Finished: 1/30/22

Grade: A

In this short book of semi-autobiographical semi-connected semi-stories, the semi-seminal beat poet Richard Brautigan does something that few of his contemporaries could manage: he is genuinely very funny on purpose.

There is a lot of poetry in this book. And deconstruction of forms. But mostly it’s just chock-a-block with weird jokes. It’s 60’s flavor reminds me of Sgt. Pepper era Beatles. psychedelic and playful but with plenty of artistry to back it up.

Brautigan pulls at the novel’s seams just enough to make it wobble, but not so much that the whole thing unravels into mush.

Really fun!

Finished: 1/24/22

Grade: A+

The Fellowship of The Ring adds darkness and drama into the world of The Hobbit. Where Bilbo’s adventure felt like a small event in a much larger story, Frodo’s journey concerns the entire world. The stakes are much higher and as a result the themes are intensified.

I guess I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said.

It is fun to read these books and see where everything else that came after came from. “Oh, there’s Harry Potter, and there’s Dungeons and Dragons, and there’s Game of Thrones. Like, wow. They really just ripped stuff right out of this book and rolled with it, huh?”

Finished: Right before Christmas

Grade: A+

My parents read me this ur-fantasy-classic when I was a child, but I had never actually read it myself before. After re-watching the LOTR movies on DISNEY+ I wanted to spend a little more time in that world and decided to go back and read THE ORIGINAL BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL.

And what a delight!

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (especially the movies) have such a heavy dramatic tone, that you might be surprised when you read The Hobbit and it’s actually a book for kids. The tone is light-hearted and fun, and although there are a few dark moments, on the whole it is a rather lighthearted wholesome book about friendship and unexpected heroes.

Fantasy as a genre has gotten so GRITTY over the years, it’s fun to go back and find something at the beginning that is so warm and hopeful.

Great characters. Great story. Great world. We know this! I don’t need to say it!

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with your life and need to escape for a little bit: THE HOBBIT THE HOBBIT THE HOBBIT