by J. R. R. Tolkien
The hobbit Bilbo Baggins lives a quiet, peaceful, indulgent life, until the wizard Gandalf adds him to a group of 13 dwarves about to set out on a journey to reclaim their lost kingdom and riches from the dragon Smaug.
The Hobbit has been around for quite a while at this point, but I never got into it at the time when most people my age were extremely into it. And I’m glad I finally did. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a story for his children, and it certainly reads like a story being told aloud.
A good deal of places and races are explored and explained in the story, and they all have history and relations. Just enough is explained as the adventure went on that the world felt complete and everything made sense without any lengthy info-dumping or dwelling on any one point for too long. This is a children’s book, so that’s probably why things keep moving along. And there were no awkward travel transitions between places. It kept it interesting, but it was also easy to miss things if you weren’t paying attention.
The climax may not have been truly climactic, and Bilbo fell unconscious an alarming number of times throughout the book, but experiencing this children’s classic for the first time as an adult, I found it interesting and enjoyable. At some point I’ll get to The Lord of the Rings.