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Tao Te Ching: A New English Version | [Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell]

Tao Te Ching: A New English Version

In 81 brief chapters, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, as well as a serene and generous spirit. It teaches us how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao: the basic principle of the universe.
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Publisher's Summary

In 81 brief chapters, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, as well as a serene and generous spirit. It teaches us how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao: the basic principle of the universe.

Stephen Mitchell's best-selling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.

©1988 Stephen Mitchell; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Stephen Mitchell's rendition of the Tao Te Ching comes as close to being definitive for our time as any I can imagine. It embodies the virtues its translator credits to the Chinese original: a gemlike lucidity that is radiant with humor, grace, large-heartedness, and deep wisdom." (Huston Smith, author of The Religions of Man)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (289 )
5 star
 (176)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.6 (203 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (204 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    bob LAWRENCEBURG, IN, United States 09-08-10
    bob LAWRENCEBURG, IN, United States 09-08-10

    Bob Sauerbrey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Tao as Lao Tse would write it today."

    Stephen Mitchell has proved himself a master of translating in the most fundamental meaning of that term. He carries across not only the denotation of the words but the cultural contexts that are its connotation and which make the words live in our own culture as they did in their own. Mitchell has rescued Rilke from the gravel of Deutsch-speak and has presented the Tao as a Master himself--he not only presents the words to the reader but he subjects the reader to the words. Thus he accomplished what Lao Tse himself attempted--to make that which cannot be contained in word become alive within the words.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle plantationUS Minor Outlying Islands 11-04-09
    Danielle plantationUS Minor Outlying Islands 11-04-09 Member Since 2009
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    "don't waste your money"

    The "New English Version" is an ill-translated, uninspiring bore, narrated in a most drab, unenlightened manner.
    I am so disappointed with this version of the "Tao" that I have not been able to listen to it through its conclusion. I have decided to purchase an earlier translation. Take my advice; try another version of the "Tao"

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-19-14
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    "Outstanding"
    Any additional comments?

    A beautiful reading of this wise and poetic collection of teachings. My only criticism is the jarring intrusion of lengthy promotional material following close upon the final syllable. I encourage purchasers and listeners to discourage the insertion of this kind of material wherever and whenever it appears uninvited. It is not what we pay for, and it is destructive to the efforts of the authors and readers of good literature to create a rewarding experience for the purchaser.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 02-15-14
    Diana 02-15-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "To be closed, first you must be open . . . to be"

    tall, first you must be short . . . to be happy, first you must be sad . . . (or something like that . . . )

    AAAAACK!

    I had heard so often and read so many times recommendations and references to the book of wisdoms by Lao Tzu. So, I was pleased to find it on Audible. And listened to it right away.

    But, since I've been listening to a number of books on the topics of meditation, mindfulness, and some touching on consciousness . . . too many of the books have had Zen or Buddhism leanings or teachings inserted or running through as a thread and I have sincerely come to dislike those strange little short stories where someone usually asks "But, What does it mean Master?" (of course, there never is an answer given because we are supposed to figure it out ourselves . . . )

    The great reviews have always come from people who can meditate. If I ever get good at meditating, maybe these sayings will resonate with me. At this point I'm not, so they don't.




    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan 02-14-14
    Bryan 02-14-14
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    1
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    "Nice translation but,an advertisement at the end??"
    Would you try another book from Lao Tzu and Stephen Mitchell and/or Stephen Mitchell?

    Absolutely. Great modern translation without losing the spirit of the Tao. Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is timeless and always relevant.


    What other book might you compare Tao Te Ching to and why?

    It has no real comparison.


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Mitchell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The in book advertisement at the end of the book really distracts from the feeling of the book. Giving 2 stars overall for this reason only. It's too bad such a deep work launches into an advertisement right at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Toronto, ON, Canada 10-15-13
    Joshua Toronto, ON, Canada 10-15-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Can be said to execute phrasing greatly"
    What did you love best about Tao Te Ching?

    Stephen Mitchel's annunciation is so perfectly suited to this text and even though this is not my favorite translation of the book I was quickly won over by his presentation.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tao Te Ching?

    The chapter on the master in government "the people will say: look, we did it, all by our selves."


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

    I usually put it on before bed or on long walks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tamie Rock Island, WA, United States 07-25-13
    tamie Rock Island, WA, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    32
    1
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    "WOW"
    Where does Tao Te Ching rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't have one


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Mitchell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


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

    yes but could not. I will listen to this audible many times over.....


    Any additional comments?

    Yes! I sure would have loved having this book when I started 6th, 7th, etc. school grades.(although I am glad to have it now) books like this taught in the school systems would alleviate self and/or directed hurt to self and all. Human children would truly get to learn and understand the real purpose of the brain, form, ego, essence of themselves others and the planet energy of all kinds. thank you for the translation Mr. Mitchell

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Slink Clearlake, CA, United States 04-11-13
    Slink Clearlake, CA, United States 04-11-13
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    "perhaps the wisest book ever written"
    Would you listen to Tao Te Ching again? Why?

    because it brings peace to ones mind


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tao Te Ching?

    it bring you to what is


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Mitchell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    hes amazing translator nothing more nothing less


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    the big dream


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefan Balan VT, USA 12-10-12
    Stefan Balan VT, USA 12-10-12

    StB

    ratings
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    "Great translation, okay reading."
    Where does Tao Te Ching rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one of the most translated book in the Western world and arguably one of the most important.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is no story.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Stephen Mitchell?

    Yes and no. I love his translations-I think he did groundbreaking work translating several books, but his reading is not on par.


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

    No. It's profound and interesting. Needs several sittings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer PNW, USA 11-05-12
    Amazon Customer PNW, USA 11-05-12
    ratings
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    1
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    "Just Right"
    What did you love best about Tao Te Ching?

    The Tao is not something you 'try out." It is something you live because you understand .....but that is not an easy thing to do. No one fully understands The Tao, and so translating is an offering of assistance to those reaching out for insight. It is not an absolute, but a wise translation. Understanding doesn't come easily. This is a well written translation voiced with wisdom and knowledge of the fragile nature of the beginning of understanding. Thank you......Hearing the voice of The Tao....what a selfless gift.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tao Te Ching?

    Clarity of meaning within the context of intent.......Not simply a reading of words. This piece gives life to those words


    What about Stephen Mitchell’s performance did you like?

    His use of inflection and choice of documenting language with explaination.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No film. And I do mean that as a tag......For those who understand........"No....film."


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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