I read The Hobbit forty years ago when I was almost ten years old. At that age, with a limited reading experience, it was difficult for me to read continuously for many hours. But with the reading of this story, everything changed. For the first time I was able to read for five hours without interruption.
The story was so captivating that I could not put it aside to eat or to play. And how could it be otherwise? Who would not like to find an imaginable treasure? Or to defeat a dragon? Like no other storyteller – and they are many and great, from classical Greek Homer to Brothers Grimm, George McDonald, and C.S. Lewis – Tolkien has an incredible narrative talent which captivates and makes you participate in an extremely lively way in the adventures of his heroes. But Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and so many other characters are not just the creation of a genius storyteller.
Like in Plato’s dialogues, they are the embodiment of high moral virtues and values. For instance, by the low height of the hobbits Tolkien illustrates the virtue of humility, while through the solemn, serious and at the same time cheerful appearance of Gandalf he embodies the qualities of Wisdom. That is why we strongly recommend the reading of Tolkien’s The Hobbit: it is not just an amazing story, but also a real and unexpected school of life and virtues.
- Author: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973)
- Original title: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
- Original language: English
- Genre: Fantasy novel
- The period of creation: 1930-1935
- Publication year: 1937
- Public: Adults, teenagers, children