The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again

The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again

Book - 2011 | 75th anniversary ed
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This definitive paperback edition features nine illustrations and two maps drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, and a preface by Christopher Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...

The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.

Publisher: London :, HarperCollins,, [2011]
Edition: 75th anniversary ed
Copyright Date: ©1995
ISBN: 9780261103344
Branch Call Number: FAN F TOL
Characteristics: xiv, 305 pages : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm
Alternative Title: There and back again


From the critics

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May 07, 2021

The Hobbit follows as a prequel to the grand story of the Lord of the Rings featuring returning characters and new ones. We follow Bilbo Baggins as he is joined by a group of dwarves to reclaim a lost kingdom. As well as Gradolf the Grey as their guide across the perilous lands of Middle Earth. The Hobbit is an amazing story that features memorable characters and encounters that is sure to immerse readers. Taking readers across the detailed and expansive world of Middle Earth as if they were with Biblio along his journey. I personally loved many of the characters in the book and was saddened to see some go. But seeing the sacrifices of characters also immortalizes their memory for readers to reminisce. The Hobbit is a fantastic journey that includes many battles and further expands upon the beautiful world of Middle Earth.

InnisfilTeenReads Apr 27, 2021

This is an amazing novel written by J, R, R, Tolkien which can be read either as a standalone novel or as an introduction Middle Earth. In the book, you follow the journey of Bilbo Baggins and 13 dwarves, with a bit of Gandalf the Grey sprinkled in throughout. The writing is quite good, with an older feel to it (Tolkien was born over 100 years ago and it really shows). The book is a classic fantasy and largely follows the track of the Hero's Journey. The book has a unique tone, dealing with the struggle to survive on a difficult journey with lack of food and water at times. It was a style quite unique in my experience. This novel sets the Lord Of The Rings trilogy perfectly in my opinion, in my limited knowledge (I mostly know things through pop culture osmosis but from what I know it does extremely well). - Laszlo

Apr 17, 2021

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a fiction novel chronicling the adventures of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is content in the comfort of his tiny home but as it so happens, that very hobbit is chosen by Gandalf, a wise wizard, to accompany his dwarves to reclaim their treasure from the dragon Smaug. The novel follows their journey as they face many challenges such as greedy goblins like Gollum, vicious spiders, wood elves, and trolls. There is so much more to Bilbo and the whole story! Read this novel to find out more about his adventures and how it all comes to an end. I would recommend this book to children who like fairy tales and adventurous stories. It is an extremely fun and exciting book to read, and it is a story you will never forget.

Apr 09, 2021

Bilbo Baggins is an interesting study as a hero. At the start, he is presented as modest, neat to the point of fussiness, attentive to guests, and rather shy. But perhaps because of Gandalf or because of his Tookish heritage, Bilbo begins to display resourcefulness and courage even in situations that are clearly frightening to him (and us). Bilbo's determinization to aid his friends through pluck and courage despite the odds is part of the charm of the story. Towards the end, Bilbo harbors a distaste for the greediness of Thorin and in contrast maintains honesty and displays a generous spirit. His character is certainly one that we all could do well to emulate.

Mar 20, 2021

The Hobbit is a truly entertaining book. It’s a classic for a reason. Being Tolkien’s first famous work, it quickly gained popularity worldwide. Full of interesting worldbuilding, gripping scenarios and fun characters, The Hobbit is the gold standard of fantasy literature.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, a race of people with big appetites, short statures, and large, hairy feet. Like most of his kind, he lives a peaceful, idyllic life in a little hole. He never strays far from his home, and he has never taken many risks in his life. All of that soon changes when an adventuring party consisting of the wizard Gandalf and twelve dwarves barges into his hobbit-hole, making a mess and continuously testing Bilbo’s patience. After settling down a bit, the party tells Bilbo why they need him. They need a burglar, for spying and gathering information. A hobbit like Bilbo is small and stealthy, just what is needed. The dwarves then tell Bilbo their plan, stating that their treasure is being held by a colossal, vicious dragon who goes by the name of Smaug. He drove the dwarves out, incinerated nearby settlements, and claimed their gold all to himself. This tale sparks something in Bilbo. Despite his initial reluctance, he eventually realizes that he wants to go on the adventure.

Encounters with all sorts of allies and enemies occur from there, from trolls, to goblins, to elves, to giant spiders, to a shapeshifter, a human town, and finally the great wyrm that dwells under the mountain. Hazards like dark forests and several mysterious caves appear. The story doesn’t end there, however. What was originally intended to be the end of the plan has plenty of unforeseen consequences, and now Bilbo and company must face the results of their actions. This story also has amazing worldbuilding, Tolkien having clearly put a lot of effort and love in the creation of the book’s world. There are many locations, magical beasts, races and backstories, many drawn from real-world lore, making the entire book in itself truly intriguing.

A brilliant story, if not a bit boring to read. 4.5/5 stars.

