October 9, 2012

Rereading The Hobbit

I've decided to reread "The Hobbit" and I am anticipating the pleasure of it. 

I have a long story with this book. I first read it when I was a child and I totally didn't like it. Maybe it was just a bad translation  but I remember my irritation at stupid verses and phrases, the meaning of which I couldn't understand. Then in my teens there came together with the first good widely-available translation a fashion for "The Lord of the Rings". My best friend gave me a book, which I read in 4 days, and then immediately reread. That translation is still my favourite (I can even remember some lyrics), although I have seen 3 or 4 more of them, but they either have a very simple language, or the verses are poor, and in one of them the names were translated, can you imagine it?? There is a "bag" in "Baggins", but I surely don't want to see a name, derivated from the Russian word meaning "bag" in my book!

So, I became a fan, but I took "The Hobbit" again only several years later, after I had already read "The Lord of the Rings" several (~14) times and after I had read all the other Tolkien's works, both about the Middle-Earth and others. By that time I have, of course, being reading them all in the original and enjoyed it immensely. Then I thought that "The Hobbit" could't possibly be as bad as I remembered if all the other works of the same author were just perfect. And I started to read it again, a bit afraid of being disappointed. But I wasn't. I enjoyed the puns, the language, and especially the lyrics, so linguistically fit to the whole surroundings. I wanted to find the edition I disliked so much in my childhood to see if it really was the translation or my age, but I couldn't, because it was taken from the library. And so be it.

Why do I want to reread it now? There are two reasons, one good and one bad, as news usually are. Let's begin with the good one, as I always do.

1) The film is coming! I'm really looking forward to it, especially now that I have watched the video diaries of the shooting process. I bet you can find them on YouTube (here is the first one, and if you are hooked you can easily find the rest of them, there are 7 or 8 episodes) and they are really worth watching not only to the fans. I find it very interesting to see how the scenery is done, how they shoot Gollum scenes and how they make the gnomes look so nice. I actually believe that Peter Jackson can't spoil it, as I really liked his "Lord of the Rings". Yes, they've cut the ending and Tom Bombadil, but for a Hollywood movie the plot was very well preserved. The cast was also good (with some exceptions, yes, but enough has been said about the poor elves) and the scenery is completely fascinating! So I'm looking forward to more New Zealand! And the dragon, of course!

2) The second reason is a pact I made with my back, according to which it tries not to give me so much trouble, and I don't sit hours at lectures (and do not worry about it!), eat some healthy stuff instead of painkillers, lie down and generally relax for the whole week. And what can be better for relaxation than "There and Back Again"? See you!


  1. I'm excited because they just released the audiobooks for The Hobbit and LOTR in US. (We didn't have access to them before.) I thought it would be a great way to relive the experience. :)

    1. I saw BBC audio version of LoTR some years ago in Russia in an English bookshop, but when I looked at the price, my excitement disappeared. Maybe The Hobbit, being shorter, is not that expensive. I'll try this, then, some time.)


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