Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

The Tao of PoohThe Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was another of those audio books I saw available from my library, so picked it up. Either this book was over my head, or it was not worth the paper it wasn't printed on. The most interesting parts for me were when the author quoted directly from Pooh stories. In the end I actually put Winnie the Pooh on my to-read list.

To be fair, it could be that it was over my head. There were references to eastern philosophers that probably would have been funny, or at least witty, if I had known who they were. Also, a basic background in Taoism might have helped redeem the book as well. I think the author just made a marketing miscalculation. Perhaps he felt there was a basic awareness of Taoist principles in the minds of the Pooh fan base. Obviously he represents the opposite of a Pooh fan with Taoist awareness---a Taoist practitioner with a basic understanding of Pooh stories. If he would have understood the Pooh fan base better he might have been more careful assuming that deep philosophical thinking was characteristic of the Pooh-loving population at large.

A final thought: While it was a little bit of a sleeper, I do think the author hit on a commonality between two unrelated things. From what I could tell, Pooh did often reflect a Taoist view of the world in the stories. But did we need a book about it? I don't know that we did. If anything, selling it (and writing it) more as an intro to Taoism aimed at Pooh fans might have been a better approach, although, again, I'm not sure that crowd is looking for such an introduction. If that is what he meant to do, well, I have bad news for him...

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