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Tyler Hanley’s “The Hobbit: …” Charming as a Campfire Story

In response to Tyler Hanley’s 541‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Palo Alto Weekly

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Despite a sightly misleading section near the beginning, Tyler Hanley’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is an entirely entertaining, captivating and comprehensive synopsis of the source material. But the cherry on the top of this delicious literary sundae is the author’s personality.

Right away, you feel like part of the conversation in this piece. The author has a plain-speaking down-home quality about him that makes the reader feel as cozy as a hobbit in a hole. It calmly whispers “come in, take a load off, put your feet up and blow some smoke rings, while I tell you a story”. There’s no frilly language here, no show boating. Just a warm and enticing tale that’s sure to work its way into the reader’s heart. They will find it difficult to pull away once the story concludes—a testament to the charisma of the author.

The only minor flaw is near the beginning. Hanley sort of misspeaks regarding the emphatic tone of the subject. While it does indeed hold enough drama, excitement and thrill to rival a battle of five armies, its “impressiveness” is a matter of opinion.  The same traits the author finds so riveting may not appeal to the reader. Therefore, it is wrong to assume as much. It is simply a cup of tea that one may enjoy while another may not.  

Nevertheless, the likability of the author more than makes up for this small blemish. And the fact that it does so when the story is barely underway is even more commendable. For true talent shines brightest when it overcomes adversity. And even the most legendary authors in history would not be where they are without wandering from the path now and again.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation