I very much enjoy the Lord of Rings movies, so much that their great lengths don't scare me or impede my watching them. And when I learned the Hobbit was being made, I decided to take it to the next level. Read the books. I started with what I deemed to be a sensical and chronological order. I have just finished reading the Hobbit and have started the Lord of the Rings Volume 1: The Fellowship of the Ring. But this is the review for the Hobbit, so let's move on.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who greatly enjoys his quiet peaceful life in the Shire, until he gets trained in with thirteen dwarves and a wizard to fetch the dwarves' long lost treasure guarded by a powerful dragon in the dangerous Wild.
I loved this book, in practically all aspects. The details, the era, it is an entirely different world that J.R.R. Tolkien created. There are orcs, goblins, elves, wood elves, dwarves, men, dragons, wizards, hobbits, and of course, whatever Gollum is. But those aren't really talked about, their history and culture and such, in the Hobbit, that is seen more in Lord of the Rings. In the Hobbit, there is actually a lack of descriptions that leaves a lot to the imagination. For example, the thirteen dwarves have no comparative descriptive features. We only know them by name and most are always grouped together, with the exception of Thorin, Balin and Bombur. The few descriptions we have are of the colour of their cloaks and the general appearance of a dwarf. We can only differentiate Bombur by his fatness. The same goes for orcs and elves, only general appearances are given. The only creature that is sufficiently described is probably Gollum.
The same goes for the countrysides. Although they are considerably more detailed than characters, I often found that the map included on the inside cover of the book to be very useful. The other thing that is disappointing in a way, is that once Gandalf leaves the company to attend to his own business, we know practically nothing about what he does, or what the other characters do when not with Bilbo. Judging from the trailer, I know that this will be different in the movie. One interesting thing to note is that although the book is not in first person, but told by a narrator, everytime Bilbo passes out or is on his own, we follow him, and know nothing of the other characters' doings. We are even told Bilbo's feelings while the other characters' secrets remain mysteries.
All the same, The Hobbit is a great read. And from what I've read so far of the entire saga, I can see that the movies aren't interpretations of the books, like so many others, for example, Harry Potter or even Twilight. The Lord of the Rings movies, and soon the Hobbit movies, complement the books, and quite literally put them on film. They almost complete each other. Take for example the songs. Tolkien wrote many songs in the Hobbit, and wrote the lyrics characters sing at various point in time, and a movie with a soundtrack would complete the musical aspect.
All in all, I <3 the LOTR and the Hobbit, and long live Middle Earth! What are you waiting for? Go and enrich your imagination!