The Hobbit or There and Back Again PDF/EPUB ↠ or

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit Not a nasty dirty wet hole filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell nor yet a dry bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat it was a hobbit hole and that means comfortWritten for JRR Tolkien’s own children The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937 Now recognized as a timeless classic this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins the wizard Gandalf Gollum and the spectacular world of Middle earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero a powerful and dangerous ring and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent The text in this 372 page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics 1998 and includes a note on the text by Douglas A Anderson 2001


10 thoughts on “The Hobbit or There and Back Again

  1. oѴb]V5e^==XzvaQW˖XjpsݟX`|Lޣh>wIӭ;96UM1ck` l)X8i]ˊߧFԞs,53u^uo|5۞nk6S{1r]zO&5ԧTɕ E]Y {kљV~ZDNryfg:'nIe~Mޯ;՟K7o&{sG{8O;?scks?1W-\Z[ޢF 0=z'ȓ^r݇A$mv~#+psff[udKCAp斻裓3D.dDY ޭ&wz4聰sOk+~=f142fkkٹ̥аS۾2Z*;Xf6{cUUѓ( _ꥸ_lEƓր&vTڂdA,ϫ7t3ߘ I,{GfOڴYH!">jz[bcuxa  Zϴ~Yүfuc43ܦS qz5g5O^)Mt" 8G7 )]~L:gRHr#@/ţ,Mj>OԏOKޯ<tyEk8Kq]qsUhV`Cl̐!Lp2yi³ӚYcbZO+2ȣ 7ut:}絻\fg־FANV=qI[}zOcm=׳#8EtZJS[QX$櫮kXOI v[3<3k+U׹_s |'CX0- e^ckr>7-`}\T2^XMS\0VXKBTLJ,OkGFHRc-U=ɔ]1/16Ƈ"TH'C0~Sc욼)RзX׷ofwzZ +;WӬ:F 9r_YpT!claLm?yz9=;-6Im{vmA7ϖt0nDb@eC"Slh‰kno᭎ɽ[EbQޘ3P˘ޛȒtGmcP^C=,ON3ۈ])5mnFMlg5ʧURͳ.ƹA[vkZ?5 kC@. &ϥ8FDT}|<c起C0 6*rswxp9rU[1F^VKX's$Z>'~Ώ_9c۰}R˧8{ל$qnvY:[}-oougW0$ay9l]|`~zwTROɴsolV{-%_/UأXONJu\J (=Uӯvڢ읏w:?Cb@l|6;oKI t<1NSAF\[ۈ\]X[]H[@@@@@@@ @SAQ]X[]@@@=0    /l  ddA@@@AB|@@000 @@@@p 0@P`q 2#AS$b5&&'7(!BT5=t   $L"!21ABQRbr#aq$3S6dsCD@@@+o RQToe]Ko=s/lITmA+Mtngd"_"/yoӧS#[s@@r uTѾ\_*[SLJ|&5F-/7ݍȕؚeX'P07QMԩv%lB$-7V_b%fkj_ ׫E3KjIGT{\E}k{/8Z+|5HEuQ:u=?W׫ >vB"pNֆϛ^8:h&bgPNVj 1y9_o1T*{_Ֆ/ip%Z5Zۜݠr5_Z ,r_CYqcw{d$nҒtU 9#쨩Kͬ5p6G0UkOV%+r$DUqRQq>& [KT;])^zM"l"Ed0 :b]esbušPr itO @RU7_NLleӑs % [VD[ D={wt zZrda#!X6d* j.^STI.b%t|s> ŨH#igٽDO͉GJ5aɢZ_vZǓQe툛qY:Lճ}]2&hȵً *=61peVin وn0O%V5N߹ [;+].,+S?]Y^MݕWѓ\4G@7:آ)tR$ErDRJȡ^Z톅NS ۋW:w!A!E#ˠظ,38ҍGS6R{uCUzLu,uSCX?Qe6s63!x+ՐUD Kjš< lEmߋqZ;nFMQ6DOAf8! f5 ~yW}a3%_'L2.%P!