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The Tao Te Ching

The Classic of the Tao and Its Power
Narrated by: Sir Nigel Hawthorne
Length: 1 hr and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sir Nigel Hawthorne's inspiring reading brings to life this new translation of Lao Tzu's 2,500 year old Chinese classic. Probably the most influential spiritual book in human history, the Tao Te Ching translates as The Classic of The Tao and Its Power.

In 80 short chapters, it reveals a profound view of the Tao, a unique and satisfying way of life and nature. This revered collection of wise sayings and commentaries is a complete guide to living the sagely life and finding a calm and tranquil center in the midst of the chaos and stress of 21st-century life.

©2008 Man Ho Kwok, Jay Ramsay, Martin Palmer (P)2008 Mark Forstater

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent review of basic Tao precepts

Mr Hawthorn preformed brilliantly in conveying the illusory theme of the Tao Te Ching in an understandable fashion .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable listening

many thought provoking messages. some questionable quotes. some ideas I agreed with some I didn't.

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A+ Experience

An incredible narrator doing justice to an incredible, yet concise work of wisdom. Good, practical advice.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration Is a problem

The narrator could not maintain an even volume when speaking making it difficult to hear with the smallest noises around me. The narrator also sped up and slowed down randomly making it hard to follow along in some parts. The content itself is great though I need to get a copy with a different narrator.

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complexly simple

every time it's different, something new emerges.
fifteen words? there are too many words, sometimes it's better to be silent.

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  • scott
  • Columbia, Moldova, Republic of
  • 12-22-15

One of my favorite translations

I find this translation clear of the most Nigel Hawthorn's narration adds to the charm of the translation.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Al
  • 10-18-11

Sound sound!

Excellent reading by Nigel Hawthorne, well worth getting. An easy to listen to voice giving a fine interpretation of ancient words of wisdom.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The_price_of_bottled_water
  • 05-13-14

classic - well narrated

If you could sum up The Tao Te Ching in three words, what would they be?

Very abstract, but have listened to it many time. Shame it is abridged

Who was your favorite character and why?

Those who speak, do not know, Those who know, do not speak.

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

Great actor, gives a very good performance of a classic text

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • matthew roche
  • 10-08-18

Memorable quotes

Real food for thought here. The audiobook tells us how to live in accordance with Dao (follow the Dao, do not go against the Dao).

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  • Mr S.P.Davis
  • 10-31-16

classic recording of a national treasure

excellent performance of superb translation of immortal wisdom teaching - always loved it, always will

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 03-05-11

Shades of Satire...

One who cooks good food?
Nope - that's Nigel Slater or Nigella Lawson.

Is he one of those Shakespearian actors who narrates audiobooks?
Well, he does do Agatha Christie, but he is not Brian Blessed or Ian Richardson.

No, this Nigel Hawthorne is none other than Sir Humphrey Appleby (from Yes Minister & Yes Prime Minister) - the Late Master of Posh, Cynical Irreverence narrating arguably the greatest philosophical work in history.

With a hint of skeptical wisdom & an ironic sense of Real politik, the Tao is given a whole new angle through one of Britain's finest actors. Each verse is compelling, yet also has that evasive quality that the Tao has which cannot be grasped, only allowed.

And best of all the whole work is condensed to a mere 76 minutes, meaning that the whole book can be listened to in one car journey!

This is, however, the one problem with it. The Tao Te Ching is rich & dense in content & one verse can last you a whole day of thinking. Crammed into one download (with only two or three word titles per verse) isn't really enough to explore the text's meaning.

Furthermore, this text is not the best translation of the Tao. Every translation is different & has different meanings but this one, if anything, seems a bit too literally translated.
As an example, there is the line on the back cover 'The Tao goes on forever doing nothing And yet everything gets done'. Why not 'The Tao does nothing, but leaves nothing undone'? Translation is no barrier to economy of language.

Despite this, this is (as the cliche goes) exactly what it says on the tin. It is a raw, pithy version of the Tao & is a good condensed version of the work.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 02-27-18

Deep, classic, well translated and read

A very deep book. very hard to comprehend. needs to be read multiple times. the translation was fine, just deep meaning in the words. very practical