Stephen Mitchell's best-selling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.
©1988 Stephen Mitchell; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"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)
Unfortunately, this recording is seriously marred by a loud and obnoxious Audible advertisement that starts IMMEDIATELY after the book is done. It is startling and incredibly out of place, especially considering the nature of this audiobook.
Audible absolutely needs to release an updated version, changing nothing save removing this offensive advertisement, and this would be a fantastic recording!
There is some great stuff to contemplate in this It's very relaxing to listen to. However, as others have said the ad at the end is absurd and totally takes you out of what should be a serene experience.
Listening to Tao wisdom any faster, would lose the point of what is being spoken. This audio book was the right speed and authors voice is easy on the ears. Many of the translations are easy to understand and give you plenty to contemplate.
A beautiful translation of the Tao read perfectly by the author/translator is marred by the production value. When listening with an iPod or Nano, I can actually hear the recording turning on and off. When using the recording for meditative purposes the noise becomes distracting.
I loved every aspect of this book. The translation, granted I know no other, was in clear and modern English that allowed me to fully appreciate the content in all its subtleties. Stephen Michell's soft tone of voice and the slow pace of his reading gently lead me through the meanders of Lao Tzu's thoughts.
As I heard the gentle voice say "by not dominating, the master leads", I was sinking deeper into a comfortable meditative mode. When suddenly, that Jack sprung out of her box: "Hello, this is Cherry Jones... bla bla bla". What possessed the producers of that book to kill it with that obnoxious ad at the end, which jumps into the listener's ears without a iota of a pause or a transition to isolate it from the reading of the Tao? That is how I learned that the reading of the Tao was over. With Ms Jones yelling in my ears.
That explains my one star for "Overall." There should be a grading for production quality.
How disruptive to have Cheri Jones' loud voice at the end!! It startles you and ruins the peace you were feeling after listening to this special book !
Stephen Mitchell uses his 14 years of Zen training in this well-regarded translation to capture the spirit of Laotse's seminal book on the Art of Living
Written with the formal Zen practitioner mind, but if you wish to read the tao te ching, you must find a different version. Jane English's, is the only other one I have read and would recommend it highly. As it is accurate
The author "Zen"ed up the story. To much of the translator not enough Tao
The author did depart from all other translators and use she, rather then he. I found this change to be wonderful and useful.
The book ends very VERY poorly. With some woman yelling at you about audio books and children. like being thrown in ice cold water. It hurts
if you've ever read his translations of Rumi, the Book of Job, etc., you know what i mean!
I have been reading versions of Tao te Ching for decades. This is a balanced, serene, insightful one, that I think fits modern sensibilities better than any I've read (in several instances giving phrasings that better expressed ideas I had groped for, but not fully reached with other versions). It has a neat, non-frilly clarity that is ideal. The sound quality is good as far as the voice but I can hear quiet background noise going on and off as each little segment ends and the next starts. It is mildly distracting, but no big deal.
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