The Hobbit Read-Along Parts One and Two!

This Hobbit and LOTR Read-Along is hosted by Little Red Reviewer and Geeky Daddy.

I'm playing a bit of catch-up here. When I signed up to be part of this read-along, I really thought I had a copy of The Hobbit in the apartment. Turns out, LOTR, Check, Sillmarillion, Check, but no Hobbit! It must be in storage someplace. No problem, I thought, I'll just pick up a copy at the library. However, when I got there, there were no copies to be had. It must be a summer reading book around here. Okay, I think, I have a copy of the BBC Radio Drama version that my husband won in a contest. I'll listen to that.

And then we went out of town for a week.

And I discovered that long radio drama isn't really my thing. (Short I can handle.)

Went back to the library, and this time I found a copy. Instead of answering all the discussion questions from both weeks, I'll just touch on a selection for now:

On Chapters 1-7:

What were your expectations starting The Hobbit ? (If you never read it before)
(For those who have read the Hobbit) Did you learn something during reading that you missed from the last time you read it?

My first experiences with the Hobbit were either with the book itself or the Rankin-Bass animated version. I honestly can't remember which I saw first, but the songs from the movie are the music that I associate with the book. Then I read the book again when it was taught in a High School English Class, so I am having a few flashbacks to those discussions. Today, I'm enjoying the style a lot more than I remembered, perhaps because I've now read enough of the contemporaries or authors that inspired Tolkien to put it in proper context. It's light, but not too light, amusing without dipping into self-parody. It's in that transitional phase between fairy tale style and what we think of as a modern fantasy novel. Although, I'm fairly over some of the quirks of the narration, i.e. the repetition of the joke about how 'it wouldn't be the last time Bilbo wished for home', etc.

What has been your favorite part of Bilbo's journey so far?
I remember liking the visit with Beorn a lot when I first read the book, but Riddles in The Dark is so masterful that it has to be my favorite. (Up until the spider battle. Yes! KILL THE SPIDERS!)

On Chapters 7-12:
There's some thought that Gandalf purposely didn't prepare the dwarves and Bilbo very well, that much of their trials is him testing them. What do you think of that theory, and what do you think he's testing/preparing them for?

That's just silly. Gandalf just doesn't really care whether or not they succeed. He's a wizard, not a guardian angel. He does them a few favors, and he doesn't want them to die, but in the scope of the shit that he is dealing with, whether Thorin gets to be King under the Mountain is kind of small potatoes.

What did you think of Bilbo's escape plan from the Wood-Elves?
I can't remember not knowing this part of the book, so it's always just been 'the way it happens' and I enjoy it. (Side Note: For those of you who are familiar with the Lord of the Rings Movies but are only now reading The Hobbit, you remember the King of the Wood-Elves they're escaping from? FYI: He's Legolas' dad.)

What did you think of Smaug? how does he compare to other fantasy novel dragons you've come across?

Smaug is the grandaddy, the big, badass, cocky, vain classic. There's a lot of that fairy tale influence in his portrayal, which sometimes is left out of other literary dragons.

How in the world is a hobbit and a bunch of unorganized dwarves who have hardly any weapons going to defeat an angry and greedy dragon??
Spoilers. ;)


  1. I am glad to see that you are still willing to be part of the read a long, even with the difficulties you had getting to The Hobbit.
    I think Gandalf as a guardian angel of some sorts. He keeps getting them out of a mess in which the party creates.I will be looking forward to more of you informative posts..:) Welcome aboard.


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