I was really excited when I found this book in late 1999, since I loved the Tao Te Ching and Lao-Tzu's simple, beautiful, timeless wisdom. Finding this slim volume of his allegedly long-suppressed additional sayings was like the icing on the cake for me in my love of Taoist philosophy. And the first chapters are really nice, with the types of sentiments you expect from the master, like "To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless," "If your willingness to give blessings is limited, so also is your ability to receive them," and (my fave) "The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle." As another reviewer pointed out but which I didn't realise at the time, it sure sounds like Lao-Tzu, but it's a bit wordier than most of what he expressed in the Tao Te Ching. Still, it sounds like his voice regardless of how wordy it is. Later on it really gets into things like medicine, the names of ancient masters, angelic intercourse, science, the kinds of stuff that didn't appear at all in the Tao Te Ching. It just wasn't as poetic, though I found the insights into ancient Chinese philosophy and science fascinating. I also don't like how the text is arranged in this edition. My edition of the Tao Te Ching is the only Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English one, where it's arranged like a beautiful freeverse poem. In the Walker edition of the Hua Hu Ching, every line of text is arranged like a line in a book. It doesn't seem nearly as poetic; would it have hurt to break some of the lines up mid-sentence like Feng and English did?
Finding out this book is in all likelihood a forgery which was originally designed to create bad blood between both Buddhists and Taoists actually explains a lot. I probably still would have bought it if I had known, but I wouldn't have been as likely to. Whoever wrote it, there are some great, beautiful, lovely, poetic insights, but I'll always turn to the Tao Te Ching first when I want some Taoist inspiration.