Well, as always, Tolkien is at the top of his game in this classic! I thoroughly enjoyed the saga. I had read all the way up to the slaying of Smaug when I was much younger and then got bored. So glad I came back to it! It can't beat LOTR by ANY stretch of the imagination (of course) but it has a very cheery quality about it that I really appreciated. I wasn't a total fan of the ending - I usually like bittersweet, but this one hit me on a bit of a dissonant note. Beyond that, though, it was a great work of light-hearted fantasy that I strongly recommend to everyone, LOTR fan or not!

Jan 19, 2021

Bilbo Baggins a hobbit (short, cheerful creatures) was living a peaceful and satisfactory life in the Shire. Soon however, a wizard named Gandalf along with thirteen dwarves convince him to accompany them on an adventure. Their goal was to reclaim treasures belonging to Dwarves guarded by the ferocious dragon Smaug. Along the way, they are nearly killed by trolls, captured by wood elves, and attacked by goblins. Bilbo also manages to find a ring which gives him the power of invisibility and escape the vicious and violent creature, Gollum who originally had the ring. When the dwarves arrive at the human settlement of Lake Town, Bilbo sneaks away to the Lonely Mountain and talks to Smaug. When he steals a golden cup from the dwarves’ treasure which Smaug was guarding, the enraged dragon goes to Lake Town to burn it down. However, Bard, a skilled archer, kills Smaug in Lake Town. A battle then ensues between the hobbit and dwarves against people and elves, because the dwarves refused when the people of Lake Town and wood elves asked for part of their treasure. However, humans, elves, and dwarves are forced to fight together and defeat an army of goblins when they invade. After the battle, Bilbo receives a part of the dwarves’ treasure and goes back to the Shire to live a peaceful life. He also continues to build a good relationship with wizards and elves.
What I like about this book is that the story flows very well and has an interesting plot. I also like the various creative settings and different types of creatures the author incorporated. What I don’t like about this book is that I think the story went a little too slow in the beginning. At first it didn’t seem very engaging and sometimes I lost interest.

Nov 30, 2020

The Hobbit, as a prequel to the timeless Lord of the Rings series, sets up the deep and colorful world of Hobbiton and beyond. As the endearing hobbit Bilbo Baggins sets out with a troupe of dwarves to recover lost treasure from underneath a mountain, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges to change the storyline and future of this mythical and masterfully visualized cosmos.
The blend of old English and vivid imagery is really able to differentiate every individual character from each other and creates a tight-knit community where the reader feels as if they know, and are familiar with, everyone in the story, whether protagonist, minor character, or antagonist.
This story also does an excellent job of holding attention throughout the book. By alternating tense scenes with calmer moments in the plot, it keeps up just enough unpredictability to keep the pages turning.
I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in a medium-length fantasy read. This is one of the all-time classics and makes the list of some of my favorite books.

Oct 31, 2020

[Please don't beat me up about this Hobbit fans...]
The book was okay but I personally feel that it is a bit overrated. The large fan base and great reviews I had been given about this book really pumped me up and excited me about reading it and convinced me to check it out from the library. However, when I actually began to read it, I was a bit disappointed. I would agree that it is not a bad novel, but compared to the many other books (particularly of the fantasy genre) that I have read as a bibliophile, I found it a bit dull. I actually struggled to finish it (only really doing so out of sheer stubbornness) because I found so many other books that I had checked out a bit later than it more appealing (Howl's Moving Castle, for example). Perhaps the other books in its series are what cause people to fall in with the fandom, but I can't truly say because I have not read them yet and after this experience, I am a bit hesitant to do so. Either way, I would suggest this novel if you have truly run out of other things to read and suggest you not get your hopes up too much.

Oct 27, 2020

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, lovers of food with furry toes, and half the size of humans, who lives at Bag End. One day, Bilbo’s peaceful life is interrupted by the old wizard Gandalf. Gandalf tells Bilbo that he must set out on an adventure with 13 dwarves to reclaim the dwarves’ treasure from a dragon Smaug. The dwarves are at first skeptical about Bilbo but Gandalf reassures them that he is more than meets the eye. Will Bilbo set out on a grand adventure or return to his cozy life at Bag End? I’ve always loved fantasy worlds so it isn’t much of a surprise that I enjoyed this book. The book is filled with action-packed scenes which are very fun to read.

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May 06, 2021

edwa345 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jan 19, 2021

Shreeya_Amin thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 27, 2020

alexqise thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 31, 2020

AnushaU thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Apr 16, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 13, 2019

jessy05 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Mar 15, 2019

violet_jaguar_350 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Dec 11, 2018

carl5555 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nov 03, 2018

blue_manatee_238 thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and over

May 04, 2018

black_wolf_3524 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 99

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Add a Quote
LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea -any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 07, 2020

“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.”

Jun 19, 2020

In [THE HOBBIT], we're introduced to Middle Earth, the Shire and Hobbits - Munchkins with less technicolor and better architecture.

Nov 13, 2019

"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?"

May 08, 2019

If you sit on the doorstep long enough you will think of something.

