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The Tao Speaks: Lao-Tzu's Whispers of Wisdom

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A profoundly wise and humorous rendering of the classic Chinese text on military strategy, as told through the delightful Chinese cartoon panels of best-selling author Tsai Chih Chung.


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A profoundly wise and humorous rendering of the classic Chinese text on military strategy, as told through the delightful Chinese cartoon panels of best-selling author Tsai Chih Chung.

30 review for The Tao Speaks: Lao-Tzu's Whispers of Wisdom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    The author/illustrator, Tsai Chih Chung once again uses ancient scriptures/writings as the basis for this book and while the illustrations are superb, and the overall concept unique, I enjoyed the stories in “Zen Speaks” a lot more, and that left me somewhat conflicted when writing this review. I realize that Tsai had no control over the original material and I don’t think a less than perfect rating should reflect on his contribution; however, I did REALLY enjoy “Zen Speaks” more and if a person The author/illustrator, Tsai Chih Chung once again uses ancient scriptures/writings as the basis for this book and while the illustrations are superb, and the overall concept unique, I enjoyed the stories in “Zen Speaks” a lot more, and that left me somewhat conflicted when writing this review. I realize that Tsai had no control over the original material and I don’t think a less than perfect rating should reflect on his contribution; however, I did REALLY enjoy “Zen Speaks” more and if a person had to choose between the two books, I would recommend that one over this one; hence, the 4 star rating. Regardless of the rating, I believe that anyone wanting to learn more about the Tao will likely benefit from reading “The Tao Speaks.” The illustrations make the material interesting and more memorable than just reading text, and I found that the “Translator’s Preface” does a superb job of providing historical context to the period in China’s history when this book was written.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A great introduction to Taoism. It's no stuffy, serious, heavy text. I found myself smiling and even giggling in a few spots. The comic book format is perfect because it takes a few pages for each "lesson" whereas it would be one paragraph in a book (gives you time to stew!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Followed up "zen speaks" with this one. Still just as enjoyable as it ever was.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    A wonderful introduction to the tao. I've read parts of it once and wish deeply I could get a copy for myself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Who would have thought that Lao-Tzu in "comic" form would be such a great fit!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    This is a cartoon version of the Dao Te Ching. Quite well done. Sometimes the cartoons do a great deal to illustrate the meaning of the more cryptic sayings. Even when it's fairly straightforward, the picture of water eroding through stone nicely underscores it. It also has some biographical data -- some traditional biographical data -- about Lao-Tzu. Who is said to have written the Dao Te Ching when he was living the country, after a border guard asked him to write some words of wisdom before hi This is a cartoon version of the Dao Te Ching. Quite well done. Sometimes the cartoons do a great deal to illustrate the meaning of the more cryptic sayings. Even when it's fairly straightforward, the picture of water eroding through stone nicely underscores it. It also has some biographical data -- some traditional biographical data -- about Lao-Tzu. Who is said to have written the Dao Te Ching when he was living the country, after a border guard asked him to write some words of wisdom before his departure. And about the time Confucius visited him. When the author had four such cartoon books in the four top slots of Taiwan's bestseller list, the list started to exclude cartoon books to keep him off.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Sun

    After reading Nietzsche, Lao Tzu's philosophy was like a breath of fresh air. This book is "The Way and the Virtue" presented in a simple, cartoon format, with both Chinese and English text (I read the English but would read the Chinese once in a while to confirm the meaning). What I find interesting is that even though Lao Tzu didn't know about the existence of a God, the conclusions he came to through his meditations are comparable to Christian beliefs. For example, "to give is to better than After reading Nietzsche, Lao Tzu's philosophy was like a breath of fresh air. This book is "The Way and the Virtue" presented in a simple, cartoon format, with both Chinese and English text (I read the English but would read the Chinese once in a while to confirm the meaning). What I find interesting is that even though Lao Tzu didn't know about the existence of a God, the conclusions he came to through his meditations are comparable to Christian beliefs. For example, "to give is to better than to receive", "the lowly shall be exalted", the preaching of humility and not pursuit of empty pleasures, and the children are the most virtuous. Anyways, that's that.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    "Rulers create disasters by giving free reign to their desires, which leads them to invade other countries, causing death and destruction on all sides." Another classic adapted and illustrated by Tsai Chih Chung and translated by Brian Bruya.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mario D'Amore

    Illuminante. Illuminant.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Decent, workman-like translation of the Tao with cool cartoons.

