My dad used to read the Hobbit to me as a kid. I grew up on Tolkien. I hadn't read the book in about 20 years, so when they added the unabridged audiobook to Audible, I thought it was about time to catch back up with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves.
Bilbo Baggins is a typical, unassuming Hobbit, just chilling out in the Shire. One day he gets an unexpected visit from the wizard, Gandalf. Then a bunch of dwarves show up and off Bilbo is coerced into going on a quest to rescue the dwarven gold from the evil dragon Smaug. It's a cute story, with some interesting characters. Obviously there is Gollum, the creature who sits in the dark and obsesses over his "precious". The riddle scene between him and Bilbo was always one of my favorites. There is also Beorn, a kind of were-bear who aids Bilbo and his companions.
I really enjoy this story. After all, this is the granddaddy of epic fantasy. Without The Hobbit, there would be no Lord of the Rings, and without that, there would be no Dresden Files, no Game of Thrones, no Harry Potter. However, I am just not a fan of Tolkien's writing. I can never make it through all of the Lord of the Rings, no matter how hard I try. There are too many damn songs. I hate reading poetry, and reading songs is just torture for me. The dwarves sing about their treasure, the elves sing to Bilbo's party, Bilbo sings to the spiders, and on, and on, and on. Just get on with it!
This is not nearly as epic as The Lord of the Rings. I believe this was originally written as a children's book. I haven't seen the new Hobbit movie - I'm planning on going next week. I just don't see why they made this into 3 movies (other than an obvious cash grab). I'm just glad I get to watch some more Ian McKellan as Gandalf.