Why are there so many characters in this book? Okay, Bilbo the Hobbit has the book named after him, and Gandolf is The Wizard, so clearly they're memorable, but there are thirteen other useless names I'm supposed to find familiar later in the story. Is this some kind of British memory skillbuilder for little kids reading the book at home? Whatever the hell it is, it's too many, and none of them have died yet, so it doesn't seem to be a "strength in numbers" tactic. So far, I remember that they're part of the Good Guy Crew when they say something goofy or poke fun at Bilbo.
Speaking of Bilbo, I totally have the mental imagery of a little baby pig whenever he speaks. Hairy, slow, questionably useful -- Babe the Pig. Bilbo is going to be this character, isn't he? He's going to save the sheep somehow?
I also cannot keep up with the similar-sounding creature names. Trolls. AND. Goblins. How can I tell them apart? Dwarves AND elves? Same problem. Gimme some sugar, Tolkien, I'm an imaginative reader. And Gollum? What the hell is that thing? A goblin-troll-elf? Or just a slightly smaller goblin who has a problem swallowing and talking like a normal goblin?
I need a character box-line diagram, stat.