*H9ӑ<*Qh\M-imUMiv4m_|ATӛpHԻn$;-w0z5("JpS^È8t5?1QI͎8GA +umvqѶjK LAZZT+ D mK)΃[{vUW*h s0"u&ezX$Gݻv6Zi%1ط96l;eO5$9 B$1nmnld1IA#<\oѓ?huxL/dDpGvN1Tk􈏿+1M]פyzNZގ6k%:y[LoX.M}܉%Ma~|W]& G/@WlLZm1PQ'ώo6mĝIbs\)yO9f"~%dY%I9n>0į(h;XLg3\ɚQ eUXetTAT3zf{̔\Fp)`]K|Qp)'D.+9i'_,VK2нkeM@s&3E:HƐ) elPӡc D$Yf,8"*UP-EUDS]z3uBVrR2wxcA2xKXHQ[?uZnlf 璼ZQ5ֿIY5H, D nR۩ip-yu .!'R7^!9ݧrq)%Gy%Oh$7,`YտnQ9dQ6 urjyQQO2O6x!ܭu7]iyz ;$j†IC9XjC:nZ-l $A⸭ycvc]¿ZfSb%:8ڙr߷4z Zb=:5IƧG 2ZK|m */UWjU߀X/'&\MQDW}&\:O Ў92 .Ӗ6֤Y;*MXҕ6BQuIv N0J7Pr :8ӬHXBvR=!-ty|yz6[)ǥ@U{" BeS$ΆFDG}t[+XR3O8WEDz!dYA<[aфve&dfO7b>`*CSz5(7{`tc zikt5.d5IhW ˈd[ Jtv*q1$MZ|GODn Z{TqǪ,})ړdZk-Tu0}`&X)+r xThQTUuۗYzOe2#j4邎l^<ƛ4)b%ly{MgGQQ4L|wwc ` /ݯo÷C8Zؕ+3KYj2ԧҊ꾂 ybE~3rrjve*F]u bt],sQ 1ZעǯK+\4 цQhq7uИ r ]jy@#:I]Zgi|5xPy9b3:[Sw'ona |6qEtA˿VخpKң8^4=4nJ$\ZEJVs[]h~O7 w_0ᱫ%nkp<}74ՂΝC?U. Rv M::i}C` mWrd:cDGm;~ ik^`t^wcL 5ruEY1Aꤜ xuPHTkT-C*(.zr-F6%ɦ =Ņ.PSǑ$5fSB+M,FiԜ74¢l<-;) @s.׻: OTۑ *2֒uFUof$5$A-\Wo%VZ8̶>D fZtxm+><)X18&F`6N=6v"6u-Q78""DŽ%<]?i9sZv4c 2z c:TkR5]r>[prn! .*J lN"XVn52[R"3RRRV 9" ;G6[Fɺ"(/6~޳v=["!o/w^%ESXmS.?4$.Ad5gn;{h!Z>##G};*ͧ ILA]^/5&k&JB)^ICWEDAѓCl 'cM`QUR1uWܪ$[z{Su;q􄔫 &EeW&OPPK\\ŔAtUv&z+-*Q1[Q^;[j98 A@PbzBla04ӨNSy'vOX8C@.r8D [qqvT/8)ʭM6hhd2bJ/!URE]]BwXV^z8BD!T8I"A7NB[ 苿v_Qv-eN6h⋨ qDJ_n=JJ ޼bPnC ;37-KN "ވaTXEf0XuWVuA2,QfȘ~,7A S>I9DzhzQpHT`8Zh {G/oyU(pc`[ x6{A6\j$8JeWuR 7a |"/LOe]e,r8٢ twoXpկSTl]&dܞH "*ura^1h%A&a,yVsmw!e57WK$WRSnJNJDw AA!'][ ڟb,i&AKTfzEHy \~gٱ2ۓ^Eꃶ4nr5l ~Y*QvH7To/cr |)]dMFs~ppA-2IT ]E3DD-"H+jnZu!uء"S CH#/}N)Ae0"KYaEwS}^{ .!=n7iXED;\񡟣vj^}6o^d;Ti^o%oVF j!;Ud8񮪜=1r$d/1V˵ =]6L.5eHuKH]~qZ Rt=d$ tY_S evκ;7GLϹښ-+gYsƳORȱIQǤ.az ZWQVv_B;.˸͈*ǥG,Yim, zƪ/,,f幒s qri͢a^܈ۍ*NR`oʵYrk͏^ʙ!!6/W"}u#3rXlM=f ScJ)U6]i2n|UG%jWGXMpDGMS^-^8nY̔Jef|ECa_Ʌ qiy%ꛩ3}QvnNZ*&&\Eiiߦ6n\.DW)/0=|@Wsz~])RlO"og] ];-@X]qu: y/4{H˻z=M#*שy)HjWRj ڴ&(@qX7VTiI1Jv\J "WNh]ԝCByFp.jin-uƲsp%J`k+a.%$zfm> i($h?%ThaXԖT5icr$̍K9Y]JO.;z/U_:s<e_Wҗv+{a!yqOG?H\ UZ<Ēn\'C$匮{Hy,7[G=Eԉn% 7iR#"h$Aq}Wc;RM=1O \L7Qw6Ť:`AJ =Dkp fy %8v':J $ƎQ^^&$PfCjիCܺ4~_lNX5LkA_EGsVD9 67t$"# :q3URHR${mGcX f,[}޺[5ݘ-VuG2%Q)@26EH7Tn[nCx!yMrD ELWQ}Y:/k,}f!34CX|Ii k/ƵJ'=eD_c6jJ~țl.cfHPܐyZQ] kfaxKSWs鍮5 [QuZ'#,EDYgdӲ^kZ=$i1h'k7ײ f&;uHdzy)!x<^9$@fɖduvzBf%Ńl`eyED-5ڢ$:]72Sc-"Tj5"OysT:VA>TnlG-+>,$d[4E}D$ѯc_hiVVpK[ϘFj%r@ 6Ep }:A\wSʛ7Fy )qUMTQ$< *&KJ|x|Ÿu*ho6KXBG|JJyYM 1 ^H{!|.