10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2000
I have a number of translations of this text but this version is undoubtably the best. Its very clear and staightforward and captures the essence of the subject really well. The author has removed the arcane language of other translations for example a masterful touch was replacing the use of the old word virtue with the phrase Natural Goodness. This really added greatly to the feel of the book . Often many authors translate Taoist and other books in a stiff and complicated way which is totally at odds with the simple intuitive, and natural feel. Mr Frekes has got as close to the spirit of Taoism with this book. If you are looking for a book on the TAO TE CHING buy this one first.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2012
In order to feel the true essence of The Tao Te Ching, reading a translation that uses simple English is essential. This version is written in the perfect way to convey the spirit of the original text.I would have to say that this book is a treasure! I recommend this book to anyone interested in Eastern philosophy.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2001
Can one say that this rendering of the Tao Te Ching "encapsulates the freshness and simplicity of the original Chinese text" as we read on the back? The text is two and a half thousand years old, so hardly "fresh", and there is not one Chinese in a billion who will vouch for its "simplicity". If this rendition, therefore, does indeed sound fresh and simple, it is inevitably a false rendition. To Timothy Freke, the "renderer", a "car" is the modern variant of a "chariot" - but Timothy, its modern variant is a "tank", not a "car". Or an anti-ballistic missile, but not a bourgeois "car". It is incomprehensible that a Sinologist like Martin Palmer or the China Taoist Association should have lent their names to this effort to adapt a difficult text to an average American's taste and comprehension - it is like Mick Jagger promoting musak. The closing chapter of the Tao Te Ching says it all uncharacteristically clearly: "Truthful words are not beautiful. Beautiful words are not truthful."... B.J. Mansvelt Beck, Amsterdam, the Netherlands