Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins, a comfort loving creature of the land of Middle-Earth, is recruited by the wizard Gandalf to help a group of dwarves defeat a dragon and recover their homeland/a bunch of treasure.
Look if you haven't read this book, seen the movies, or have some idea whats going on you've found a mighty big rock to live under. The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, are probably some of the most amazingly epic adventure stories ever written. I am most certainly not kidding.
I have a long history with this book. At about 6 or so I remember mom getting the animated movie from the library. Totally hooked, but I had no idea what it was. A few years later I spent a night at a friend's house and spent all night reading his Hobbit graphic novel, but I never thought to look at the title. It wasn't for a few more years that I finally figured out what I was reading.
I read the book again in highschool, and at least a couple times since then. Love it. Its a classic beyond compare, probably my favorite book of all time.
Tolkien writes with an imagery that I rarely see elsewhere. His style is faintly British though it never goes to far. His words evoke a vision of a world that is both wild and beautiful.
One of my favorite things about The Hobbit is Bilbo's personal journey. It is made explicitly clear that hobbits are creatures of comfort. Bilbo likes a warm cozy home, good food, and a friend or two over for tea on occasion. He doesn't like adventure. Adventures are nasty things that make one late for dinner. But then he's roped into one by a mysterious wizard and a group of homeless dwarves.
As the quest to reach the Lonely Mountain and Smaug progresses, Bilbo changes from a comfort loving homebody to a capable burglar that the party consistently relies on. He also acquires a useful piece of jewelry which will be the centerpiece of the next series of books in the land of Middle-Earth...
For a book this special, I felt my collection need something a little...extra. A paperback is simply not good enough. A little extra got me a leather bound copy, gold trimmed pages, and complete with some very nice illustrations done by Tolkien for the original. It was money well spent.
General rating: *****
Edit: For some reason it keeps turning all the photos I took sideways.