ׯi9Tc"2Mn%=tLF+}FjYQmU p}yWE˹kBv: 02p rM];i}IWe5 X ]qSpFψn =.2 2TpGAzhqNHN"nD ui$#4_6[1#h8K^ieTu 98vUiIz/G+"g՜"mToIfjݟ R]y4JMFd*dHՆ K]28r4!Ǹv^Ti-yRVѰ#.Df7Ո[RhU+լȽ[mvrR-:Hqm44J-X$ !d .cĽcYzK&RhC./ u0j̩l@*6;%> GYMѨq5Mpよ\HRQK'plx&ɿung89lU!;P|X ީjf BՌ扸m2M-aGmqvAA_wVl>j!9*5me*Vl9k&mK q8fv>yuVn8&cQ+iGj;oc$[R*J8Ń@;KĔ~ճF%1lU~baJ:^xsW! ٌC9+ʜ<2P0Jz+ݵ6܉K$m j.h]H79I>dWJ\~G[$NuC/̧fU4PE֤19̖B>gAh<ʘW߲ڶܡ9( v"H#2\ķ$T KE#*iqQھ 'H3fl Ъ4*3 N$RP ;r( pf=@G 6s[ls4kȆHV$Lv ڢo+Mi~)-OpRī+g Y*Bx),0+bt xqA}:_Nݪwv'@1I?Y@V-el-'[Z Z)dpi%i);6Tr%:D$PWͦ&߁}jY#;f FxypL:'z̓_]-4FiR#3K9Gn1fˈ%xBQi"`xƑhb2T p`=I<%V*@2519$_;)z3kPtlLIDMϳb5;JgY6C!M3 ⵦ1gmlfXpʡF mEBS{! 4y\H[uݻ˃.F*YJf\͍ʐrF2́x#@3-D !uX伂e:k ԍ`a2K9,*l˝3{xܑ=9AqHd-wGxay5I3YcgavpVr|Q2ERSmEmSmə#M`Y(BR/w֯VfT9R@WAy) M",LhոG__\#J2Z̓K؄ J*; .^ևX=_PqKr|HuVש[B碪jFyL{16:T'ᴊ4H]a&Ӭԗ +E@xSlQytUydbH,! "(%DƂH*sLu+4֗3̸PXȮ8EbBz4qcȖ$a(k:i"˧ME&eםR% oѴb]V5e^==XzvaQW˖XjpsݟX`|Lޣh>wIӭ;96UM1ck` l)X8i]ˊߧFԞs,53u^uo|5۞nk6S{1r]zO&5ԧTɕ E]Y {kљV~ZDNryfg:'nIe~Mޯ;՟K7o&{sG{8O;?scks?1W-\Z[ޢF 0=z'ȓ^r݇A$mv~#+psff[udKCAp斻裓3D.dDY ޭ&wz4聰sOk+~=f142fkkٹ̥аS۾2Z*;Xf6{cUUѓ( _ꥸ_lEƓր&vTڂdA,ϫ7t3ߘ I,{GfOڴYH!">jz[bcuxa  Zϴ~Yүfuc43ܦS qz5g5O^)Mt" 8G7 )]~L:gRHr#@/ţ,Mj>OԏOKޯ<tyEk8Kq]qsUhV`Cl̐!Lp2yi³ӚYcbZO+2ȣ 7ut:}絻\fg־FANV=qI[}zOcm=׳#8EtZJS[QX$櫮kXOI v[3<3k+U׹_s |'CX0- e^ckr>7-`}\T2^XMS\0VXKBTLJ,OkGFHRc-U=ɔ]1/16Ƈ"TH'C0~Sc욼)RзX׷ofwzZ +;WӬ:F 9r_YpT!claLm?yz9=;-6Im{vmA7ϖt0nDb@eC"Slh‰kno᭎ɽ[EbQޘ3P˘ޛȒtGmcP^C=,ON3ۈ])5mnFMlg5ʧURͳ.ƹA[vkZ?5 kC@. &ϥ8FDT}|<c起C0 6*rswxp9rU[1F^VKX's$Z>'~Ώ_9c۰}R˧8{ל$qnvY:[}-oougW0$ay9l]|`~zwTROɴsolV{-%_/UأXONJu\J (=Uӯvڢ읏w:?Cb@l|6;oKI t<1NSAF\[ۈ\]X[]H[@@@@@@@ @SAQ]X[]@@@=0    /l  ddA@@@AB|@@000 @@@@p 0@P`q 2#AS$b5&&'7(!BT5=t   $L"!21ABQRbr#aq$3S6dsCD@@@+o RQToe]Ko=s/lITmA+Mtngd"_"/yoӧS#[s@@r uTѾ\_*[SLJ|&5F-/7ݍȕؚeX'P07QMԩv%lB$-7V_b%fkj_ ׫E3KjIGT{\E}k{/8Z+|5HEuQ:u=?W׫ >vB"pNֆϛ^8:h&bgPNVj 1y9_o1T*{_Ֆ/ip%Z5Zۜݠr5_Z ,r_CYqcw{d$nҒtU 9#쨩Kͬ5p6G0UkOV%+r$DUqRQq>& [KT;])^zM"l"Ed0 :b]esbušPr itO @RU7_NLleӑs % [VD[ D={wt zZrda#!X6d* j.^STI.b%t|s> ŨH#igٽDO͉GJ5aɢZ_vZǓQe툛qY:Lճ}]2&hȵً *=61peVin وn0O%V5N߹ [;+].,+S?]Y^MݕWѓ\4G@7:آ)tR$ErDRJȡ^Z톅NS ۋW:w!A!E#ˠظ,38ҍGS6R{uCUzLu,uSCX?Qe6s63!x+ՐUD Kjš< lEmߋqZ;nFMQ6DOAf8! f5 ~yW}a3%_'L2.%P!*H9ӑ<*Qh\M-imUMiv4m_|ATӛpHԻn$;-w0z5("JpS^È8t5?1QI͎8GA +umvqѶjK LAZZT+ D mK)΃[{vUW*h s0"u&ezX$Gݻv6Zi%1ط96l;eO5$9 B$1nmnld1IA#<\oѓ?huxL/dDpGvN1Tk􈏿+1M]פyzNZގ6k%:y[LoX.M}܉%Ma~|W]& G/@WlLZm1PQ'ώo6mĝIbs\)yO9f"~%dY%I9n>0į(h;XLg3\ɚQ eUXetTAT3zf{̔\Fp)`]K|Qp)'D.