Before The Lord of the Rings came The Hobbit. JRR Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first and when I was a kid - I read The Hobbit first before becoming enchanted with The Lord of the Rings. The funny thing is over the years I've gone back and re-read The Lord of the Rings a number of times but never The Hobbit.
I don't know if over the years I was thinking of The Hobbit as just a children's tale or somehow an unworthy predecessor to The Lord of the Rings but I just never picked the book back up. However, recently I was sitting at my desk and as I looked into one of my bookcases - I saw the book The Hobbit and the urge to read it again struck me.
I'm glad it did.
It is a very entertaining book. And very fast paced (especially when compared to The Lord of the Rings). In the first chapter the reader is introduced to hobbits, dwarves and wizards. Then in the second chapter trolls enter the tale, in the third elves, in the fourth goblins, in the fifth Gollum and his magic ring, in the sixth the Wargs (evil wolves) and giant eagles, in the seventh Beorn (who can change himself into a giant bear), in the eighth giant spiders, in the ninth Wood-elves, and then in the twelfth chapter Smaug the dragon. Bang, bang bang.
A very quick (about 300 pages) and very fun read. If you haven't picked up the book since you were a kid - do yourself a favor and pick the The Hobbit once again. It makes excellent summer reading.