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Publisher's Summary

In the first book of its kind, The Path draws on the work of six of the great - but largely unknown - Chinese philosophers to offer a fresh and revolutionary guide to human flourishing.

By examining the teachings of Chinese thinkers and explaining what they reveal about our daily lives - from greeting others to raising children - The Path challenges some of our deepest held assumptions. It shows that the way to live well is not to slavishly follow a grand plan, as so much of Western thought would have us believe, but rather to follow a path - one of self-cultivation and self-discovery.

©2016 Penguin Books Ltd. (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Rannoch Donald
  • 06-29-16

Unlistenable

I was excited to see this available on audible but the quality of the recording is appalling and unlistenable. I have tried on several occasions but the audio is so bad I have given up.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • KittyB
  • 04-12-16

Life Through a Chinese Sage's Eyes

Where does The Path rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Path is quite unique in that it is part philosophy/history book when Puett explains the various ideas of the different philosophers and it is also part self-help book when Puett then applies those idea to potential everyday life situations (some adapted more successfully than others I might add).

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I felt a bit confused at the ending as the final chapter is quite historical in nature.It discusses western philosophical ideas surrounding China, and the way Western society is run compared to Chinese society. I felt this would have probably been better to have the historical background bit at the start of the book, not at the end! That said I suppose it was nice to have all the ideas of the various Chinese philosophers to consider when comparing both societies at the end.

What does Michael Puett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I liked that the author Michael Puett read the book. I always like it when an author reads his or her work as you can often tell they are passionate about the subject they are discussing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I really liked how Puett challenged modern concepts with ancient Chinese ideas. This made me look again at the things I consider to be 'normal' ideas. Although at times this assumption of what we consider to be modern day ideas felt a bit overly stereotypical. I particularly liked how Yang Zhu's idea of spontaneity was not do whatever the heck you like, but by training yourself to act in a spontaneous way, like how someone plays a beautiful melody on a piano, it is true spontaneity as they are doing it freely through their spirit (without having to think about it). There were plenty of other examples throughout the book of Chinese philosophy being applied to modern day ideas and situations that made me think about things in a different way. I felt that some of them seemed a bit obscure but quite a lot of them resonated really well.

Any additional comments?

I think this book also actually works well as an introduction to Chinese philosophy and perhaps religion. It isn't a subject I knew very much about, and I feel I can appreciate different Chinese philosophical ideas now. I don't feel it gives you a great in depth analysis of these ideas but then I don't think that was the intention of the book. Personally, I'd like to read some of the texts from the philosophers and consider them in terms of the ideas Puett mentions. Overall I found this a very interesting and insightful book. In general I don't enjoy self help books at all, I find them rather assuming and patronising which I didn't feel this was at all. Certainly worth a listen if anything just for the interesting new ideas of looking at things you may have never even considered before. Whether or not those ideas are actually better or worse than our modern conceptions is hard to tell, or perhaps they are in fact one and the same. Plenty of food for thought anyway!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil
  • 05-13-16

Good, but listen to a clip before purchase

Any additional comments?

I'm about halfway through the audiobook. The content is enjoyable, but it is read by the author and I find his voice extremely irritating, which makes it harder for me to relax when listening. I may also buy the print copy in order to absorb these interesting ideas but without the distraction of this voice.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Samuel J. Westley
  • 07-20-17

Narrator's voice

The narrator has a great voice, but it's just bass and treble with no mid so I couldn't hear it in he car, tried EQing it but naw.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 11-29-17

Ancient Chinese thought: highway not byway.

Fluent and scholarly take on the subtleties of Taoism and its current relevance. A series of thinkers are reviewed and contrasted. Initial emphasis is on insights into individual interaction with the world. It concludes with a persuasive appeal as to the importance of these texts to our understanding of society and its current afflictions. Along the way it challenged me, at least, on my notion of modernity.

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  • MR M CLARK
  • 08-30-17

informative and thought provoking

It works well in audio and can be listened to quite quickly, although I found a chapter at a time worked well. lots to ponder but the style isn't heavy. it's a welcome non-western centric jolt too.

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  • Dorota Kotowicz
  • 04-23-17

Excellent informative inspirational read

excellent inspirational read for anybody in search of self instruction and self improvement. Well done

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  • Customer
  • 03-21-17

Vin Diesel on Valium

Can't listen to this, narrator sounds like Vin Diesel on valium. Deathly monotonous, wanted to bash my head against the steering wheel after about an hour. Avoid.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Jewry
  • 02-23-17

Loved it!

This is now on my all time favourite book list. Really interesting and inspiring. A thought provoking read. Highly recommend it

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  • oliver
  • 10-24-16

Sublime

Really well written and thought through piece of work. Brilliant. I would advise anyone interested in philosophy to read it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-23-17

very enlightening

this is a book you need to read more than once to get all the important information from it.