Go to Homepage   J. R. R. Tolkien, David Wenzel, Charles Dixon and Sean Deming: The Hobbit, An Illustrated Editon of the Fantasy Classic [Abridged]

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsDel Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-44560-0
Short, furry guy gets hoodwinked into long journey to make short bearded guys rich. Okay, okay -- so you want a bit more detail than that, right? Well, once upon a time there was this hobbit…

Book: Tolkien, The hobbit, illustrated edition of a fantasy classicSo what can I tell you about Tolkien's The Hobbit, that you don't already know? The basic premise of a mild mannered and reserved gentleman undertaking a hazardous yet ultimately world-saving and fulfilling journey still enthralls readers of all ages. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of impeccable taste despite his descent into thief-hood, discovers hidden depths of courage as he wanders deeper and deeper into danger. Bilbo plays an integral part of a dwarvish party led by Thorin Oakenshield in an attempt to reclaim Thorin's grandfather's home (and don't forget the treasure) from the clutches of the evil dragon, Smaug. All of this nicely and neatly arranged by the enigmatic wizard, Gandalf, of course.

Told from the viewpoint of a humble hobbit who definitely doesn't like adventures, we see the reluctant Bilbo confusing ogres, dodging goblins, riddling with a scary fellow named Gollum and doing his level hobbit best to avoid a whole host of adversaries from spiders to elves to dragons. We watch the young hobbit grow into a character strong enough to face the trials that await him at the Lonely Mountain and, finally, to stand up to his relatives -- a challenge far worse than facing a mere dragon.

This printing of The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of a Fantasy Classic stands out from the crowd. One hundred thirty-four pages of David Wenzel's wonderful illustrations with text and language carefully kept in Tolkien's signature style makes this book a joy to read for almost any age group. Some of the more subtle parts of the original are missing but Charles Dixon's and Sean Deming's adaptation of the storyline and characterizations keep the spirit of Tolkien's delightful tale virtually intact.

The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of a Fantasy Classic makes a wonderful collection book for Tolkien fans or a good introduction for readers who find delving into the original text version of The Hobbit unpalatable. This printing provides a splendid way to see how the Lord of the Rings series originated, with detailed drawings that superbly illustrate the ancient lands and people Tolkien wrote into his tales.

Stephen Smith

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