First published in Great Britain in 1937, The Hobbit must be one of the most influential books of the first half of the 20th Century and should be read by anyone who enjoys a good story.
Bilbo Baggins is the only son of Belladonna Took and Bungo Baggins and lives in a hobbit hole in Bag-End, Under-Hill. One day he’s visited in his hole by the wizard Gandalf and invites him for tea the following day.
On the following day, not only does Gandalf arrive, but so do 13 dwarves led by Thorin. Bilbo is persuaded to go on an adventure where he will act as a burglar and repossess treasure that has been stolen by Smaug.
Smaug is a dragon who lives alone in the Lonely Mountain and whose only purpose is to guard the treasure he stole from the dwarves during the reign of Thorin’s grandfather. Smaug sleeps on the treasure and has exceptional eyesight and hearing.
And so begins an epic tale of overcoming the odds and dealing with exceptional circumstances. Bilbo and his new friends encounter goblins but escape. Bilbo meets Gollum but answers enough riddles correctly to leave without being harmed. The goblins surround Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves in a forest but are rescued in the nick of time by eagles. Next they meet a giant called Beorn. The dwarves are imprisoned by massive spiders but are rescued by Bilbo. They escape from elves and reach the Lonely Mountain where Bilbo meets Smaug for the first time.
As for what happens next, who survives, and who doesn’t survive I can only say you should read the book and find out.