There and back again

Just finished up reading “There and back again” or known by many as “the hobbit”. As per wikipedia the more famous title, The hobbit, was of the second edition of the book in which Mr Tolkeins added “retrospective accommodation” to the book while working on its sequel, the most famous and one of my favourite “The lord of the ring” series. I have a few things to say about it and thought it best to be shared.
First, its a great yet simple and easy to understand story, without twists and turns, without a lot of planning and plotting andΒ  it has been described with such a great detail that you can almost imagine all the places from the first page itself. It is my first read since I decided blogging, and there was a lot to learn in the it for me. This book made it clear to me that one doesn’t need heavy words to write but what is essential is a good story and the ability to take the readers imagine all of the story happening in front of them. Using the word “adventure” continuously for pages in the first chapter itself doesn’t seem odd at all, which changed my thinking that a word shouldn’t be used more that twice in a page. It’s too bad that I couldn’t stop relating it to the movies and thinking of character as they were in the movies and it raised a conflict in my own mind about their behavior, the actions they performed and the reason behind their thinking. That is why I am thinking of not reading the lord of the ring series now as I already have an image of Rohan, Helm’s deep, Gondor, Mordor and other places, all the characters and most importantly the psychology explaining every person’s actions and behaviour and the flow of the story itself.
Second, I now know that great stories are great because they are engaging in nature and twisted plot turns are not a necessity to tell a Great tale. I loved the simplicity of the story. The land and the people described in the story is so vast, so different from reality and yet so easy to imagine that one feels like a part of the story. I loved the way this story had been told, the author himself telling the story as he had been there and that makes it more easy for the readers to relate to it. Telling a story with ones own perspective instead of the perspective of a character makes it more engaging, plus it has additional advantages as the author can go to any place at any time he likes, instead while writing with a character’s perspective, where you can only feel what the character is feeling and see only what he is seeing; this makes it easier to explain why things are happening the way they are. It can be considered as a difficulty also because you loose all the twists one can have when describing the situation from one character’s perspective only, because one person can easily be deceived but its hard to deceive someone who can go back and forth in time and look into everybody’s hearts and mind and it becomes hard to explain something unexpected in the story as readers may be thinking, “we should have known”.
Third, it is clear that a story doesn’t need a lot of characters to be good enough or at least it’s not a necessary factor. I can count the characters in this story on my fingers but it would be hard to do so for other stories like “the song of ice and fire” for example. I understand that the two are very different and the game of thrones have no unnecessary characters as well but still I would have preferred it with only one child to every king and no bastards either. That way it becomes easier to remember names. In the story of our focus, The Hobbit, even the so important characters in the movies such as bolg the orc and the bard the bowman were not at all in focus; even the elvenking, Thranduil, I don’t think the author even mentioned his name in the story; at some places I think a little more description was needed, such as to Bard the bowman as he was the leader of one of the armies and played a pretty important role. He was too important of the story and I think he needed a good bit of description, maybe a tale of his bringing about, the black arrow and his family. I believe that the movies did good to focus on him a bit more. I also think that the encounter with the dragon and the part of dragon slaying was written in a hurry, it was depicted as the main enemy of the dwarves from the beginning. I personally would have liked a bit more dramatic encounter of the dwarves with the dragon and of the Smoug with the humans and its death, and also it would have been good if some light was shown on the orcs of Gundabad and other areas beforehand. I liked the part when they first met Beorn and later when he appeared in the fight, I could imagine how fierce and strong he would have been, it was hard to do so for the goblins and orcs army. One can say that Beorn was supposed to be explained in detail as he played an important part in their journey and the orcs didn’t so it was not important to describe them with such detail but still, it was because of these orcs that the battle became so interesting with four good armies fighting against one evil army.
Overall we can say that the author focused more on the journey not the destination and I enjoyed that journey with him. I enjoyed watching Bilbo, for whom simply hosting fourteen guests and listening to their songs about the dragon was adventure enough, changing him from the inside ( and for the outside but that was mainly small cuts and bruises) as he grew through each chapter and became the most wise and courageous among the party towards the end, not because he delivered the Arkenstone to elvenking but because he went back, admitted the deed to Thorin and even confronted him.
It was overall a good read, a bit like children’s story at times with all the good people and little violence and hatred, yet somewhat different from all others and a lot of help to me towards the ultimate goal of a writer, that is improvement.

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5 thoughts on “There and back again

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