+9i'_,VK2нkeM@s&3E:HƐ) elPӡc D$Yf,8"*UP-EUDS]z3uBVrR2wxcA2xKXHQ[?uZnlf 璼ZQ5ֿIY5H, D nR۩ip-yu .!'R7^!9ݧrq)%Gy%Oh$7,`YտnQ9dQ6 urjyQQO2O6x!ܭu7]iyz ;$j†IC9XjC:nZ-l $A⸭ycvc]¿ZfSb%:8ڙr߷4z Zb=:5IƧG 2ZK|m */UWjU߀X/'&\MQDW}&\:O Ў92 .Ӗ6֤Y;*MXҕ6BQuIv N0J7Pr :8ӬHXBvR=!-ty|yz6[)ǥ@U{" BeS$ΆFDG}t[+XR3O8WEDz!dYA<[aфve&dfO7b>`*CSz5(7{`tc zikt5.d5IhW ˈd[ Jtv*q1$MZ|GODn Z{TqǪ,})ړdZk-Tu0}`&X)+r xThQTUuۗYzOe2#j4邎l^<ƛ4)b%ly{MgGQQ4L|wwc ` /ݯo÷C8Zؕ+3KYj2ԧҊ꾂 ybE~3rrjve*F]u bt],sQ 1ZעǯK+\4 цQhq7uИ r ]jy@#:I]Zgi|5xPy9b3:[Sw'ona |6qEtA˿VخpKң8^4=4nJ$\ZEJVs[]h~O7 w_0ᱫ%nkp<}74ՂΝC?U. Rv M::i}C` mWrd:cDGm;~ ik^`t^wcL 5ruEY1Aꤜ xuPHTkT-C*(.zr-F6%ɦ =Ņ.PSǑ$5fSB+M,FiԜ74¢l<-;) @s.׻: OTۑ *2֒uFUof$5$A-\Wo%VZ8̶>D fZtxm+><)X18&F`6N=6v"6u-Q78""DŽ%<]?i9sZv4c 2z c:TkR5]r>[prn! .*J lN"XVn52[R"3RRRV 9" ;G6[Fɺ"(/6~޳v=["!o/w^%ESXmS.?4$.Ad5gn;{h!Z>##G};*ͧ ILA]^/5&k&JB)^ICWEDAѓCl 'cM`QUR1uWܪ$[z{Su;q􄔫 &EeW&OPPK\\ŔAtUv&z+-*Q1[Q^;[j98 A@PbzBla04ӨNSy'vOX8C@.r8D [qqvT/8)ʭM6hhd2bJ/!URE]]BwXV^z8BD!T8I"A7NB[ 苿v_Qv-eN6h⋨ qDJ_n=JJ ޼bPnC ;37-KN "ވaTXEf0XuWVuA2,QfȘ~,7A S>I9DzhzQpHT`8Zh {G/oyU(pc`[ x6{A6\j$8JeWuR 7a |"/LOe]e,r8٢ twoXpկSTl]&dܞH "*ura^1h%A&a,yVsmw!e57WK$WRSnJNJDw AA!'][ ڟb,i&AKTfzEHy \~gٱ2ۓ^Eꃶ4nr5l ~Y*QvH7To/cr |)]dMFs~ppA-2IT ]E3DD-"H+jnZu!uء"S CH#/}N)Ae0"KYaEwS}^{ .!=n7iXED;\񡟣vj^}6o^d;Ti^o%oVF j!;Ud8񮪜=1r$d/1V˵ =]6L.5eHuKH]~qZ Rt=d$ tY_S evκ;7GLϹښ-+gYsƳORȱIQǤ.az ZWQVv_B;.˸͈*ǥG,Yim, zƪ/,,f幒s qri͢a^܈ۍ*NR`oʵYrk͏^ʙ!!6/W"}u#3rXlM=f ScJ)U6]i2n|UG%jWGXMpDGMS^-^8nY̔Jef|ECa_Ʌ qiy%ꛩ3}QvnNZ*&&\Eiiߦ6n\.DW)/0=|@Wsz~])RlO"og] ];-@X]qu: y/4{H˻z=M#*שy)HjWRj ڴ&(@qX7VTiI1Jv\J "WNh]ԝCByFp.jin-uƲsp%J`k+a.%$zfm> i($h?%ThaXԖT5icr$̍K9Y]JO.;z/U_:s<e_Wҗv+{a!yqOG?H\ UZ<Ēn\'C$匮{Hy,7[G=Eԉn% 7iR#"h$Aq}Wc;RM=1O \L7Qw6Ť:`AJ =Dkp fy %8v':J $ƎQ^^&$PfCjիCܺ4~_lNX5LkA_EGsVD9 67t$"# :q3URHR${mGcX f,[}޺[5ݘ-VuG2%Q)@26EH7Tn[nCx!yMrD ELWQ}Y:/k,}f!34CX|Ii k/ƵJ'=eD_c6jJ~țl.cfHPܐyZQ] kfaxKSWs鍮5 [QuZ'#,EDYgdӲ^kZ=$i1h'k7ײ f&;uHdzy)!x<^9$@fɖduvzBf%Ńl`eyED-5ڢ$:]72Sc-"Tj5"OysT:VA>TnlG-+>,$d[4E}D$ѯc_hiVVpK[ϘFj%r@ 6Ep }:A\wSʛ7Fy )qUMTQ$< *&KJ|x|Ÿu*ho6KXBG|JJyYM 1 ^H{!|.ׯi9Tc"2Mn%=tLF+}FjYQmU p}yWE˹kBv: 02p rM];i}IWe5 X ]qSpFψn =.2 2TpGAzhqNHN"nD ui$#4_6[1#h8K^ieTu 98vUiIz/G+"g՜"mToIfjݟ R]y4JMFd*dHՆ K]28r4!