  11. 5 out of 5

    PvOberstein

    The Tao Speaks is an illustrated adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, by Taiwanese artist Tsai Chih Chung. The book provides a great visual aid to understanding the core teachings of Laozi and Taoist thought in general. Tsai’s illustrations do a good job of visualizing somewhat esoteric or abstract philosophical concepts, providing intuitive understandings of concepts such as being-nothing. Some of the axioms still come off as a little Kabbalistic, admittedly, the logic under-girded mostly by symbolic The Tao Speaks is an illustrated adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, by Taiwanese artist Tsai Chih Chung. The book provides a great visual aid to understanding the core teachings of Laozi and Taoist thought in general. Tsai’s illustrations do a good job of visualizing somewhat esoteric or abstract philosophical concepts, providing intuitive understandings of concepts such as being-nothing. Some of the axioms still come off as a little Kabbalistic, admittedly, the logic under-girded mostly by symbolic parallels with nature. The actual philosophy of Laozi, from what I understood, was a little less appealing than I’d hoped. There’s a emphasis on harmony, serenity and attachment, but also strains of anti-intellectual and what feels like an opposition to self-improvement. Laozi’s philosophy of governance, while certainly sounding enlightened, surprisingly reminded me of libertarian ideals, where government is just a big, corrupting influence which keeps people from pursuing their naturally harmonious desires. Similar to from what I recall from Plato, with that belief that people don’t actually need laws. It’s intuitively appealing but doesn’t seem that supported by the historical record.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    This one isn't as good as Zen Speaks, also by Tsai Chih Chung. But I'm also much more familiar with the Tao Te Ching so it's mostly just reading another interpretation and comparing it to other ones I have. Reading it in comic strip form actually makes it feel even more disjointed, though, since many chapters kind of bounce around topics. The translation sticks more to a literal version, which is good for strictness but doesn't offer as much personal insight as a version like Stephen Mitchell's. This one isn't as good as Zen Speaks, also by Tsai Chih Chung. But I'm also much more familiar with the Tao Te Ching so it's mostly just reading another interpretation and comparing it to other ones I have. Reading it in comic strip form actually makes it feel even more disjointed, though, since many chapters kind of bounce around topics. The translation sticks more to a literal version, which is good for strictness but doesn't offer as much personal insight as a version like Stephen Mitchell's. The original Tao Te Ching is so short, I would suggest you simply start with any version then read multiple to broaden your range of interpretations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clícia

    Best book for beginners on daoism. This book is for the people who wants to understand the teachings of Laozi (Lao Tsu) in a very contemporary and easy way :) serves as a preparation to understand the Tao Te Ching. love to read and reread it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Taoism can be hard to digest and depending on your translation the Tao De Ching(Qing?...damn you pinyin! I never know how to spell anything anymore!) can be very hard to digest. This comic however is great and not intimidating. This is a great series of books. Get this book, Buddha speaks, Confucius Speaks, and Victor Mair's translation of the Art of War and you'll have a pretty good distillation of a quarter of the worlds philosophical underpinnings...in a nut shell.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joey Mcdevitt

  16. 4 out of 5

    Scotty

  17. 4 out of 5

    Russ

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trix

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hien Le

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liam Donohue

  21. 4 out of 5

    kate

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Haney

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nelson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom Foolery

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Luke

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason Melton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monica Coutinho

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

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