Laura_X Feb 22, 2019

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.

Jul 17, 2017

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
One of the more famous literary openings - for good reason.

Jul 17, 2017

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world - Thorin Oakenshield

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Add a Summary
Jul 31, 2020

A quiet and cozy hole. In it, a peaceful hobbit who follows routines. A grey haired wizard who’s up to mischief. Accompanying him, a band of dwarves set on an adventure. What happens when these two completely different worlds collide? The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, a highly esteemed author, explores forbidden lands and caves as Bilbo Baggins embarks on a mission he never even dreamt of doing. A hobbit in his 50’s, Bilbo Baggins’ life is shaken up when an unexpected visit from Gandalf, a great wizard, leads him to invite twelve dwarves over for tea the next day. The leader of the dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, slowly ropes Bilbo into their plan for revenge. This is a tale of loss, of bravery, of truth, of revenge against the great dragon Smaug. Twelve dwarves, one hobbit, and a wizard versus a great and powerful dragon. A great battle fought bravely. And along the way, Bilbo finds himself and defies society’s norms.
This novel is hands down my favorite of all time. J.R.R. Tolkien’s use of literary devices and descriptive phrases such as metaphors and similes create vivid images inside one’s mind. Perhaps you can imagine what Thorin looks like, with short stubby legs and a long white beard, wearing a sky blue hood with a long silver tassel, a coat of gold-plated rings, and belt crusted with scarlet stones. Or maybe you envision the great treasures in Smaug’s cave; silver, gold, weapons encrusted with jewels, priceless necklaces and bracelets. Another thing I absolutely loved in this masterpiece is the character development shown in the characters throughout the book. From Bilbo finding his true courageous self to Thorin letting go of his greed to see justice, J.R.R. Tolkien allows each person room to grow. I believe The Hobbit is a must read for anyone who loves adventure and fantasy novels. To conclude this review, I’ll leave you with a wise piece of advice from the late author. “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.”

Age Rating: 9+
Star Rating: 5/5
- Anusha Upadhyayula

Jun 19, 2020

THE HOBBIT (Ballantine Books, $2.95) is the underpinning for THE LORD OF THE RINGS. In it, we're introduced to Middle Earth, the Shire and Hobbits - Munchkins with less technicolor and better architecture. The book, by J. R. R. Tolkien, chronicles Bilbo Baggins' quest to recover treasure from a fire-breathing dragon. Hobbits are not known for bravery or curiosity which makes Bilbo a fish out of water, and an unlikely messiah for Middle Earth. Tall people always got to be throwing shade. Though technically an introduction to LORD OF THE RINGS, THE HOBBIT stands on its own for Tolkien's creative genius and suspenseful prose. Coincidentally, as I sat down to post this summary, I learned actor Ian Holm whom portrayed Bilbo in several Hobbit films including Peter Jackson's masterful LORD OF THE RINGS epic, left our world this morning. He was 88. Godspeed.

Oct 12, 2015

Bilbo Baggins, a very unsuspecting Hobbit, suddenly finds himself going on an adventure to reclaim a dwarf's treasure! Along with thirteen other dwarves and a famous wizard, Bilbo crosses the land to the east, to the Desolation of Smaug, and robs from the great dragon Smaug, who is guarding the long lost treasure.

Aug 29, 2015


Jul 08, 2015

The Hobbit is about the progressive growth of a fearful little hobbit. In the adventure, the hobbit wondered in the forest of dark magic, sneaked out of the castle of the elves and stole the treasure of the dragon. Eventually, he helped the dwarves restore their rightful position to their kingdom.

Jun 25, 2015

Bilbo Baggins goes on an adventure with 12 dwarves, Gandalf the wizard, and the dwarf king, Thorin. They travel to the lonley mountains to claim the treasure that was once the dwarves. They must kill Smaug the Dragon.

Jun 20, 2015

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who finds himself in an adventure, and he is accompanied by dwarves, and a wizard. He is to go to a mountain, slay a dragon, and take it's stolen hoard

Dec 20, 2014

A hobbit takes a trip..with thirteen dwarves and a wizard to a mountain far away to restore the treasure to the dwarves. But what is the treasure? Gold or undying fellowship?

Aug 17, 2014

Bilbo is an interesting hobbit. He goes on an adventure to the lonely mountain. He goes with several dwarves and a wizard. Its a wonderful book to read.

Aug 17, 2014

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who, at the beginning, never went on an adventure but that all changes when a wizard carves a sign on his door. Bilbo and 13 dwarves go on an expedition to claim back what was theirs. In this book there will be many ups and downs, spiders and goblins. Will they reclaim what was theirs?

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Add Notices
Dec 06, 2012

Other: Don't listen to fearlessforever! This is not a time waster! It is one of the best books ever!

Mar 21, 2012

Other: The Hobbit is amazing!! It is definitely not a waste of time!

PrinceBishop Nov 26, 2011

Other: One of the best books ever. Waste lots of time on it!

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