January 22, 2022
Reread this for the first time in decades. It’s even better than I remembered it, especially the narrator’s editorial asides, among which:
…you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him.
…one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green…
…the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted.
Published in 1937, never been out of print, timeless. And I am astonished to report that The Hobbit film trilogy*, which I just saw for the first time and which moved me to reread the book, is an excellent adaptation, straying very little from the original narrative and very well cast.
*Legolas has all the best action scenes in both film trilogies. Just sayin.
Update on 3/2/23:
I was doing that thing we were all doing during Covid, cleaning out my house, during which Augean effort I found a pristine copy of Douglas A. Anderson’s The Annotated Hobbit that I didn’t even remember I had. It’s a lovely edition, illustrated with art from all the 1300+ editions published worldwide in every language, and includes a “lost” chapter of The Lord of the Rings, in which Gandalf explains how he chose Bilbo as Thorin’s burglar (which I must say reads like a Simone Biles-worthy bit of gymnastic special pleading and I’m not surprised he cut it from the final draft). With a center section of full color plates of illustrations from various editions and an excellent bibliography including all editions foreign and domestic, and one in Esperanto.
A must read for the true fan, and the first time I noticed that Tolkien ended both book and trilogy on a line of spoken dialogue, brief, mundane observations both and both by hobbits. The captains and the kings depart. Adventure over, exeunt.
Well. Until I read it again.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.