4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2010
I use this little book in conjunction with The Wilhelm version of the I Ching and find it to be the perfect companion. The book is startlingly accurate in a down to Earth and Modern way. It still retains the depth, meaning and character of each hexagram but with no frills, no Chinese symbolism to interpret..or mis-interpret and without the Old Chinese Cultural language and tone. It is still amazingly perceptive and penetrating....highly recommended!
Of course for going more deeply into the I-Ching you will need another version such as the Richard Wilhelm edition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
The I Ching is a 3 millennia old traditional Chinese divination system commented on in different ways by China's greatest scholars. Nowadays casting coins 6 times produces a 'hexagram'. There is a total of 64 possible combinations each suggest a different stage of life or situation. The hexagrams can be made of entirely fixed lines (either Yin or Yang) or can contain one or more changing lines (Yin that change to Yang or vice versa). In these cases 2 hexagrams are generated one with changing lines and one with the lines turned into their opposite.
There are now a number of interesting interpretations of the Chinese texts available Hulskramer claims to provide a summary of them in his short book. The overall result is an enjoyable and fun read that removes much of the 'Confuse-us' style language of other versions. It has the minimum of introductions and very clear interpretations of the change lines. Generally sticking to the conventional English names of the 64 hexagrams with a few bracketed descriptive words underneath for clarity.
This book is a great introduction to the I Ching. There is a charm and wisdom in the 'tell it as it is' tough love of some of Hulsramer's interpretations.
The directness of the change lines is a great relief when you want clear advice quickly. Particularly as many of the change lines in the most popular Richard Wilhelm translation are heavily nuanced although often kinder than the translations here.
I found this book useful to clarify uncertainty from the authoritative Wilhelm translation's wealth of detail. It's also great for 'quicky' consultations when I just need a general idea or flavour. That's maybe because it veers towards a more Western 'yes' or 'no' answer where other translations feel 'greyer' after all this is 'The book of Changes' not 'right or wrong'. For that reason I prefer Legge's short translation. Still this is a breath of fresh air and great fun to consult.