Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Nook - The Hobbit

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien:

(I'm having trouble with my link today, so you get a lovely photograph instead!)

I read The Hobbit a couple of months ago, but have been procrastinating on actually putting it here on Book Nook because, well, what can I say about the book that hasn't already been said, and in infinitely more eloquent and insightful ways?  When you're dealing with a classic, it can be a bit nerve racking.

I originally started reading the book for two reasons.  First, I wanted to see if it might be appropriate for our 9-year-old to read.  Second, I was curious to see if movie was loyal to the book.

So, to answer the first question, yes, I think it would be fine for a 9-year-old to read.  However, DD did not seem interested, so we'll just have to get it out every now and then to see if she picks it up on her own.  To answer the second question, yes, the movie was fairly true to the book, however, I think the movie was way more violent (and there's no way our 9-year-old is watching it).  A war might be mentioned in the book, but you see images and gory details from said war in the movie.  I think the film makers had rather vivid imaginations bent on portraying violence to the extreme.

But I digress....the book.  One thing you won't get with any movie is the richness of the author's voice.  Subtle humor, language, structure, imagery (in your own mind)....these are things that are mostly lost to the movie goer vs. the reader.  And this book is a classic for a reason.  Tolkien is a gifted storyteller, and it's pure pleasure to read his words.  He has a light touch (I loved it when Bilbo thought about his "Tookishness"...or the fact that the trolls are named Bert, Tom and William, for instance) and guides the reader through the plot with ease.

I was glad that only a portion of the story is currently available for moviegoers.  It allowed me to imagine the majority of the story the way the author intended.  I will say, that I read my book on CD, and the narrator was wonderful (can't remember who narrated it - sorry).  This is different than watching a film, even though your eyes are not doing the reading.  If you've never enjoyed books on CD, it's a wonderful way to get absorbed in a story, and this one would be a great start.

So, I'll keep this post short and sweet.  Tolkien crafted a marvelous story - experience it in its original form before you see the movie(s).

What are your thoughts on movies that are based on books?


No comments:

Post a Comment