Impressively, the author has a grasp of the true nature of Tolkien's book. He was a Catholic first, a father second, and an artist besides. Though, short and simplistic, as is the Hobbit itself, Pearce excels in his interpretation of Tolkien's intent, analogy, and point of all his writing, his choice of words and passages, and his communication of the journey we're all on in our own right. It's not surprising of course, appreciating his other works on Shakespeare, but I was impressed with his ability to capture the true meaning as so many fail to do.
I thought this book was excellent. Pearce goes through the story and unlocks the hidden meanings that Tolkien put into the book. I especially liked how Pearce showed the parallels between Bilbo's comforts at home in the beginning vs. the Dragon's comfort with the gold, and his description of "dragon sickness". I also liked how Pearce unlocked this not only as a "coming of age" story for Bilbo, but of how Divine Providence works through our lives as we partake of our own journeys, and how Providence is really at work when we think of it as luck. I gained some good insights into how Providence and free will work together through this book. Plus, it was fun to go through The Hobbit story again through a different lens.
Be aware that Pearce expects that you have read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before you read this book.
My daughter had to read "The Hobbit" as a 7th grade Literature assignment in her virtual school. This book is the perfect companion to understanding the deeper meaning of the characters and their actions, the setting, the conflict, the mercy, and most profoundly the "journey" of the Hobbit, and of all of us, to "grow up" and become more "other-centered" instead of self-centered. You will appreciate many of Joseph Pearce's insights. I highly recommend reading "Bilbo's Journey" section by section, just enough of each of his chapters as you finish each chapter in the Hobbit...pick up this book and ponder Pearce's intelligent commentary. They only minor suggestion I could make on improving this book would be to indicate corresponding chapter numbers in "The Hobbit." A couple of times, we thought Pearce was analyzing the chapter we had just finished, but the next paragraph went into something we hadn't read yet..."spoiler alert!" my kids would yell! We would have stopped reading had Pearce noted in the margin when he jumped into the next chapter. We all LOVE this book!
I've always been so curious in what my friends saw so enjoyable in reading Hobbit - over and over. I could not make myself read the book or see the movie. But Bilbo's Journey explained and summarized why the book is enticing to many.
I bought this book after attending a lecture by the author. Pearce's writing style is academic, but not pretentious. I enjoyed reading about the Catholic themes of The Hobbit and will purchase Pearce's book about The Lord of the Rings.
I thought this was very fun. Helped me understand the book better so I could explain more clearly the Christian Morals and Ethics to my son when we read it. This books had more gems than what the youtube video had. Worthy ever penny. Bought an extra copy on accident so I gave it to my Pastor.
Joseph Pearce's Bilbo's Journey provides insights to everyone's journey. It is a meditative reflection on the hidden meaning of an intriguing imaginative character, Bilbo Baggins, in his quest for the meaning of his existence. Faced with the challenge of "The Two Roads," (Robert Frost,) and the "Two Ways," (Psalm 1), Bilbo chooses the adventurous way of his Took ancestry. With his companions Bilbo encounters many trials and disappointments. But in the end, he rejoices in the self- knowledge his has learned from his sacrifices for the love of others and the submission to the workings of God's moment by moment on his journey.
I read "The Hobbit" a long time ago and I had noticed several glimpses of the hidden meaning of this story and of "The Lord of Rings", but Joseph Pearce confirmed my own intuitions and deepened them. Many things that I have pass inadvertently were done manifiest in this very well written book. Both books of Tolkien are very good and with the hints of Pearce better yet. I will read them again. Thank you for all your work!.