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Tao Te Ching: The Classic of the Tao and Its Power Audio CD – Audiobook, 15 Apr 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 15 Apr 2008
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Forstater Productions Ltd (15 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955888522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955888526
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 1 x 15.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 574,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Synopsis

When the ancient Chinese sages discovered the Tao, they realised in themselves its mysterious results: good health, longevity, wisdom, harmonious contentment, and knowledge of the future. This audiobook unveils the philosophy of the Tao, meaning The Way of Nature, which began in written form with Chuang Tzu in the 4th C. BC. Taoism is increasingly influential in the Western world, forming the basis for Chinese medicine, Feng Shui and Tai Chi Chuan. Chuang Tzu's funny, striking and radical fables and stories illuminate the workings of the Tao, as relevant today as they were 2300 years ago. It's approximate running time: 76 minutes.

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Who is this 'Nigel Hawthorne'?

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

Is he one of those Shakespearian actors who narrates CD's?
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 CD (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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shades of Satire... 5 Oct. 2010
By Magic Lemur - Published on Amazon.com
Who is this 'Nigel Hawthorne'?

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

Is he one of those Shakespearian actors who narrates CD's?
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 CD (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.

I would not recommend it for beginners though. My first experience of the Tao was Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, which is 8 CD's & has 5 minute of exegesis for each verse. To really get the most out of the Tao, it is worth starting there as Wayne Dyer has a deeper understanding of Taoist concepts & explores them in greater detail.

Still, if you're a commuter (like me) & want a quick dash through the Tao, read with the charisma of a true master, then this is a good place to start.
That said, I wish he'd done that other Chinese Classic (Sun Tzu's The Art of War) instead (I'm sure the 'Tzu' family wouldn't have minded!)

* - I am aware that this will still mean very little to Americans, owing to the different culture in England. I have tried to adapt the review to make sure it doesn't matter although I hope that, by reading the review, you will see why a cynical character like Nigel Hawthorne adds an interesting foil to the Tao...
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