This is a beautiful translation of the Tao Te Ching. It is not mechanistic, as is so common among English translations of this book, but attempts to flow with the beauty and prose of the original Chinese. I think the only other translation that compares to this is by Stephen Mitchell; side to side Stephen's is more scientifically accurate, but less poetic. What is commonly missed in translating this work is that the free flowing and beautiful prose plays a great deal to accuracy, but contra wise it is true that English attempts to translate this work into prose inevitably at times narrow down what should be open ended. :) If you have an interest in the Tao Te Ching, reading more than one translation helps to firmly grasp what beauty the text is in the original Chinese, and how it can be understood in various ways.
For beginners, this was my first book on Taoism. Although I am a computer scientist who enjoys logic, the Tao Te Ching brought me to the other side (dialectics), and while I keep the Mitchell translation close at hand to resolve problems in this translation, this is the translation that I go back and read time and again, not Mitchell's.
This book offers a 40 page introduction explaining the history of the Tao Te Ching and offers details of the task of translating. About it's prose and construction I can really say no more than it is beautiful, but here are two balanced examples of comparison to help (from Ch. 11 and Ch. 5 respectively):
This translation: " Thirty spokes on a cartwheel / Go towards the hub that is the centre / -- but look, there is nothing at the centre /and that is precisely why it works!"
S. Mitchell: "We join spokes together in a wheel, / but it is the center hole / that makes the wagon move. [...] We work with being, / but non-being is what we use."
S. Mitchell: "The Tao doesn't take sides; / it gives birth to both good and evil. / The Master doesn't take sides; / she welcomes both saints and sinners."
This translation: "Heaven and earth / are not like humans. / The Tao does not act like a human. // They don't expect to be thanked / For making life, / So they view it without expectation."