Ǹv^Ti-yRVѰ#.Df7Ո[RhU+լȽ[mvrR-:Hqm44J-X$ !d .cĽcYzK&RhC./ u0j̩l@*6;%> GYMѨq5Mpよ\HRQK'plx&ɿung89lU!;P|X ީjf BՌ扸m2M-aGmqvAA_wVl>j!9*5me*Vl9k&mK q8fv>yuVn8&cQ+iGj;oc$[R*J8Ń@;KĔ~ճF%1lU~baJ:^xsW! ٌC9+ʜ<2P0Jz+ݵ6܉K$m j.h]H79I>dWJ\~G[$NuC/̧fU4PE֤19̖B>gAh<ʘW߲ڶܡ9( v"H#2\ķ$T KE#*iqQھ 'H3fl Ъ4*3 N$RP ;r( pf=@G 6s[ls4kȆHV$Lv ڢo+Mi~)-OpRī+g Y*Bx),0+bt xqA}:_Nݪwv'@1I?Y@V-el-'[Z Z)dpi%i);6Tr%:D$PWͦ&߁}jY#;f FxypL:'z̓_]-4FiR#3K9Gn1fˈ%xBQi"`xƑhb2T p`=I<%V*@2519$_;)z3kPtlLIDMϳb5;JgY6C!M3 ⵦ1gmlfXpʡF mEBS{! 4y\H[uݻ˃.F*YJf\͍ʐrF2́x#@3-D !uX伂e:k ԍ`a2K9,*l˝3{xܑ=9AqHd-wGxay5I3YcgavpVr|Q2ERSmEmSmə#M`Y(BR/w֯VfT9R@WAy) M",LhոG__\#J2Z̓K؄ J*; .^ևX=_PqKr|HuVש[B碪jFyL{16:T'ᴊ4H]a&Ӭԗ +E@xSlQytUydbH,! "(%DƂH*sLu+4֗3̸PXȮ8EbBz4qcȖ$a(k:i"˧ME&eםR% says:

    Some books are almost impossible to review If a book is bad how easily can we dwell on its flaws But if the book is good how do you give any recommendation that is equal the book? Unless you are an author of equal worth to the one whose work you review what powers of prose and observation are you likely to have to fitly adorn the work? 'The Hobbit' is at one level simply a charming adventure story perhaps one of the most charming and most adventurous ever told There see how simple that was? If you haven't read it you should because it is quite enjoyable At some level there is little to say Enjoy the story as the simple entertainment it was meant to be Read it to your children and luxuriate in the excitement and joy that shines from their faces That's enoughBut if it was only simple entertainment I do not think that it would be anything than just a good book Instead this simple children's story resonates and fascinates It teases and hints at something larger and grander and it instructs and lectures as from one of the most subtle intellects without ever feeling like it is instructing lecturing or being condescendingAt its heart the complaint I opened the review with is just a variation on one of the many nuanced observations Tolkien makes in 'The Hobbit' when he complains that a story of a good time is always too quickly told but a story of evil times often requires a great many words to cover the events thereof How often has that idea fascinated meConsider also how the story opens with Bilbo's breezy unreflective manners which are polite in form