I actually saw the movie before I read the book, and I can tell you 100% that the book is very different. Different, in a good way. The book isn’t as graphic, but J.R.R. Tolkien was a master storyteller, and he brings the characters to life. The way he created Middle Earth is unbelievable, and his characters have quite the personalities.
I loved all of the characters, but the one who stood out the most is Gandalf. I’m not going to spoil anything, but Gandalf has some amazing powers, and he’s very wise. He’s mostly a cheerful character, but he knows all about Middle Earth, the good and the bad. He does everything he can to protect his friends, and defeat enemies.
Bilbo Baggins has lived a quit life in The Shire. He has a precise schedule, and he doesn’t like it when things change. One day a wizard knocks on his door, asking if Bilbo would care to go “On an adventure.” Bilbo declines, saying that adventures are nasty, very unpleasant things that are not meant for Hobbits. From there, things change for Bilbo Baggins. His life is very much interrupted, and he begins an extremely dangerous quest, and if he doesn’t complete it, it can ruin Middle Earth and cause mass destruction. Suddenly Bilbo Baggins finds courage within him that he didn’t know he had, and he realizes that he can make a difference and change things that he didn’t know he could.
Even though this is thought of as a children’s book, it really is meant for all ages. It’s a story about courage and finding out who you are. Bilbo really evolves as a character, and it’s fun to cheer him on, because like all people, we can find courage and self-identity where we least expect it.
I would also like to note that The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and The Return of the King are sequels to The Hobbit. They’re really great books.