21 Following


The Hobbit - Alan Lee, J.R.R. Tolkien I read this over a period of several months to my daughter at bedtimes. Although I've read The Lord of the Rings, I've never gotten around to this. Perhaps it's because I'm not particularly a fan of Tolkien. He's one of those authors who is very popular and, I feel, quite overrated. I probably never would have read this for my own benefit and now having read it my opinion of Tolkien remains unchanged.

My rating reflects my own personal opinion, not that of my daughter who quite enjoyed it as a whole, although even she did comment on the lack of female characters in the book; I cannot recall a single one. I found it dry, the prose at best servicable and the story quite dull.

I know the book has a lot of fans, most of which I suspect have fond memories of reading it in their youth, probably having little experience of what else the genre has to offer (at the time they read it). My problem is that because I've read so much fantasy over the years, I need something quite special and unique for my interest to be piqued nowadays. I might say, if I'm being charitable, that it's not really Tolkien's fault that his themes and tropes have been aped by so many other authors since. I'm sure it felt fresher and more original when it first appeared but I can't put it all down to that. There are many other works of fantasy from the time (and earlier) that do much more for me.

Still, I did enjoy reading it with my daughter and I may end up reading this again soon with my son, when he's old enough to enjoy it.