Book Reviews and Highlights

The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

  • Fantasy & Magic
  • Juvenile Fiction
  • In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit- hole, and that means comfort.
  • An Unexpected Party | Page: 1
  • They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off.
  • An Unexpected Party | Page: 2
  • All that the unsuspecting Bilbo saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots.
  • An Unexpected Party | Page: 4
  • “What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
  • An Unexpected Party | Page: 4
  • “I should think so— in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them,” said our Mr. Baggins, and stuck one thumb behind his braces, and blew out another even bigger smoke- ring.
  • An Unexpected Party | Page: 4
  • He was thinking once again of his comfortable chair before the fire in his favourite sitting- room in his hobbit- hole, and of the kettle singing. Not for the last time!
  • A Short Rest | Page: 46
  • Elves know a lot and are wondrous folk for news, and know what is going on among the peoples of the land, as quick as water flows, or quicker.
  • A Short Rest | Page: 50
  • Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
  • A Short Rest | Page: 51
  • “Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 69
  • Hobbits are not quite like ordinary people; and after all if their holes are nice cheery places and properly aired, quite different from the tunnels of the goblins, still they are more used to tunnelling than we are, and they do not easily lose their sense of direction underground— not when their heads have recovered from being bumped. Also they can move very quietly, and hide easily, and recover wonderfully from falls and bruises, and they have a fund of wisdom and wise sayings that men have mostly never heard or have forgotten long ago.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 70
  • Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum, a small slimy creature. I don’t know where he came from, nor who or what he was. He was Gollum— as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face. He had a little boat, and he rowed about quite quietly on the lake; for lake it was, wide and deep and deadly cold.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 71
  • And when he said gollum he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat. That is how he got his name, though he always called himself ‘my precious’.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 72
  • It cannot be seen, cannot be felt, Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt. It lies behind stars and under hills, And empty holes it fills. It comes first and follows after, Ends life, kills laughter.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 75
  • He wanted it because it was a ring of power, and if you slipped that ring on your finger, you were invisible; only in the full sunlight could you be seen, and then only by your shadow, and that would be shaky and faint.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 81
  • A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, welled up in Bilbo’s heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering. All these thoughts passed in a flash of a second.
  • Riddles in the Dark | Page: 87
  • “Who’ll cross first?” asked Bilbo. “I shall,” said Thorin, “and you will come with me, and Fili and Balin. That’s as many as the boat will hold at a time. After that Kili and Oin and Gloin and Dori; next Ori and Nori, Bifur and Bofur; and last Dwalin and Bombur.”
  • Flies and Spiders | Page: 144
  • There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but most splendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily.
  • Flies and Spiders | Page: 152
  • The elvish folk were passing bowls from hand to hand and across the fires, and some were harping and many were singing. Their gleaming hair was twined with flowers; green and white gems glinted on their collars and their belts; and their faces and their songs were filled with mirth.
  • Flies and Spiders | Page: 154
  • Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath.
  • Flies and Spiders | Page: 156
  • Thorin, of course, was really the grandson of the King under the Mountain, and there is no knowing what a dwarf will not dare and do for revenge or the recovery of his own.
  • A Warm Welcome | Page: 200
  • He would do nothing but sit with his back to the rock-face and stare away west through the opening, over the cliff, over the wide lands to the black wall of Mirkwood, and to the distances beyond, in which he sometimes thought he could catch glimpses of the Misty Mountains small and far.
  • On the Doorstep | Page: 208
  • But I am afraid he was not thinking much of the job, but of what lay beyond the blue distance, the quiet Western Land and the Hill and his hobbit-hole under it.
  • On the Doorstep | Page: 208
  • It seemed as if darkness flowed out like a vapour from the hole in the mountain-side, and deep darkness in which nothing could be seen lay before their eyes, a yawning mouth leading in and down.
  • On the Doorstep | Page: 210
  • There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don’t expect too much.
  • Inside Information | Page: 213
  • Already he was a very different hobbit from the one that had run out without a pocket-handkerchief from Bag-End long ago. He had not had a pocket-handkerchief for ages. He loosened his dagger in its sheath, tightened his belt, and went on.
  • Inside Information | Page: 214
  • His rage passes description—the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted.
  • Inside Information | Page: 217
  • Then as is the nature of folk that are thoroughly perplexed, they began to grumble at the hobbit, blaming him for what had at first so pleased them: for bringing away a cup and stirring up Smaug’s wrath so soon.
  • Inside Information | Page: 220
  • Naturally the dwarves accepted the offer eagerly. Already they had come to respect little Bilbo. Now he had become the real leader in their adventure. He had begun to have ideas and plans of his own.
  • Inside Information | Page: 221
  • This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don’t want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don’t want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise).
  • Inside Information | Page: 223
  • “Confound you, Smaug, you worm!” he squeaked aloud. “Stop playing hide-and-seek! Give me a light, and then eat me, if you can catch me!”
  • Not at Home | Page: 235
  • Long hours in the past days Thorin had spent in the treasury, and the lust of it was heavy on him. Though he had hunted chiefly for the Arkenstone, yet he had an eye for many another wonderful thing that was lying there, about which were wound old memories of the labours and the sorrows of his race.
  • The Gathering of the Clouds | Page: 265
  • “Well done! Mr. Baggins!” he said, clapping Bilbo on the back. “There is always more about you than anyone expects!” It was Gandalf.
  • A Thief in the Night | Page: 273
  • He was soon fast asleep forgetting all his worries till the morning. As a matter of fact he was dreaming of eggs and bacon.
  • A Thief in the Night | Page: 274
  • I would rather old Smaug had been left with all the wretched treasure, than that these vile creatures should get it, and poor old Bombur, and Balin and Fili and Kili and all the rest come to a bad end; and Bard too, and the Lake-men and the merry elves.
  • The Clouds Burst | Page: 286
  • “No!” said Thorin. “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!”
  • The Return Journey | Page: 290
  • “I wish now only to be in my own armchair!” he said.
  • The Return Journey | Page: 296
  • Indeed Bilbo found he had lost more than spoons—he had lost his reputation. It is true that for ever after he remained an elf-friend, and had the honour of dwarves, wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way; but he was no longer quite respectable. He was in fact held by all the hobbits of the neighbourhood to be ‘queer’—except by his nephews and nieces on the Took side, but even they were not encouraged in their friendship by their elders.
  • The Last Stage | Page: 303
  • His gold and silver was largely spent in presents, both useful and extravagant—which to a certain extent accounts for the affection of his nephews and his nieces.
  • The Last Stage | Page: 304