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Our book club had admirable goals in reading The Hobbit by JR Tolkien. The boys in our group, many of whom are fantasy fans, were definitely the most excited to read the first of the 3 part trilogy. I on the other hand was coached into reading the book, as I am not a fantasy fan. But.... on the journey through the book, encountering Bilbo's adventures with spiders, goblins, wizards and dragons, I disappeared into a world of childhood dreams, filled with life size spiders, hideous creatures and vivid conquests.
The main conflict of the story is Bilbo's versus himself, as he struggles against dragons and other creatures to fulfill his destiny, and rescue the treasure in the Lonely Mountain. The other part of the conflict is the whole group versus Smaug the dragon. Good versus evil is interwoven throughout the story, and the magic ring which brings invisible power, becomes the very heart of the legend in subsequent books. Although we could not decipher any Christian analogy, we had to agree that some of the creatures were definitely more Satanic than others.
Many of us could identify with Bilbo Baggins as being a most noble and courageous character, even though at the beginning he did whine a lot about missing his breakfast (which is another whole theme on its own!). We loved the fact that he made riddles, learned wisdom about being a burglar (no irony intended:) courage and confidence along the way, and had the support of friends in their ancestral home of Middle Earth.
Book clubbers were eager to share visual links of the characters in the story, and chat about their favourite characters. Some wanted to read the next in the series right away. Some even said it was their best book EVER!! A few members enjoyed the descriptive writing, but found the plot confusing. We all agreed that Tolkien is an amazing writer, and can be enjoyed by adults and older children alike.
Our next Book Club meeting will take place on February 23, sign in at 7.30 pm. We will read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Please let me know if you would like to join us!