The Wisdom of the Shire


The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith

Can a second-breakfast help get us through a hectic day? What can we learn about friendship for The Party of Three? Would a snug Hobbit-hole lead to greater contentment? And how can we ‘de-Orcify’ our lives? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these questions.

Most fantasy fans all know the books of JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. For many these books are considered the finest pieces of writing to date, and that is true for Noble Smith if you read The Wisdom of the Shire. It’s hard to write a review about this book for me, as it is not really a standard fantasy book, instead it is more of a explanatory type of book.

Noble Smith approaches the Lord of the Rings for a perspective of which I wouldn’t have thought possible. Yes I have enjoyed the books very much (haven’t seen the films though, I know shame on me) but what Noble Smith puts into words is quite stunning. He breaks down several aspects of the coming and goings in Middle-Earth down to our present day events and how we will possibly have more benefit from our own life if we just “Hobbit-up” our lives.

In his attempts of relating these events he broaches several subjects like: love, haven’t we all given up on a relationship due to a minor impediment? And that even though The Lord of the Rings is a story of epic portions the last line of the book is that Sam comes home and puts his daughter on his knee. I was also impressed with how he mentioned the “Bearing the burden of your ring” and that we all carry our own Ring of Doom and that if we hold on to it, it will turn us all into a Gollum but when we let go of it, it will allow us to look with renewed vigour to the future. Now don’t think that all of the subjects discussed are on this heavy side there are quite a few that are more light heartedly, like the singing, the eating and don’t forget the gardening.

What really worked well for me in this book was how Noble Smith related all the subject to The Lord of The Rings, involving many books that have been written within this universe using many different character to explain the vices and virtues. But also one other thing. Well actually two, the personal events of that of JRR Tolkien and some of his motivations to make Middle Earth that we know now, but more importantly the personal events of Noble Smith himself, and for some I think broaching the more heavy subject I think it took some courage to write these things down.

I found Wisdom of the Shire a great read, both looking at it as a work of fiction with the comparison purely on The Lord of the Rings. But on another take, reading about the past events, some of them life changing of Noble Smith himself, it does make you stop, wonder and do a bit of self reflecting as well. All I can say. It’s time to Hobbit-up your life and make it just that much better!

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