I started The Hobbit at the beginning of a four hour Megabus journey in the hope that I’d polish at least half of it off by the time I got home. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way and it ended up taking me a week. This was not good for my schedule!
I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy novels (previous blog on The Eyre Affair excepted) and I’ve only struggled through The Hobbit in the past out of a sense of duty. Yes, I can absolutely understand why people love it. Yes, the battle scenes are epic. Yes, there are some genuinely laugh out loud moments. Yes, the character are known and loved by millions of people.
But I just don’t love it. I admire Tolkien’s technical abilities – the different species are so well characterised, Bilbo is comically lovable, the narrative is gently witty and the sense of place is almost obscenely well realised. I would kill for such talent and skill. But unfortunately, Middle Earth isn’t for me. Hence a book that an eight year old could read in two days taking me seven! I realise that since this is well into the top twenty at number fifteen, I’m horrendously outnumbered though, so I’ll let it lie.
I’ve tried to read The Lord of the Rings three times now and given up in the middle of the second book, so I’m not looking forward to reaching that one any time soon, either! If I finish that in a week, it’ll be a miracle.