Unless you have been hiding in a hole you probably know that the movie, The Hobbit: An Unforgettable Journey hit the theaters yesterday. Now, if you are somewhat intelligent you probably know that the movie The Hobbit was based on the book The Hobbit written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again (Turtleback Scho Edition) (Google Affiliate Ad)
The other day my husband was in Target and he heard a teenage kid point to the books The Lord of the Rings and exclaim, "They made a book from the movie?" Now, I realize and desperately hope that that teenager was the minority. I hope that most people know that The Lord of the Rings and the The Hobbit were books first.
I actually did my thesis on how book based movies increase the desire to read the books. The biggest desire to read the books comes two months before the movie release date to one month after the release. Therefore, you have one more month to checkout the book. :) To be honest, I was one of those people that read The Hobbit within in that two months mark, and I was one of those people that read the book b/c the movie was coming out. However, to be completely honest, I mostly read the book b/c my husband loves Tolkien's books and was incredibly excited for the movie. My husband re-read The Hobbit this summer; I just finished the book days before the movie release.
I personally love and hate reading the books before I see the movie. I love having a reason to re-read a fabulous book, but I hate when characters in the movie don't match the way I imagined them while reading the book. I also have a difficult time when they change big parts of the story. The movie The Hobbit followed the book alright, but there were many parts that were completely added to the movie so that there is a better connection with The Lord of the Rings trilogy movies. I thought they mostly kept true to the Tolkien's style with the additions, but it wasn't flawless. All in all, the movie was alright. I would give it higher than the 2.5 out of 4 stars the critics gave it, but I wouldn't go higher than a 3. The movie was alright, the characters were good, and the cinematography was beautiful, but I didn't love all of the story additions. Plus, they didn't get as far in the story as I had imagined they would even though they did stop the story at a good stopping point. What did you think of the movie.
My husband and I had a mini-book club/discussion about The Hobbit. We both liked it, but I think boys like these high fantasy stories a bit more. I like the books, and I personally like The Hobbit the best of the Tolkien books, but I don't love them. I would give The Hobbit 4.5 stars b/c the writing is terrific and it's a great story. I think it looses that 1/2 of a star because high fantasy isn't my favorite and there were a couple of slower spots in the story. Overall, I would highly suggest this story to any good reader that is 5th grade or older. It is a great story.
For your convenience, Amazon has given the following review:
"The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding
member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded
dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased
when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to
look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would
expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey
stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins
fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13
fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit's doorstep in search of a
burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is
swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.
The dwarves' goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely
Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way,
they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening
wolves--and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from
whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest. It is from this
life-or-death game in the dark that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork, The
Lord of the Rings, would eventually spring. Though The Hobbit is
lighter in tone than the trilogy that follows, it has, like Bilbo Baggins
himself, unexpected iron at its core. Don't be fooled by its fairy-tale
demeanor; this is very much a story for adults, though older children will enjoy
it, too. By the time Bilbo returns to his comfortable hobbit-hole, he is a
different person altogether, well primed for the bigger adventures to come--and
so is the reader. --Alix Wilber"
Anyway, if you're going to watch the movie, you should most definitely consider reading the book first. It's 300 pages and can be read fairly quickly.
Any thoughts or comments on the book or the movie are always appreciated.