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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Second Thought
I read this book shortly after reading the Tao of Pooh 3+ years ago, which I absolutely loved and continue to loan to friends and family when I see them struggling. I have always discouraged the reading of the Te of Piglet to these same people. After searching for a new copy of the Tao of Pooh, I decided to see what other's thought of this book. To keep it short, here's...
Published on March 4, 2006 by S. MENEELY

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103 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Que?
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...
Published on April 28, 2000 by Mr. A. Pomeroy


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103 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Que?, April 28, 2000
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (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.
For example, slotted in near the end is the tale of a great king who liked the sound of a nightingale singing so much that, when presented with a flawless clockwork replica, he neglected the real nightingale until it flew away. Over time the clockwork nightingale broke, and the king felt sad until the real nightingale returned. This is presented as great wisdom, but my initial response was 'this is froth'. What does it mean? Presumably the author sees it as a cautionary tale against the evils of metal, but, if you think about it for a moment and don't accept it blindly, it means nothing at all, it's just an empty quote with the illusion of depth. Much the same could be said about the rest of the book - we are constantly told to learn from real life, whilst being presented by wisdom presented as narrative descriptions of life in Ancient China.
Whilst 'Pooh' had a light touch, 'Piglet' attempts to bludgeon the reader with the author's viewpoints, and by the final chapter I felt like reading through the nasty bits of 'American Psycho' again, just to calm down.
Take Eeyore, for example. He's a loveable misanthrope, a welcome note of gloom in the 'Winnie the Pooh' books, who seems bitter but, deep down, means well. The author hates him, however. Really, truly hates him. He doesn't just disapprove of him, he actually hates him.
'The Tao of Pooh' is a great book - even if you're a cynical soul, after reading it you can accept Taoism and respect it, even if you don't agree with its way of seeing the world. 'The Te of Piglet', on the other hand, will make you want to attack the author and his beliefs with a broom.
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When a bookstore owner warns you against a book ..., January 28, 2001
By 
R. Byrd "byrdie" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (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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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You won't get what you think you're paying for..., August 24, 2000
By 
Paul Cox (Gig Harbor, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (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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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, September 24, 2001
By 
Hidden Wisdom (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (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. One of my favorites: "A successful individual appears to succeed because he is Aggressive -- he chases after things and gets them. Chances are his positive attitude attracts those things to him and creates opportunities for success to happen. But chances are onlookers see Aggression succeeding, rather than Attitude. So that's what they imitate. And, since aggression attracts more aggression, the want-to-be-successful turn business into Busyness, creating an atmosphere of increasing combativeness and negativity in which relatively few are likely to be successful -- and even fewer are likely to be happy." Hoff recommends instead that we follow the way of Gandhi, "the greatest Piglet of all time."
Taoists have historically been critics of hierarchical, rule-based Confucian governments and practices, and they have always supported the underdog. But Taoists have also been scientists, artists, philosophers, healers, and intellectuals of all sorts. I'd rather read about their positive beliefs than about the negatives of everyone else. And I'd like to see it done with more humor. To quote Hoff, "Eeyores, in other words, are Whiners. They believe the negative but not the positive and are so obsessed with What's Wrong that the Good Things in Life pass them by unnoticed. Are they the ones, then, to give us an accurate account of what life is about? If the universe were governed by the Eeyore Attitude, the whole thing would have collapsed eons ago."
You wouldn't think the same author wrote these two books.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, August 3, 2001
By 
Lissa L. (West Virginia) - See all my reviews
There may be Taoist philosophy disguised in here, somewhere, but it sounded to me much more like the ravings of a person who is Most Certainly Not "in harmony with the world." Indeed, the author sounds to be a Very Angry Person.
His consistent censure of Confucianism disturbed me the most. Confucianists: "High and mighty"? It sounds as if he has confused Confucianism with Chinese legalism. While Confucianism is certainly concerned with with the role of man in a social hierarchy, the dominant partner in any relationship has an obligation, according to the philosophy, to "rule" with kindness, fairness, and wisdom.
It disturbs me that many undoubtedly got their first taste of Confucianism -- aside from any pop-culture impression of its being a philosophy of one-liners suitable only for use in comedy skits -- from the angry man who authored a book ... purportedly about virtue.
For him to suggest that Confucianists, as one body, encouraged cruelty to animals, foot-binding, and other crimes against man and nature is sophistry. To imply that every person participating in the Confucianist government of ancient China must be Confucian by philosophy is likewise false.
I'm extremely disappointed with this book, which I had hoped would give me a window into the eastern mind. Instead I found a window into the mind of the author-- a window I longed to close.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Second Thought, March 4, 2006
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (Paperback)
I read this book shortly after reading the Tao of Pooh 3+ years ago, which I absolutely loved and continue to loan to friends and family when I see them struggling. I have always discouraged the reading of the Te of Piglet to these same people. After searching for a new copy of the Tao of Pooh, I decided to see what other's thought of this book. To keep it short, here's my opinion...

