THE WISDOM OF THE SHIRE by Noble Smith

THE WISDOM OF THE SHIRE

A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life

KIRKUS REVIEW

How to live long and prosper, Hobbit-style.

Tolkien fans breathlessly awaiting Peter Jackson’s upcoming three-part feature film will be pleasantly satiated with this self-help guide channeling the effervescent spirit and timeless morality of the much-loved Hobbit population. Playwright Smith calls Tolkien the original “alternate reality historian” and confesses to decorating his room as a boy in Hobbit-hole style. The author’s many comparisons between the “safe, warm, comfortable” facets of Hobbit life and contemporary reality lived outside Middle-earth are creative and satisfyingly good-natured. Smith issues challenges for readers to rediscover their inner artisan with handmade crafts and to appreciate the benefits of a good night’s sleep, invigorating exercise, monogamy, friendship, birthdays and “foraging” for farm-grown organic comfort foods. The author suggests that the Hobbits’ egalitarian society, courteous demeanor and simplistic, bucolic lifestyle are admirable and should be emulated. Interwoven throughout the text are factoids about Tolkien’s life as an outspoken youth, a soldier in World War I and the writer of a beloved body of work that began with a published poem in 1915 at age 23. The final chapter, though brief, pleasantly condenses Smith’s clever analogies and interpretive symbolism. The book also includes a humorous Hobbit test and practical instructions for creating a sustainable, “Hobbitish” vegetable garden.

A life-affirming, must-have morsel for Tolkien’s colossal fan base.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-02556-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2012




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