Friday Review: The Tao of Pooh (Audiobook) by Benjamin Hoff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read by Simon Vance

I read the book many long years ago, and remember liking it then. When the chance came to listen to the audio, I thought it would be a nice “re-read” of this little book. In it, Hoff presents an explanation of the principles of Taoism through A.A. Milne’s characters in Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s an interesting concept and the core of it is Pooh as the Uncarved Block. That is, the person who is simply themselves, with little need or desire to change, and who strives to always see the world without complication, without trying to make it mean something. I am explaining this badly, I am sure, since I am not in any way an expert on Taoism. I think the book simplifies things a bit, and perhaps goes a bit far in some cases, almost advocating a completely uncaring attitude toward everyone else in one’s world. I don’t think that’s what Taoism means, and suspect some might get a wrong impression out of this treatment. Still, the dialogue between the author and Pooh (and the occasional other Pooh friend) is charming and reflects the loveliness of Milne’s work well. The book was read by Simon Vance and he does a credible job.

The Tao of Pooh is a quick, easy to listen to audiobook with a lot of charm and some lessons we all can take to heart. I wouldn’t recommend it as your best reference for learning about Taoism, but it is still a lovely and charming read.

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