Recording (P)1994 by Audio Literature; Copyright ©1976 by Thomas Byron
While The wisdom and sayings are excellent. The reader is dry, mono-tone, and will actually start to put you to sleep.
This audio book is just simply one of the BEST i have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It is HIGHLY recommended, it has plenty of concentrated wisdom of the budda in it. Trust me this audio is good.
This audio version of the Dhammapada is a personal, intimate one and speaks directly to the deepest level of the human heart as none of the more expensive versions I've read or sampled on Audible have thus far. Don't let the relatively short duration, low price tag and sparse fan fare fool you, this is a profoundly executed Dhammapada that is classic in simplicity and sticks to the essentials of the original text, skipping the commentary temptations that sound like a good idea, but on audio do not serve much purpose when reaching for a meditational aid like this.
Jacob Needleman has a penetrating voice that can move one to tears just from the poignancy and conviction of Needleman's personable, moving baritone delivery, which has the power to make the listener feel that he IS the Buddha at times. His voice sounds very compassionate as it reveals the timelessly fragmentary and simple recipe to inner peace.
This collection of teachings wastes no words. I will listen to this audiobook over and over again without a doubt. The reader's voice is perfect for such a book, as it doesn't distract the listener in any way and allows one to focus solely on the words being read. I have a relatively large library of audiobooks and this is up there with the best audiobook experiences I've had yet. I'm glad I chose it.
This is the worst recording I've encountered on Audible. Most of the Audible recordings are very good. This is beyond bad. Every s or other sibilant sound hisses piercingly in your ear.
The content, if you can hear it, is excellent. The reader is probably pretty good, too, but how can you tell with all that racket going on?
The content is what it is - the traditional sayings of the Buddha. It's excellent and worth listening to over and over. I won't dwell on that - if you know what it is you know what it is and if you don't I encourage you to give it a listen and find out!
On to specific issues with this particular recording:
This translation struck me as very competent, if slightly awkward at a few places, which I think boils down to the use of British English over American English? Nothing major.
The reader is just fine -- except for one minor point -- there is too much sibilance (this is the "hissing S" or "whistling" sound some of the other reviews note).
This is absolutely the audio engineer's fault for not taking steps to deal with this issue in the recording process (called "de-essing"). I have other books with the same reader, and they do not exhibit the same problem. (I also happen to have some experience with audio production, so I know where to lay the blame in this specific case.)
I don't think this renders the end result un-listenable, but it does detract from the experience. The publisher should correct this audio and it would be near-perfect expression of what it attempts to be.
It's hard to imagine that these wise words were written in approximately 600 BC. I used to have this audio program on cassette tape, but wore it out after hundreds of listenings.
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