He loosened his dagger in its sheath, tightened his belt, and went on.
I would like to state that this wasn’t the first time I read this book. Not this late in my life, no. But it has been a while, and it was in German, and it was from my school library, and now I own a copy and it is in English.
Of course I would never dare saying that I didn’t like this book. From a very general perspective, of course, I thought it was utterly and incomparably brilliant. The depth of the world, the creativity of the lands, the imagining of the monsters and creatures. That is perfection.
And no matter what I will have to say following this, I will always recommend this book to anyone who asks and not asks me about it. (Kind of forced it on a friend already.)
Yes, on a personal level, I didn’t like the book as much. This has several (minor, um… personal) reasons. The first one being that the book couldn’t hold me quite as captured as I would have hoped. Sometimes, yes, I was glued to the pages, but at other times I just had to stop reading because I couldn’t get into it. Tying in with that is the second reason, I wasn’t quite happy about the writing style. As a children’s book it is of course different from what I usually read, and it was appropriate, but sometimes it was too much for me. Furthermore, the latter merging into the third reason, I really cannot abide narrator commentary. I feel like shouting: “Shut up! I want to make up my own mind. And please stop giving things away!”
“Well done! Mr. Baggins! There is always more about you than anyone expects!”
As a child, I am sure that Bilbo was my favourite character. From an adult perspective, however, I found Thorin’s development much more interesting, his princely presence and his ensuing downfall. (I am fighting very hard to not make this about Richard Armitage, who played him in the film version.)
As with just about every book I read, I feel like the end came too fast, too summarized, and here in a way that seemed hardly plausible after all the adventures on the journey to the Lonely Mountain. Still, why haven’t I moved on to the Lord or the Rings yet?
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.