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The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien
320 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Jeanne

An excellent work of fantasy with some faulty morality.

Plot

Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of the Shire, is picked by the wizard Gandalf to become an expert burglar for a group of thirteen dwarves. These thirteen are returning to their home under the Lonely Mountain to claim back the treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

Morality

As a burglar, it is of course Bilbo's job to steal things. The main part of his job is to reclaim the treasure which was already rightfully the dwarves', however. He shows a little lack of morality in cheating at a game of riddles to save his life (he cheats accidentally at first, but upon finding that it may work, he sticks to it).

There is prejudice on the part of some Elves the readers meet and the dwarves can be extremely greedy, but for the most part the "good" creatures act kindly and the "bad" creatures do not.

Spiritual Content

Gandalf is a wizard and can come and go as he wishes. The Elves are immortal.

Violence

The company must pass through a great many dangers to reach the Lonely Mountain, including capture by trolls, attacks by giant spiders, and assaults by goblins. Also, there is a battle at the end. None of the violence is graphic.

Drug and Alcohol Content

At one point, Bilbo and his companions float down a stream in beer barrels. There are mentions of beer and perhaps one mention of someone being inebriated.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

This is a well-written background to Tolkien's acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it can also stand on its own as a masterpiece of fantasy tales. The plot is solid and well thought through; the dialogue has a pleasant dose of humor; and Bilbo himself comes alive to the reader. For anyone who enjoys a rousing adventure, I would recommend they read this.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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