Friday, July 18, 2014

The Hobbit: Starting point

Judging from the comments I've seen (let alone the ones I'm sure Lacy and Roomie have seen), The Hobbit would appear to be a super popular book. Now that my head's a bit more clear and I'm not due for any more surgerying in the immediate future, I think it's high time for me to dive in on my first book read! :D

So basically, I know this is one of the classic D&D novels. Which is exciting for a lot of reasons. I actually own this book, I've owned a copy since I was born (or before, not sure). It's really nice; it's softcover, about the size of standard paper, I guess, and it has this big elaborate picture of a red dragon on it. Roomie and I spent a good ten minutes looking on the web through various editions of the book and holy smokes has it ever been in print all the several million times. It's this one, by the way.

Anyway, as a kid it just seemed like a book too intimidating there we go that took a moment too intimidating to pick up and read, though of course I flipped through it and there was art. Seem to remember it being nice art. So yeah, I've had the book bopping around at home for however long and never picked it up. Go me.

I called my grandparents, and they mailed it down to me, so now here we are and I'm about to get started. Extremely stoked, you guys! :D

First, though, to get out of the way what I do and do not know:

Hobbits are halflings. There was no force on Earth that was going to keep that leak from me. People have been spilling the beans on that one so much that giants are now an endangered species.

• There is a dragon! Or a very large lizard which is red and sits on a pile of gold. I saw those covers, guys, there's a dragon. You're not going to convince me otherwise. I hope I'm not wrong on this one, I fail to see how a classic D&D book can have no D.

• It's about an adventure! Obviously. D&D book.

• There's a dungeon crawl! Obviously. D&D book.

• I'm sure I know more about the book than I know that I know. I feel like the book gets talked about with respect to... something. I'm sure I know something more about this book and it's ridiculously frustrating that it's not coming together in my brain.

• Actually I think this one has a magic dagger or magic knife or... maybe a magic short sword but I think dagger for a halfling. If it's actually the stupid magic spoon that makes gruel I'm going to laugh, though.

• The Hobbit is the main character.

• The Hobbit is a rogue and probably one of the earliest examples of linking halflings and roguery.

• There are definitely mountains. I don't know if they go over or under but a good dungeon crawl would suggest mine dungeon time :D

• I'm just generally COMPLETELY SOLD on the idea of getting to read a classic fantasy novel. Folks, this is going to be an awesome time. :D

So I think for this format, I'll do chapter by chapter reviews. Unless they're really short, then I might do a few at a time. We'll see how it goes. Review only, since first impressions doesn't work in book form, I don't think.

It's 1 AM somehow and itchyface yawnmaster Jeremy is saying bedtime, so bookreading youfolkstalkingto Jeremy is going to sign off now. Tomorrow, I begin my ALMIGHTY QUEST OF HALFLING POWER!

Seriously so very stoked for this. :D


  1. The hero of this book isn't the first halfling rogue- he's the first halfling! The author, J.R.R. Tolkien, invented halflings. He also invented elves, dwarves, and goblins as we know them; there were things with those names in mythology, but they were more like fairies. He also invented the word "orc," but they're not the orcs you're familiar with.

    D&D is basically a cross between Tolkien's work and the older Sword and Sorcery genre (which includes Conan the Barbarian).

    1. In fairness they're not all that far from the orcs he's familiar with either. Bit less tribal, I guess.

  2. You seem to be under the impression that this is a D&D book or maybe a classical fantasy book. It's not, this is the original fantasy. Most everything else is ripoffs and derivatives.


  3. Yeah, hurry up and read it so you can watch the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition trilogy. Because not reading the Hobbit is what I'm gathering is preventing you from seeing those movies, based on the thread. And you need to see those three movies. They're awesome both as films and their musical scores.

  4. Oh, that edition is cool. I love the one my mom passed down to me, but I'd like to get my hands on that.

    As mentioned, this isn't the first halfling rogue, this is the first halfling anything. This is where halflings come from. And I guess red dragons too, come to that.

    1. I've still got my edition from the 70's, with a cover drawing by Tolkien himself.
      (I don't think the image is clear enough to pose any spoiler danger)

    2. The one my mother gave me has the same illustration, but is a different cover.

      But I also have this completely hideous copy from the 80s, which it my traveling copy. My mother's copy I want to preserve for years to come.

  5. There exist honest to goodness D&D books. Authorized by the publishers of D&D. This is not one of them. It predates D&D by a good 4 decades. D&D, and pretty much all modern fantasy concepts, (including things you wouldn't think about, like "creating a world that isn't this one" Conan was "pre written word earth". John Carter was Mars. Jack Vance's Dying Earth was earth so far in the future that the sun was about to die. Narnia was a different world, but had a connection to ours. erm, all those examples are classic fantasy. The only classic fantasy I can think of that also created it's own world was Fafred and the Grey Mouser stories.) stem from this one.

    1. And even then, I'm pretty sure Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser started out on Earth, or else they visited in a couple of stories.

    2. It's complicated. An early draft of an early story had them on Earth somewhere around ancient Persia, but Lieber later created a fantasy world for them; he used that story, adding a framework by which the two of them were transported to Earth and had their memories altered to fit in, then later went back to their world.

  6. Calling this a D&D book is like calling Rock Music a Dubstep derivative.

  7. The Hobbit is excellent. Please keep in mind though, The Hobbit was written to be enjoyed by both children and adults. So there are a lot of fairytale-like aspects and silly bits for the kids. If you want straight-up adult fare, I recommend The Lord of the Rings).

    1. I've been given to understand that he's going to watch the LOTR movies after he finishes this book.