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The Te of Piglet Paperback – November 1, 1993

131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This topical Taoist manifesto, a sequel to Hoff's bestselling The Tao of Pooh , was a 21-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Ten years later, a sequel to the runaway bestseller The Tao of Pooh. If you like marshmallow laced with arsenic, it was worth the wait. In the original, as you may recall, Hoff had an Idea: that Winnie-the-Pooh could be used to explain Taoism, the ancient Chinese way of balance. Now, as luck would have it, Pooh's buddy Piglet turns out to be the perfect embodiment of Te, the Taoist term for virtue, which is attained through sensitivity, modesty, and smallness. Piglet, you see, is a ``Very Small Animal'' (for all his talk about smallness, Hoff, like A.A. Milne, who must be groaning in his grave, likes capital letters Very Much), and the diminutive porker's adventures are the perfect means to preach, Very Lightly, about being positive and ecological and upright. The trick is to ``observe, deduce, apply''; once done, the millennial ``Day of Piglet'' will arrive and human beings will once again achieve ``the state of paradise that existed before the Great Separation occurred.'' Watch out, though: All is not summer in the 100-Acre Wood. Beneath the goofy grin one finds bared teeth, as Hoff snaps away peevishly at Confucianism (``authoritarian, No- Nonsense attitude toward life''), Christianity, feminism (``behind their antimasculine words, it's Overmasculinity as Usual''), Republicans, critics, computers--whatever raises his Taoist hackles. All in a Good Cause, of course. No doubt, The Ching of Eeyore comes next. Then what? Well, by then the Day of Piglet will have come, and the whole world will be a Trillion-Acre Wood...so empty your pockets while you can, and watch Piglet bring home the bacon. (Illustrated with 51 line drawings from the original Pooh books. However did they dare?) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140230165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140230161
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Pomeroy on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Before reading 'The Tao of Pooh' I assumed it was a long philosophical tract scattered with quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' books to give it a gimmicky marketing push. It wasn't - it was a genuinely interesting introduction to Taoism, with a valid Pooh connection. It didn't push its viewpoint as being better than any other, and was thus inoffensive.
'The Te of Piglet', on the other hand, is terrible - a lengthy rant about the authors' pet hates, scattered with a few quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' books as dressing.
The author has two points. Firstly, that small things are not necessarily insignificant (a great point, one which just took me six words to express), and secondly, that feminists, scientists, critics, technology, businessmen, microwave ovens, negative viewpoints, unhelpful opinions and bad thoughts will be swept away in an inevitable cleansing, leaving the author and his friends to inherit the earth.
And the author is right, constantly. If you think otherwise, you're contributing to the forces of negativity, and will be swept aside. There is no other way. It's this kind of thing that puts me off religion.
However, to fill the book up, the author seems to wind himself into a twisted rage, berating everything in the world which is not him, for being shallow, self-obsessed, and destructive. Eventually he becomes angry, and loses perspective and self-awareness, and you start to notice silly things that you would have ignored beforehand. Eventually I imagined the author as an bearded real-ale drinker muttering bitter thoughts to himself in a house in California, and at that point I couldn't take anything he said seriously again.
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85 of 95 people found the following review helpful By R. Byrd on January 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
... approach it carefully.
One reviewer gave an excellent reason to enjoy this book: he was feeling very down and small and put upon, and Hoff's rants helped to give him an ally and make him feel not quite so insignificant. If you would like to own this companion to "The Tao of Pooh," I suggest that you purchase it when you're in such a mood, or better yet, check it out from the library.
As other reviewers of written, there's much more ranting than philosophy in this book. In "Tao of Pooh," I felt like I was being taught Taoist philosophy from a new perspective. That's what I naturally thought that I was getting into with the "Te of Piglet." Nope. Hoff flirts with the idea briefly, but instead uses Piglet as a soap box to attack the Eyores of the world. Interestingly enough, he eventually seems to realize what he's doing, and so does Piglet (who he spends more time having fictional conversations with than he does quoting the dear character). And Piglet eventually takes him to task for it.
I think that Hoff was desperate. Could he simply not find enough examples in the Pooh stories of Piglet's smallness being used for the betterment of the Wood? I discussed this book with some frieds, and mentioned how the author seemed to be really reaching in his villification of Eyore: in his fictional conversations, he has Eyore coming in to pester and depress everyone. What my friends reminded me of is that, in the original Pooh stories, the characters GO TO EYORE the majority of the time when there's need for tension between the characters, for a less than optomistic view of the world, and even for someone to rescue. Eyore is needed and loved *because* he is gloomy, not in spite of it.
And at the end, Piglet - small little Piglet who Hoff has misused in an effort to have his hissy fit (and, I presume, make his next car payment) - comes to Eyore's defense. And, for once, however briefly, Hoff is blessedly speechless.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cox on August 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
...if you think you're going to get a great deal more explanation of the concepts and thinking that you might have found in "The Tao of Pooh".
Oh, Mr Hoff finds the time to explain a bit about Te, and how Virtue is a Very Good Thing. But as written by many other customer-reviewers, this book rapidly turns into a vicious rant by Mr Hoff against all the things he finds personally distasteful. I get a kick out of how completely he ignores the many passages in the Tao Te Ching that talk about how little government ultimately influences our personal, spiritual lives.
At any rate, you will get a great deal less in the way of stories taken from the Pooh books- and much more dialogue Mr Hoff makes up to illustrate his points. You will get fewer concepts of Taoism and Eastern thoughts. You will get only a few new, more advanced concepts of Taoism.
What you will get, as folks have pointed out, is a great deal of ranting and political theory. Well, it's Mr Hoff's right, I suppose, just as it's my right to say that if it's a primer on Taoism you seek, don't bother with this book- either get another copy of "The Tao of Pooh" (which is simply splendid) or buy another book on Taoism ("365 Tao" is a good one, IMO).
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Hidden Wisdom on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Tao of Pooh" has been called "the book most often recommended to explain Taoist principles." Hoff's fame offered a bully pulpit, and after a decade he made use of it. He wrote a companion book, "The Te of Piglet," about the way of the small, weak, childlike, feminine, sensitive, virtuous, modest, yielding, and fluid. At least, I think that's what it's about. There's little in here about either Piglet or Te (pronounced DEHr or DUHr). Instead, it's a diatribe against heavy industry, business, government (especially the Forest Service), pesticides, doctors, the military, feminists, conservatives, realists, Western culture, mainstream Americans, critics, and all the other "Eeyores" of the world. Yes, Hoff criticises critics (and shows himself to be an Eeyore). Very disappointing.
The dialog with Piglet and the others is there, though with a depressing and negative spin. (Inexplicably, Piglet has hired a thief as a bodyguard. And Eeyore isn't just gloomy, he's a mean SOB.) The original Pooh stories are there, though crudely intercut in very large chunks. The original Pooh illustrations are there. The funky capitalization is there. Quotations from Taoist philosophers are there in abundance. In fact, it's a rather long book -- almost twice as long as the first one. There are long explanatory sections about the history of Taoism and Confucianism, and smatterings of Taoist principles. The book just doesn't lift one's spirits. Instead of selling Taoism, it's an environmentalist rant. Hoff even claims that our generation will see the collapse of business/civilization as we know it, to be replaced by a new age of environmental consciousness.
Not that there aren't useful insights here, of course.
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