but not in spirit and Gandalf's continual meditation on the meaning of 'Good morning’ How much insight is concealed within Gandalf's gentle humor How often do we find ourselves like Bilbo saying something we don't really mean and using words to mean something very unlike their plain meaning How often do we find ourselves saying I don't mean to be rude but when in fact we mean I very much mean to be rude and here it comes If we did not mean to be rude surely we wouldn't say what we say Instead we mean I'm going to be rude but I don't want you to think I'm someone who is normally rude or I'm going to put myself forward but I don't want you to think of me as someone who is normally so arrogant or even I'm going to be rude but I don't want to think of myself as someone who is rude so I'm going to pretend I'm not being rudeI think that is what makes this than just a good book but a great one Tolkien is able to gently skewer us for our all too human failings and he does so without adopting any of the cynicism or self loathing so common with those that seek out to skewer humanity for its so evident failings We fantasize about heroes which are strong and comely of form and we have for as long as we've had recorded literature Our comic books are filled with those neo pagan mythic heroes whose exaggerated human virtues always amount to whatever else may be true of them 'beats people up good' These modern Ajaxs Helens and Achilles dominate the box office and I would imagine dominate our internal most private fantasy lives as well Oh sure the superhero of our fantasy might have superhuman ethics to go along with his superhuman ability to kick butt attract the opposite sex and enforce their will upon others but it is always attached to and ultimately secondary to our fantasy of power and virility How different is Tolkien's protagonist from Heracles Lancelot Beowulf or Batman short small mundane and weak Of all the principal characters of the story he possesses probably the least of that quintessential heroic attribute martial prowessAnd yet he is not actually merely an 'average Joe' Bilbo is just as much an exaggerated idealized hero as Heracles it's just that those attributes in which Bilbo is almost transcendently inhuman