Hobbit Mid-Point

I’m about half way through the book now and am really enjoying it so far. The Hobbit turned out to be much lighter, easier, not to mention fun, reading than I thought it would be! I think I must have tried reading the LOTR trilogy at some point and that must have swayed my opinion of The Hobbit. Really, the more I read the more I remember about this series. I would have sworn before I started that I had never read any of these books before, apparently that is not so!

Where are you in the story? So far, has the book lived up to your expectations (for first-timers)/memories (for rereaders)? What’s surprising or familiar?

Right now I’ve just finished chapter eight and I’m really enjoying everything so far. I’ve been thinking a lot about the movie that’s coming out soon and wondering what scenes got left in and what left out. I think a lot of it must be left in because they split the movie into two separate films. Isn’t that ridiculous? Such a short, light book and they are taking two movies to tell the story? Really?

I almost wished I had read at least one of the trilogy first just so I can compare it to the movie and be able to judge it better with The Hobbit but it would have been strange.

I was a little surprised about the back history of Bilbo’s family mentioning the Tooks and the Hobbit that slayed the enemy and created a sport all at once. There was a precedence for hobbits kicking butt before The Hobbit? I guess they are so unobtrusive when they are not needed that they get forgotten in between major acts of daring and heroism. Weird, huh?

Have you been bogged down anywhere in the book?

I think that when I was younger I might have been bogged down by the songs. I used to find those hard to get through in any epic fantasy book. Now I really enjoy them. Tolkien uses them to such great effect.

Let’s talk about the songs…are you skipping over them to get back to the prose? Why or why not?

I am definitely reading them. I think they add a lot of back story and really flesh out the race and/or character that is singing them. Also sometimes there is some foreshadowing I’ve been catching in some of them, while others have been hinting at past myths that are really interesting to read about. It really adds to the story and rounds out the world in a very realistic way in just a few stanzas.

What do you think of the narrator’s voice?

Definitely the strongest aspect of the book, the narrator’s voice has just reached out and grabbed every time I crack open the book. Very friendly and down to earth, a lot of winks and nudges to help you get all of the story and just an all together open and engaging way to grab the reader and keep their attention throughout. I really love it and thinks its one of the best narrator voices I’ve read in a very long time.

Does your edition have illustrations or maps? Have you been ignoring them or referring back to them?

I enjoy looking at the illustrations and maps, and my edition has several! I have always liked to flip to the maps and follow along with the characters to see where they are, where they’ve been and get an idea of what they might face next. Though, of course, with this book I’m pretty sure I already know. I also loved seeing the illustrations and again have been picturing how they will look brought to life in the movie.

Now it’s time to play favourites! Who’s your favourite main character? Who’s your favourite minor character (i.e.: villains, random helpers, etc.)? What’s your favourite scene? Do you have a favourite quote to share?

I’m going to be lame and main streamy and say that my favorite character is Bilbo, of course. Especially now that he is getting up some gumption and some bravery, not to mention general boot strappiness, when he found himself alone and without the dwarves, again, and able to surprisingly defend himself anyway, again.

As for minor character I’m still stuck on that hobbit that was big enough to ride a small pony and kick some butt on a battlefield. That’s just beyond cool.

My favorite scene would have to be all the dwarves showing up at Bilbo’s house in the first few chapters and causing poor Bilbo to have a minor meltdown. And, of course there is the song that the dwarves sang to him while he was losing it for various and sundry reasons:

Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates –
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!

Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!
Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
Splash the wine on every door!

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you’ve finished, if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!

That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!
So, carefully! carefully with the plates!

Looking forward to finishing this one soon! The next one is one I am certain at least that I’ve never finished if I’ve ever started it at all. So then maybe it will all be new material from then on. Maybe.

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