Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson

I came late to the Lord of The Rings fandom. While I missed out on quite a few things, I'm now grateful I missed out on the LOTR movies (the Peter Jackson ones). At least, that's the impression I have after reading A Hobbit Journey.

A Hobbit Journey is an analysis of the LOTR books, including the prequel (The Hobbit) and the "sequels"/canon. The book discusses issues like the ethics of war (including the question, is torture ever justified?), freewill, and the role/portrayal of religion in the book.

While reading this book, I keep thinking that it would be perfect for Evangeline (my classmate, who based her EE on LOTR). The book is entertaining (although to be honest, any book about LOTR is going to be entertaining to me), well written and thought provoking.

Unlike Narnia, which is more obviously influenced by Christianity, LOTR is much more subtle. Still, the author does an excellent job of showing and convincing the reader of the messages hidden inside the book. He also talks a lot of the difference between the movie and the book, which made me realise that Hollywood had hidden significant parts of the book in an attempt to change the messages and make it more palatable to the general public. This may or may not have been unintentional, but what's the point of producing a movie that doesn't stay true to the essence of the book? You may have to cut parts of the plot out, but you shouldn't mess with the message.

I must admit I haven't read that much of Tolkien. Unlike for C.S. Lewis (I've read almost everything by him), I've only read "On Fairy Tales" and I'm still making my way through the LOTR canon (Anyone wants to donate a copy of The Hobbit? (; ). But this book is, in it's way, inspirational. It made me want to go back and spend a few months reading and analysing all the LOTR books. There is still so much more that could be said about the books (the author himself briefly mentions a few topics he did not discuss).

If you're a fan of the Hobbits (this book, like the title suggest, centers around Hobbits), you'll want to read this book. If you're an Elf/Dwarf/Troll/Other fan, there's still lots to love, but you might want to consider writing your own book about LOTR featuring your favourite species.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


  1. Just finished this book myself. It goes *way* deeper than any other similar attempt I have read in the past. Yes, I found it a bit disturbing to see the 'message' changes between the books and movies. Hmmm...

    1. After reading this book, I was glad I haven't seen any of the movies.

      It's a really good book about LOTR isn't it ^^


    2. Actually, despite the differences between the books and movies, I would (strongly) encourage you to see the movies! For me, the visuals add richness to the 'imagery' I had already built using my own imagination. I'll do the same thing with 'The Hobbit' i.e. enjoy the visuals, but take some of the dialogue with a grain of salt :)


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