read like a bedtime story that I could comfortably put aside and then slip into later on. As a sensorial person however, I feel my experience was definitely heightened by the music of "The Hobbit", which is by far the best part of Jackson's movies, I think. And some details that he added, especially Legolas and the side plot with Kili, I really loved in the movie, so it felt a little sad to know they were Jackson's additions rather than original thoughts of Tolkien himself.

I'm glad I gave "The Hobbit" a go, and glad I enjoyed it. I probably would've enjoyed it more if I had read it first before watching the movies, although then I think I would be one of those grumpy fans who complains about inaccurate adaptation. Tolkien deserves all the praise he receives, for I am still blown away by the world building and his characters, especially all the names and the histories he has come up with, from the wars to the family lineages. If I ever have children myself, I will correct the mistake I made myself and read this to them as a bedtime story, for I'm sure any child will fall in love with such a vivid world and the quirky and lovable Bilbo.