Poor Bilbo Baggins! An unassuming and rather plump hobbit (as most of these small, furry-footed people tend to be ), Baggins finds himself unwittingly drawn into adventure by a wizard named Gandalf and 13 dwarves bound for the Lonely Mountain, where a dragon named Smaug hordes a stolen treasure. Before he knows what is happening, Baggins finds himself on the road to danger. (via amazon.co.uk)
I am so glad to have finally read this book! I've been a fan of The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy for years, and so have been meaning to get around to reading the original works by Tolkien himself. I have to admit though that it was all this talk about the upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit which gave me the drive to pick up the book itself (these days I'm trying to be good and read the books before I watch the films). Now I can sit back and watch the development of Peter Jackson's latest quest with safe insight into what's coming up!
In terms of the book itself, I was not dissapointed. You really get the feeling that you are an extra member of the excursion to the lonely mountain, following the courageous and intelligent hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the dwarves and the wizard Gandalf on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain treasures from the evil dragon Smaug. All the changing surroundings and eclectic characters are described beautifully, and while this is a somewhat long and perilous adventure, there is no shortage of magic, cheer or even of song.
Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit for his children, so if you have kids of your own who enjoy stories of enchantment then it's likely that they'll love this. Of course, the appeal doesn't stop there - there is enough in this book to appeal to many adults. This is also the prelude to The Lord Of The Rings series (though you do not need to read one to enjoy the other), and from what I understand they are more orientated towards an older audience.
Personally, I can't wait to read the rest of Mr Tolkien's books!