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The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again: An Illustrated Edition
ISBN 0810910608 / 9780810910607 / 0-8109-1060-8
Publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
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Poor Bilbo Baggins! An unassuming and rather plump hobbit (as most of these small, furry- footed people tend to be ), Baggins finds himself unwittingly drawn into adventure by a wizard named Gandalf and 13 dwarves bound for the Lonely Mountain, where a dragon named Smaug hordes a stolen treasure. Before he knows what is happening, Baggins finds himself on the road to danger. Wizards, dwarves and dragons may seem the stuff of children's fairy tales, but The Hobbit is in a class of its own--light-hearted enough for younger readers, yet with a dark edge guaranteed to intrigue an older audience. In the best tradition of the archetypal hero's quest, Bilbo Baggins sets out on his fateful journey a callow, untested soul and returns--tempered by hardship, danger and loss--a better man--er, hobbit.
This book is the predecessor to Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, and though that trilogy can be thoroughly enjoyed without first reading The Hobbit, much that happens in the later novels is foreshadowed here. A word of caution, however: as Bilbo discovers early on, travel and adventure are addictive things; embark on this journey to the Lonely Mountain with Tolkien's reluctant hero, and you might not be able to stop there. And the road taken to the distant mountains of Mordor in the ensuing trilogy is an even more perilous one. [via]
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