Just life

The Hobbit Group Read – Week 1

Over at this cool group for readers and writers (both amateur and proffesional) called writers’ bloc, we are reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien together. We have scheduled to read the book in three weeks, and week one is already behind us. Each week one or two members ask a few questions about that week’s chapters, and all the part-taking group members answers them.

I’m already almost late with my answers for we get the next questions tomorrow, but better late then never, right!

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers!

My answers to chapters 1-6:

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?

In Middle Earth and especially in the Shire hospitality was something you could expect where-ever you went. The book also mentions that Bilbo enjoys having guests over, but in this particular situation he was a bit surprised and I guess didn’t really know how to react. The dwarwes were friendly after all! What bothered me the most was how they just ate almost all of Bilbo’s food and just left the dishes unwashed. Hospitality goes both ways.

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.

They’d probably be utterly lost or gotten themselves eaten by monsters already by chapter three. Every adventure-book goes through the same, I guess – how to save the hero from sticky situations? Gandalf being around makes the book a little predictable, but I don’t really mind.

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 think it wasn’t fair at all, but life isn’t always fair. In this case the unfairness saved Bilbo though, so I think it was totally acceptable. Besides, Gollum was planning to eat Bilbo and that wouldn’t have been fair either. I’m just kind of glad Gandalf wasn’t there to save Bilbo, he had to do his own saving.

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?

Hmm… I expected the tone to be something else, though I don’t know what I expected it to be. Hmm… Oh boy, I don’t know what to answer…

I don’t think a writer know’s he/she is writing a classic while writing it, so how do you define what tone a classic should have. To me this book is a classic no matter what tone it has, so my answer is yes, I think this book has the tone I would expect a classic to have. This book has the tone of a fantasy and that’s good for me.

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 have to admit that I don’t really read the songs, I just sort of skim them through. I read the first few verses and skip the rest. I suppose they’re entertaining and fun, but I don’t think they have a very huge impact to the story. I could be wrong and some of you might be really appalled right now. Maybe I’ll pay more attention to them on the second time around.

6. What has been your favourite scene, so far?

The most exciting and gripping scene so far has been the riddles between Bilbo and Gollum. I like riddles, (though I’m not very good at knowing the answers), and this scene allowed the reader to guess the correct answers as well.

Want to join in the discussion? Join Writers’ Bloc! Everybody’s allowed to join! The creators, Tanya and Sindhu, have something new up every week. They inspire the group to write through writing prompts and tasks. Every now and then we even read a book together. It’s great fun!

With warm hugs and gentle thuds – Keri


5 thoughts on “The Hobbit Group Read – Week 1

  1. I love your answer to #4. You’re right, though. I doubt Tolkien thought about things like that when he was writing. Although, I think there’s a certain stuffiness that I expect when I’m reading a classic. Sometimes it’s nice, and sometimes it’s suffocating. Or maybe that’s just me. One thing I’ve always noticed though, is that reading a classic, for me, always takes a little effort. In comparison, reading this was a breeze, and quite fun in parts, once the action picked up. 🙂

    1. I agree that usually reading a classic should take a little effort, but a book can be classic even if it’s effortless, and I’m sure you agree with that. But yeah, most classics do take a lot of effort, like I’ve been reading “wuthering heights” about two years now.

  2. I almost wish Bilbo would have put his foot down — in the very least — and told the dwarves not to eat so much, but showing hospitality regardless of surprise or annoyance seems to be in his nature.

    The riddle scene between Bilbo and Gollum is one I love as well (as far chapters 1 – 6 goes). As a favorite, I was excited for Gollum’s appearance. The riddles, however, were enjoyable, and I like the heightened anticipation once Bilbo uses the ring for escape while Gollum scurries after.

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