The Wisdom of the Shire

  • by Noble Smith
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 4 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J. R. R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits.
Drawing on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other tales of Middle-earth, Smith shows how a snug hobbit-hole is actually just a state of mind and how even the smallest person can have the valor of a Rider of Rohan. He explores subjects dear to a halfling’s heart, such as beer, food, and friendship, as well as more serious concerns, such as courage, living in harmony with nature, and good versus evil.
How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birthday instead of getting them such a revolutionary idea? And how can we carry the burden of our own "Ring of Power: without becoming devoured by it? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life’s essential questions.
Noble Smith is an award-winning playwright who has worked as a video game writer, documentary film producer, and media director of an international human-rights foundation.

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What the Critics Say

"The Wisdom of the Shire is an idea whose time has unquestionably come…. I'd buy it like a shot, give copies away to deserving friends, and keep it by the bed for bad nights." (Peter S. Beagle, award-winning author of The Last Unicorn)
"How to live long and prosper, Hobbit-style…. Tolkien fans breathlessly awaiting Peter Jackson’s upcoming three-part feature film will be pleasantly satiated with this self-help guide channeling the effervescent spirit and timeless morality of the much-loved Hobbit population,…The author's many comparisons between the ‘safe, warm, comfortable’ facets of Hobbit life and contemporary reality lived outside Middle-earth are creative and satisfyingly good-natured…. Interwoven throughout the text are factoids about Tolkien’s life….A life-affirming, must-have morsel for Tolkien's colossal fan base." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Delves into Middle-earth to show us how Tolkien can instruct us how to live a better life on Regular-earth." (The Boston Globe)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thought Provoking

Any additional comments?

If you are a fan of Tolkien, this is a very fun read. Applies the truths in the books/movies to today's life. Not really a self-help book, but contains truths we should all live by, along with interesting tidbits about Tolkien's life and writing.

I originally bought this audiobook as a gift for someone else. He raved about it, so I had to listen to it, and I totally agree with him.

At the end, there is a Hobbit Test to test your Hobbitishness.For example, you get points if you have ever called someone an "Orc" in anger. Great fun!

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- Ingwe

Great advice to move toward more simple living

Where does The Wisdom of the Shire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really enjoyed it a lot and have listened to it more than once. So that's something considering there are still a few things I haven't gotten to yet. It's hard to compare it to other genres though. It doesn't have plot or twists or things of that nature like a novel. But it's very good.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wisdom of the Shire?

I particularly like the parts where he gave practical examples of ways he did things to follow the "Wisdom of the Shire"


Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

There are no characters per se, so this doesn't really apply


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes very much so. I didn't quite make it but I did get most of the way through.


Any additional comments?

While you can see a bit of politics creeping into the text, it's not heavy and it's only in a couple short spots. Overall it's a very good, inspiring book.

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- Jon Coleman "Jon"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-22-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.