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The Hobbit
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Title: The Hobbit
Author(s): J R R Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy
Copyright: 1937, 1938 and 1966 by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exerpt from the front cover of the 77th printing of the Hobbit:

And what is a Hobbit?

Hobbits are little people, smaller than dwarves.  They love peace and quiet and good tilled earth.  They dislike machines, but they are handy with tools.  They are nimble but don't like to hurry.  They have sharp ears and eyes.  They are inclined to be fat.  They wear bright colors but seldom wear shoes.  They like to laugh and eat (six meals a day) and drink.  They like parties and like to give and receive presents.  They inhabit a land they call The Shire, a place between the River Brandywine and the Far Downs.

THE HOBBIT is a story of these delightful creatures - a story complete in itself yet full of portent.  For this is the book that tells of Bilbo Baggins, the far-wandering hobbit who discovered (some say stole) the One Ring of Power and brought it back to The Shire.

And so this is the absolutely necessary beginning to the great story of the War of the Rings which J. R. R. Tolkien completes in his epic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
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This is the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures with thirteen dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf as they journey to battle a dragon.  In this story we are introduced to Middle-Earth and its inhabitants including hobbits, elves, dwarves, goblins and wizards.
"Well, thief!  I smell you and I feel your air.  I hear your breath.  Come along!  Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!"

But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed.  "No thank you, O Smaug the Tremendous!" he replied.  "I did not come for presents.  I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as tales say.  I did not believe them."

"Do you now?" said the dragon somewhat flattered, even though he did not believe a word of it.

"Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities," replied Bilbo.

"You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.  "You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before.  Who are you and were to you come from, may I ask?"

"You may indeed!  I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my path led.  And through the air.  I am he that walks unseen."

"So I can well believe," said Smaug, "but that is hardly your usual name."

"I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly.  I was chosen for the lucky number."

"Lovely titles," sneered the dragon.  "But lucky numbers don't always come off."

"I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive from the water.  I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me."

"These don't sound so creditable," scoffed Smaug.

"I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles.  I and Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider," went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.

"That's better!" said Smaug.  "But don't let your imagination run away with you!"
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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  Date Added:  11/25/2002
Date Updated:  3/24/2008
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