nuanced observations Tolkien makes in 'The Hobbit' when he complains that a story of a good time is always too quickly told, but a story. Enjoy the story as the simple entertainment it was meant. Our comic books are filled with those neo-pagan mythic heroes whose exaggerated human virtues always amount to, whatever else may be true of them, 'beats people up good'. At some level, there is little more to say. Now, I admit I am biased in my review. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." How often is it that we hunger after all the wrong things? He is a peacemaker. Some books are almost impossible to review. What real use could we put it too? Bilbo is just as much an exaggerated idealized hero as Heracles, it's just that those attributes in which Bilbo is almost transcendently inhuman isn't the sort of attributes we normally fantasize about having ourselves. Tolkien is able to gently skewer us for our all too human failings, and he does so without adopting any of the cynicism or self-loathing so common with those that seek out to skewer humanity for its so evident failings.
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I think that is what makes this more than just a good book, but a great one. He never puts himself forward, but he never shirks when others. And yet, he is not actually merely an 'average Joe'. If a book is bad, how easily can we dwell on its flaws! Instead, this simple children's story resonates and fascinates. If you haven't read it, you should, because it is quite enjoyable. Though wrongly imprisoned, he bears no grudge and desires no vengeance for the wrongs done to him. How often do we fantasize about being this different sort of hero, and yet how much better we would be if we did?
It teases and hints at something larger and grander, and it instructs and lectures as from one of the most subtle intellects without ever feeling like it is instructing, lecturing or being condescending. How different is Tolkien's protagonist from Heracles, Lancelot, Beowulf, or Batman - short, small, mundane, and weak. I broke the spines of three copies of it with continual reading. There, see how simple that w Some books are almost impossible to review.
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