Authors: John and Annette Gisby
Rating: 4 stars
What should you do if your spouse becomes addicted to the Lord of the Rings movies and swoons at the very mention of Orlando Bloom’s name? (Thud. Quick, fetch the smelling salts.) How about taking the advice of a strange apparition that reveals itself in a dream? An apparition that looks remarkably like the director of the movies, Peter Jackson, but not quite remarkably enough to prompt legal action. An apparition that recommends touring New Zealand in an effort to prove that its sheep pastures aren’t really filled by frolicking Hobbits. Just sheep and the occasional zorbing local. This is the hilarious tale of such a tour, featuring snow capped mountains and turquoise lakes, flightless birds and flying cattle, bungy jumping grannies and the carrot mafia, strange yellow eyes peering up from a road map and hotel receptionists always desperate to know win you are living.
I’m sorry this review is up rather late. I just finished reading. I had a blast, and I didn’t want to take up the pace to finish sooner. If you’re looking for a book about travelling to New Zealand, then this is it. The book is humorous and quirky, fun and exciting. I never longed to go to New Zealand as badly as after finishing this book.
What makes this original and entertaining is the focus on hobbits, the conversations John has with a weird, tiny little man in his head, the funny nicknames and terms like ‘hobbit botherer’. I’m a big fan of Lord of the Rings – who isn’t? and where are they, so I can burn them? – so the hobbit-locations are definitely on my to-visit list if I ever make it to New Zealand. But even if you’re not a die-hard LOTR fan, there are plenty of places the Gisby’s describe in this book that are worth visiting.
The writing is at times hilarious. Sometimes I thought it was a little too hilarious, as I kept on laughing and couldn’t keep up with what was being said. But all in all, I had great fun, I learned lots of new things about New Zealand, and I met a fellow hobbit botherer in the book.