The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin, 1984 - Juvenile Fiction - 290 pages
540 Reviews
This edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic is illustrated with 48 paintings by noted artist Michael Hague.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien's own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.

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Great writing, great story. - LibraryThing
A plot synopsis seems unnecessary. - LibraryThing
Straightforward character development - LibraryThing
The book is fast-paced and very easy to read. - LibraryThing
... a ponderous dragging plot. - LibraryThing
Here is the best advice I have heard. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - Edward.Lorn - LibraryThing

There are few books that I can re-read for the first time. Confused? So am I. I don't know how J. R. R. Tolkien managed this masterpiece, nor do I care, I only love that it exists. What I do know is ... Read full review

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User Review  - VincentDarlage - LibraryThing

Although the voice of Gandalf seemed to be miscast (to my ears), the rest of the cast was excellent. This was an enjoyable audioversion of the tale. Read full review

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About the author (1984)

A writer of fantasies, Tolkien, a professor of language and literature at Oxford University, was always intrigued by early English and the imaginative use of language. In his greatest story, the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954--56), Tolkien invented a language with vocabulary, grammar, syntax, even poetry of its own. Though readers have created various possible allegorical interpretations, Tolkien has said: "It is not about anything but itself. (Certainly it has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.)" In The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien tells the story of the "master of wood, water, and hill," a jolly teller of tales and singer of songs, one of the multitude of characters in his romance, saga, epic, or fairy tales about his country of the Hobbits. Tolkien was also a formidable medieval scholar, as evidenced by his work, Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics (1936) and his edition of Anciene Wisse: English Text of the Anciene Riwle. Among his works published posthumously, are The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur, which was edited by his son, Christopher. In 2013, his title, The Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) made The New York Times Best Seller List.

Growing up in California in the 1950s, Michael was greatly influenced by the Prince Valiant comics and the Walt Disney Studio. His mother, who attended art school in London before immigrating to the US, nurtured his artistic talents and love for books. Her own childhood picture books impressed her young son so much that from an early age he knew exactly what he wanted to be a baseball player. Fortunately, his inability to hit a curve ball determined that he rediscover his true vocation, that of a book illustrator. Michael attended Art Center College of Design where he met his wife of over forty years, Kathleen Hague. After the two graduated with honors, they moved to Kansas City where Michael worked for Hallmark Cards designing greeting cards and calendars. Hallmark published his first book in 1975, a pop-up version of Gulliver s Travels. They then relocated to Colorado Springs to work at Current, again creating art for paper products. Several years later Michael opened his own studio and began work as a freelance illustrator. The Hagues stayed on in Colorado Springs where he and Kathleen raised three children and where the couple still live and work. Michael Hague has been inspired by a wide variety of artistic styles, ranging from the work of the Disney Studios to the oriental printmakers Hiroshige and Hokusai and the drawings of Michelangelo. He is a fan of contemporary comic and book illustrators as well as turn-of-the-century illustrators such Arthur Rackham, W. Heath Robinson, Howard Pyle and Herman Vogel. He is an avid collector of their books. About his life and work, Michael Hague says, I count myself as one of the most fortunate of beings. For as an artist I have not only the pleasure, but the duty to daydream. It is part of my work. I have been a contented daydreamer all my life, often to the exasperation of those around me. I have lived what seems to be a charmed life. I ve raised three wonderful children, live with my wife in a pink house with our two large dogs, and my work enables me to remain young at heart, forever like Peter Pan. The Michael Hague Signature Series is a wonderful tribute to a brilliant career and to the finest literature published for children and adults of all ages.

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