With so many books and novels out there, you never know which one will meet your expectations or if any of them will be the next surprise in your life.
As people who enjoy a good book every week, we can relate to the journey of finding new masterpieces and trying to get a bit out of the classics and enjoy new genres and authors.
However, classics are exactly that for a reason, and we can’t avoid loving them even if we tried to.
Just take The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien as an example; who doesn’t love it after giving it a try and reading how the adventure it offers is out of this world and everything you have read so far and could find among the new novels?
If you haven’t read it yet, we will just tell you you are missing a great piece of work that isn’t popular for whatever reason. Instead, it has so many strong points that it is hard for us to tell you why it is one of the best fantasy novels to this date.
To encourage you to give it a try (finally) and share some of our fascinations, we will be reviewing some of the details fans and nonreaders would love to know.
Knowing the Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Learn about the author of a book or novel if you truly want to understand where the entire story comes from and to appreciate it a bit more, either if you’ve read it or thinking about doing it.
Thus, we will start with the basics and the story of the author in specific.
Behind this magnificent novel, we will find the author J. R. R. Tolkien, who was born in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, on January 3, 1892. He was an English poet and writer who left a huge mark on literature with more than the book we will discuss here.
Going to his childhood and family, Arthur Reuel Tolkien was his father, who was an English bank clerk, and his mother was Mabel nee Suffield.
Ronald, who was three years old, visited England with his mother and his younger brother. However, during their visit, his father died in South Africa from rheumatic fever, which left Mabel and her children without any income source.
As a result, Tolkien was split up in his childhood between two communities: Sarehole, a rural community south of Birmingham, and Birmingham itself that was darkly urban.
After spending several years, he was sent to King Edward’s School to then move with his family to King’s Heath, where the house was backed onto the railway track.
Ronald’s imagination was stimulated when he saw coal trucks heading to South Wales, with destinations like Nantyglo and Penrhiwceiber, which allowed him to start his linguistic and literary career in the niche.
After a while, his family moved again, and this time, they went to Edgbaston, which is a much more pleasant suburb of Birmingham by the time and continues to be.
Unfortunately, the family’s future was divided when Mabel and her sister May were accepted at the Roman Catholic Church in 1900.
As a result, his younger brother and Ronald were raised in the Pio Nono faith and have remained faithful Catholics ever since.
Despite having a hard childhood, Tolkien enjoyed literature and linguistics in his youth. He encountered constructed language in his teens while learning Latin and Anglo-Saxon.
He spent his entire life at Exeter College, Oxford. There he studied classics and then switched to English language literature. He graduated with first-class honors from this major in 1915.
Between 1915 and 1920, when Britain entered World War I, he also served in the military.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s story is quite extensive, and we need to review another part of his life to fall into the creation of The Hobbit as one of his iconic pieces of work.
His Professional Career: Professor & Author
Falling to his career after finishing college and growing in the literature and linguistics world, Tolkien came up with many ideas for stories and masterpieces.
However, The Hobbit came after several of them even when many people believe it was followed by the Lord of the Rings or, on the contrary, before the latter was even written, being this last part the right statement and mark in history.
What you might not know about most authors in the 1930s is that most of them were busy working in other areas and, in the case of Tolkien and for most of his adult years, he was a teacher of English language and literature at Oxford from 1925 to 1959, and initially in Leeds from 1920 to 1925.
He was often busy with academic duties, as well as acting as an examiner at other universities.
His scholarly publications were few and influential, including a standard edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1925).
Tolkien enjoyed writing in private the story we are interested in the most: The series of elaborate fantasy stories, many of them dark and sad, set within a world he had created, and among them, the most significant and longest of these stories was The Hobbit, which was published in 1937 and included pictures or illustrations of the author.
It was so well-received that its publisher requested a sequel. The result was The Lord of the Rings, an updated version of the amazing masterpiece that included some elements, including a magic ring we will learn about in the latter novel.
Plot Summary – What Is the Hobbit About?
The Hobbit is one of those novels that can be difficult to explain in a simple summary without giving many spoilers while still providing enough information to attract new readers.
We could stick to the simple three lines included in most pages, but we believe that if we want you to give it a try or feel proud of our introduction to the book, we have to include more than that. Therefore, expect something without spoilers yet very accurate.
The novel is set in Middle Earth, Tolkien’s complex fantasy world. Maps of Middle Earth are carefully drawn in the book to ensure you can find your location throughout the story, which adds even more detail to the storyline and how you can follow the characters.
They include the peaceful and fertile Shire as well as the Mines of Moria and the Lonely Mountain. Each region of Middle Earth has its own history and characters.
The Shire, the land of the hobbits, is where the story starts.
The Shire is reminiscent of an English pastoral country, with the hobbits being quiet, rural people who avoid adventure and travel.
Bilbo Baggins is the main character of the story and is shocked to discover that he hosts a group of dwarfs and Gandalf, the great wizard.
They decide that the time is right to travel to the Lonely Mountain to retake the treasure of the dwarves from the dragon, and they have chosen Bilbo as their “burglar” to join the expedition.
Although initially reluctant to join, Bilbo eventually agrees, and they set off far from the Shire, heading into increasingly dangerous parts of Middle Earth.
Bilbo and his team meet a variety of animals, both beautiful and terrifying, on their journey, while Bilbo is challenged and discovers his inner strength, loyalty, and cunning.
Every chapter is a unique interaction with a different set of characters and new challenges that include trolls, goblins, a black forest, and many other locations that will bring the story to the climax every single time.
Big Hit as a Novel: Copies & Earnings
With over 100 million copies sold, The Hobbit is part of the best-seller in history, and with an average price set at $15, you bet it has made over $2 billion in earnings to this date.
Although there aren’t specific statistics about how many copies were sold during his first release, the novel was a big hit despite being written for children originally.
Many people are unaware of the reason behind the book being for children, but it actually isn’t when you take a closer look at it and the deep story that follows Bilbo and the rest of our main characters.
People loved how complex yet enjoyable it was and continues to be despite all the details and attention you have to pay to follow the story.
Also, it isn’t exactly short when it comes to how long it will take to read it, but it is worth every single minute you spend on it.
If you ask us, the novel can be a bit slow for most people in the beginning, but when the action starts, you feel you are always in the climax of the story when there’s much more left to learn about.
The adventure doesn’t get boring, and each character shows an amazing development. You can relate to them, either main or secondary ones, and we can’t pick a favorite based on their personalities and influence in the story.
Best Film Series? Following the Legacy of the Novel
To this point, you must be aware there isn’t one, but rather three films made of the book, and all of them are astonishingly popular and our favorites in terms of fantasy, very close to The Lord of the Ring movies released before them.
The first film released in 2021 was named “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which follows the premise we gave you during the book’s plot.
In fact, the film series is a continuation of the entire book since, as you will notice, it isn’t particularly short, as we mentioned.
The second film came the following year and was named “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” while in 2014, the last part, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” was released.
The first film had a budget of $300 million, and it broke many records with a box office of $1 billion. The second far followed with $959 million and the final one with $962.2 in the box office.
The movies are quite off for us since the book isn’t actually that long to set it for a trilogy (yes, we know what we said before).
The fact that it is detailed and explicit about the adventures of our characters is what allowed the director and members to set three films for the over 300 pages novel.
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