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Dao de Jing  By  cover art

Dao de Jing

By: Roger Ames,David L. Hall
Narrated by: Robert Lowenstein
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Publisher's summary

Composed more than 2,000 years ago, the Dao de jing (Tao Te Ching) set forth an alternative vision of reality in a world torn apart by violence and betrayal. Second only to the Bible, this timeless classic is one of the world's most revered inspirational books. Daoism offers a comprehensive view of experience grounded in a full understanding of the wonders hidden in the ordinary. Now in this luminous new translation, Chinese scholars Ames and Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the Dao de jing into our contemporary world.
©2003 Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

What listeners say about Dao de Jing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Unless you are a sinologist

I am fluent in modern Chinese, but the narrator's pronouciation is so awful that I couldn't understand what he was saying without going back to the ancient original. This translation also suffers from too many commentaries, two hours introduction and 81 commentary made this book very unwieldly, the philosophical translation (or rather, philosophical commentaries) also render this edition arcane at best, but if you are a sinologist, I think this book will still be of interest to you.

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19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The critical reviews are missing the point

Several reviews of this audiobook criticize the fact that most of this book consists of prose commentary. Some reviews criticize the translation. Both are missing the point. The philosophical commentary *IS* the book. The commentary proposes that the Dao de Jing expresses a coherent, nuanced, and valuable cosmological and metaphysical vision. The translation attempts to make this philosophical vision comprehensible. If you are more interested in considering the Dao de Jing PURELY as a poem, and you are exclusively concerned with the "flow" of the translation (the number of syllables and how well it rhymes) then choose another translation - or better yet, go read a nursery rhyme. If you want to approach the Dao de Jing as a nuanced, complex, condensed, crystalized philosophical vision, then understand that unpacking that vision may require some technical language, and translating that vision in a CONCEPTUALLY accurate manner might not read like Dr. Seuss. If that sounds interesting, ignore the baseless criticisms and get this book.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Dear heavens, what a train wreck

If this were a meal, it would be a chicken, boiled until all flavor is lost and poured down the drain.

I have many translations of the Tao Te Ching. Every new translation usually brings some wonderful contribution to the experience, but I have yet to discover what the contribution here is.

I usually enjoy insightful commentary on the text many translations offer. I love the glimpses of cultural insight and explanations many translations and commentaries provide. This reads like an academic treatment that was refused for publication by philosophical journals.

The translation is ineloquent and sterile. The commentary is pretentious and haughty. It takes more than three hours of self-congratulatory introduction before the translation even begins.

Even in translation, it's clear from the whole of available translations the Tao Te Ching is a work of eloquence and beauty. Alas, neither has managed to survive this edition.

Look elsewhere.

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10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best self help book EVER!

It seems that 2400- 2600 years ago there was a lot of thinking going on. Socrates. Siddhartha, and Lao Tzu. and all of it so applicable today that it seems fresh. and matured.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but needs better chapter breaks

This audio recording could really use some bookmarks. There are 81 chapters to the Dao De Jing, and it's very difficult to find the specific chapter you are looking for. The actual chapter splits seem to be random, and unconcerned about whether they split at an actual chapter, or even in the middle of the commentary. It would actually be much more useful, and less confusing, if there were a new chapter or a bookmark for each chapter from the book.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Definitely a great read that sheds light on many of the otherwise vague passages in the Dao.

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1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

As a sinologist, I get it

As a sinologist, and a practicing Daoist, I get it. The explanations in the shift of worldview and thought processes necessary to understand the Dao De Jing are on point, and vitally needed in order to truly understand the Dao De Jing. If you want to read poetry, then read a poem. If you want to understand the universe, then read the Dao De Jing. However, I would recommend reading this book because this audio translation of the book is the worst ever. First, it sounds like a machine is reading. Where is the passion and humanity? Not here. Second, the pronunciations of the Chinese words are completely inaccurate. They are so mindboggling inaccurate that I cannot finish listening to this tape (or stream of 1s and 0s). I want to throw up every time I hear Robert Lowenstein pronounce a Chinese word, even a simple one. Pin yin (the romanization system that renders characters into words using a Western alphabet) is not that hard to master, and no one is even asking that he get the tones right, but please do us a favor and try to pronounce the Chinese words in a book about Chinese words relatively accurately, for the love of god!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chapters make it really hard to reference after

The actual chapters are really short even including the commentary. The structure of this recording makes it really hard to re-read any actual chapters to think about the lessons.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

commentary.

Great commentary, love experiencing different views and expressions of this text. if you enjoy learning about the Tao, you will enjoy this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best fortune cookie ever!

Perfect if you want to explore the text as much as you can. Only complaint is how the audiobook chapters are structured seems odd with how the actual book is structured.

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