At first read 3+ years ago, I agreed with the comments by people who reviewed this book as a rather poor read. I agreed with the fact that the author was on a soap box.

After second thought, I have determined that I was incorrect. I am going to purchase a second copy of this book to re-read, as I foolishly got rid of my first copy many years ago. I realize that the author was being very subtle in his teaching of taoism. This was not necessarily the author speaking from his soap box, but perhaps a teacher who realized the best way to reach some people is to give them a real time example of taoism and smallness, and by the end of the book we see that the author himself realizes this when Piglet stands up for his friend Eeyore. My point being, if the author "sees" his mistake by the end of the book, surely he saw it all along when he was writing this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More about Ka-ching than Tao te Ching, August 12, 2001
By 
Moozhskoy (Lawrenceville, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (Paperback)
This book seems to have been written solely for the money the author knew it would make. It has none of the wit and charm of its predecessor. Mr. Hoff, who often annoyingly refers to himself in the first person plural (our tai chi instructor told us, etc.), begins with the notion that anything anti-western is taoist and constructs a long and tedious screed against modern American culture. He preaches the importance of seeing things as they are and then proves himself totally incapable of separating myth from reality. It would be funny if Mr Hoff were not so pompous. The difference between The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet is equivalent to the difference between a prom date and a prostitute.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely tragic, January 7, 2004
By 
Daniel Saults (Rolla, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (Paperback)
In a nutshell, take all the wonder and whimsy and philosophical depth of the Tao of Pooh. Repeat precisely the same messages in shorter form, swapping the name Piglet for Pooh. Mix in with cynicism, complaints, whining, and just a very slight edge of borderline paranoia. Serve cold (and mirthless, and dull, etc.). This book, more than anything, seems a documentary on Benjamin Hoff's slide from philosophizing tranquilly to becoming a very bitter person. From scarcely veiled ravings against feminism (something that seems to smack of a man who recently suffered a bad breakup over macho behaviour) to railings against modern technology that harken back vaguely to the tinfoil hat crowd, this book is best appreciated as a cautionary tale that even the most seemingly solid minds can be spoiled by a life not lived carefully. The text itself, as informed above, is basically the Tao of Pooh rehashed with this depressing, trite, and minimalistic elegy for the lost innocence of Piglet, made into little more than a handpuppet for Hoff's personal agendas.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing rant, January 4, 2001
By 
doc peterson (Portland, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Benjamin Hoff's follow-up to the Tao of Pooh, the Te of Piglet, is neither as fun or as interesting as the previous work. Te, the Taoist principle of the virtue of the small includes, according to Hoff, leaving a small footprint (as opposed to a large one) on the earth - as this book has a decidedly more ecological slant to it. Hoff remains true to the endearing format of the Tao of Pooh, but as he writes his diatribes against corporate culture and the evils of consumerism, its charm quickly wears off. Little wonder this book failed to inspire me as his previous book did.
Perhaps it was the almost preachy tone Hoff takes from time to time. Or maybe it was the fact that I simply became bored and distracted at the minutae of the philosophy. Possibly I didn't like the book because I don't like Piglet as much as I like Pooh. There are numerous reasons for my dislike of the Te of Piglet - there are so many, I honestly cannot put my finger on a single specific reason. If you had been hoping, as I had, that the Te of Piglet would be as good or better than the Tao of Pooh, you will be diasppointed.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good example of hypocrisy, November 1, 2003
By 
SplatW, (Carlsbad, NM United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Te of Piglet (Paperback)
Definetly not as good as the first. I really couldn't get over the condecending tone towards the whole loveable cast of my childhood heros. The chapter criticising feminism outraged me highly...It showed the authors obvious lack of understanding of what feminism is, even at its core, much less the understanding that there are an unlimited number of "breeds" of feminism...
The whole book is hypocritical...the author spends all his time complaining about how in the wrong people who complain all the time are...
Don't bother with this one.
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The Te of Piglet
The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff (Paperback - November 1, 1993)
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