Thursday, May 3, 2012
another gap filled...
I know, I know--how the heck could I have lived for 48+ years without reading The Hobbit?!! I've never claimed to be well-read, and here's a prime example, huh? And you know what? This wasn't even one of those instances of "too many books" but instead was an instance of avoidance. I've just always had it in my head that it wasn't a book I'd really enjoy...
Despite the fact that I've never heard *anyone* say a bad word about it.
Despite the fact that people whose opinions I very much respect, and tend to generally match up pretty well with when it comes to books, love this book.
Despite the fact that I was afraid of The Lord of the Rings, and found I positively adored it when I finally dove in.
Still I doubted.
But then that darling husband of mine put it on his list for my happiness project. Combine that with the fact that I thought it would be a perfect choice for a school read with Gray *and* it's as perfect a choice for Once Upon a Time as likely exists...yeah, it was just time.
As everyone else on the planet has already read The Hobbit, it seems pointless to summarize or analyze or any other -ize it. (Okay, it's not really the pointlessness of it that is stopping me, but rather the fact that I suck at it and don't much enjoy doing it. :P )
But as for my expectations...well, they of course were proven wrong. I *did* enjoy this book. A great deal. Still, there's a few things I wish: 1.) That I'd read it as a kid. I have a feeling that I would have been positively captivated then, as multitudes of children have been over the years. And 2.) That I'd read it before The Lord of the Rings. Not because of the fact that the story takes place before those books, but because in some ways it felt somehow "less" than those amazing books. The Lord of the Rings has so much more depth and more darkness. I felt far more immersed in it than I did in Bilbo's story. (And yes, this begs the question--why have I never got around to reading The Return of the King. Another glaring omission in my reading. I don't know--I seem to have a problem with completion. I haven't yet read the third book in His Dark Materials either, another trilogy I'm completely in love with. /tangent) Anyway, while it's impossible to miss the similarities in the stories told in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I think it's also impossible to miss how very different they are as well.
Bottom line: I'm grateful that Rich "forced" me into finally reading The Hobbit (and I'm grateful that I decided to use it for school, because Gray is loving it!). I found it to be absolutely delightful, and in many ways the timing was perfect for me--escaping to Middle Earth was a great stress-reliever. And while I may not be as fond of it as I am of The Lord of the Rings (what I've read anyway :P ), it is a definite mark in the WIN column.
(Projects progress: happiness project, Rich's list of books
AND 50x50, #39-Read 50 classics
AND of course, it counts as a Once Upon a Time read)