Week One of The Hobbit Group-Read
This post is going to be super-quick. Lightning McQueen, ka-chow, and all that.
1. In the book Bilbo gets visited by 13 strange dwarves, and just lets them in to eat his cakes and drink tea. In the modern world it would be really weird if people just started barging in your home. Why didn’t Bilbo just tell them to go?
Like Tolkein said, I think it was the Took in him. If dwarves came barging in and asked me to serve them food and ale, I’d ask them to go boil their heads. If I happened to overhear talk of dragons and epic adventure, however, I might reconsider. I think Bilbo was more than a little curious about why all these bearded hungry things had turned up there in the first place. The first time I read this, I remember thinking all the other dwarves were okay, but thinking Thorin was a pompous little bratface. Of course, that changed as I kept reading.
2. Where would the dwarves and Bilbo be if Gandalf wasn’t with them? It’s seems to me that it’s him who saves them from the scary situations.
I think it’s standard, this. The thing is, though, I never would have thought it so had I not recently read Neverwhere. I think Bilbo needs to grow into what he could be, and to show the transition, he needed to go from depending on Gandalf to learning to fend for himself. I’m already starting to like the thoughts he’s having, though. What with the troll-incident and all. He could have just come away and reported, but no. He tried to pickpocket a troll. I ask you. Good old Bilbo.
3. Bilbo plays a game of riddles with Gollum. He ends up winning by asking “What have I got in my pockets?”, which Gollum is unable to answer. Do you think it was a fair, as it wasn’t actually a riddle?
I feel sad for Gollum. I wanted to hug him, but then nasty things would happen to my head, so maybe…that’s a bad idea.
But then again, and I know this is cold, but from the point of view of the story continuing, maybe this had to happen?
4. For those of you who haven’t read The Hobbit before, is the tone of writing one you’d expect from a book that has been loudly proclaimed as a classic? And for those of you who have read it before, how did it feel – like coming home to a much-loved book, or were you surprised by how much you’d forgotten?
A lot. I read this two years ago for the first time. And I was surprised that I had forgotten more than I remembered. For one, it seems like it was written for a much younger audience than I remembered. And it didn’t feel like a classic at all (don’t ask me to explain that, I won’t be able to). It felt..like a very long bed-time story. Wow. Imagine being read Tolkein every night as a kid.
5. We’ve seen quite a few songs so far. Do you pay attention to them, or do you skip them altogether? Do you like how silly they are, or do you think them an interruption?
I’m trying to think of a nice way to say this, but I think it’s a huge interruption, having to read all those songs. But then again, I don’t really like songs in books. I’d make an exception for every one Roald Dahl wrote, and I loved the Sorting Hat’s songs, but that about sums up my list.
The first time I read it, I skipped them all. Except, maybe one or two. I’m trying to pay more attention this time, though. Because some of them tell you a lot (Like the first one the dwarves sang).
6. What has been your favourite scene, so far?
Like Lynn, I’d have to choose the one with the trolls. The first time I read it, and they turned to stone, I remember shaking my head in awe. I did it this time, too. That Gandalf.
“Trolls simply detest the very sight of dwarves (uncooked).”
Looking forward to what Matt comes up with this week!