isn't the sort of attributes we normally fantasize about having ourselves Bilbo is gentle He is simple He is humble Power and wealth have little attraction for him He is kind He takes less than his share and that that he takes he gives away He is a peacemaker Though wrongly imprisoned he bears no grudge and desires no vengeance for the wrongs done to him Rather he apologizes for stealing food and offers to repay in recompense far than he took Though mistreated he harbors no enmity He never puts himself forward but he never shirks when others do How often do we fantasize about being this different sort of hero and yet how much better we would be if we did? How much better off would we be if we like Thorin could declare in our hearts There is in you of good than you know child of the kindly West Some courage and some wisdom blended in measure If of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold it would be a merrier world How often is it that we hunger after all the wrong things? What profit would we really have if we had in great measure the power to 'beat people up good'? What real use could we put it too? How much better off would we be individually and as a people if we most desired to be graced with Bilbo's virtues rather than Achilles speed strength and skill with arms? How much less mature does this mere children's book of a well lit world cause our darker fantasies to seem?Now I admit I am biased in my review I read this book 36 times before the age of 16 I broke the spines of three copies of it with continual reading Yet in my defense I will say that I'm considered only a moderate fan of the book by many I've known several devotees of the book who like the protagonist of Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' can recite whole chapters from memory ensuring that this would be one of the few books that would survive the sudden destruction of all the world's technology if only the world's story tellers survived If you are inclined to think no book can be that good and that my review overhypes it so much the better Go in with low expectations so as to be certain that they will be met or exceeded Forget all I have said save that If you haven't read it you should because it is quite enjoyable