Tales of Wonder

  • by Huston Smith
  • Narrated by Michael McConnohie
  • 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Huston Smith, the man who brought the world's religions to the West, was born almost a century ago to missionary parents in China during the perilous rise of the Communist Party. Smith's lifelong spiritual journey brought him face-to-face with many of the people who shaped the 20th century. His extraordinary travels around the globe have taken him to the world's holiest places, where he has practiced religion with many of the great spiritual leaders of our time. Smith's life is a story of uncanny synchronicity. He was there for pivotal moments in human history such as the founding of the United Nations and the student uprising at Tiananmen Square. As he traveled the world he encountered thinkers who shaped the twentieth century. He interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt on the radio; invited Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at an all-white university before the March on Washington; shared ideas with Thomas Merton on his last plane ride before Merton's death in Bangkok; and was rescued while lost in the Serengeti by Masai warriors who took him to the compound of world-renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leaky. In search of intellectual and spiritual treasures, Smith traveled to India to meet with Mother Teresa and befriended the Dalai Lama; he studied Zen at the most challenging monastery in Japan; and he hitchhiked through the desert to meet Aldous Huxley, dropped acid with Timothy Leary, and took peyote with a Native American shaman. He climbed Mount Athos, traipsed through the Holy Land, and was the first to study multiphonic chanting by monks in Tibet, which he recorded with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Most important, he shared the world's religions with the West - writing two best-selling books and serving as the focus of a five-part PBS television series by Bill Moyers. Huston Smith is a national treasure. His life is an extraordinary adventure, and in his amazing Tales of Wonder, he invites you to come along to explore your own vistas of ...

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Audible Editor Reviews

Huston Smith is an American scholar of religious studies who wrote a perennially popular manual on comparative religion and who has cultivated a lifetime of relationships with Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa, Aldous Huxley, Bill Moyers, and the Dalai Lama. Professor Smith's autobiography, Adventures Chasing the Divine, delves into almost nine decades of his personal history while also "light[ing] up the places where religions converge", as Pico Iyer states in his foreword.
Michael McConnohie brings a deep integrity to his performance, crafting each sentence for ultimate impact. One of this memoir's rejected titles was No Wasted Journey, and McConnohie's narration could just as easily be characterized "No Wasted Word".

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Reckoning Wonder

Reckoning is something done at length here in the hills of East Tennessee. When wonder is reckoned with, joy and awe are it's byproducts, and Smith's tale is a perfect example.
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- Lane Willson "A life long East Tennessean, lover of the Volunteers, daily at war with The Creature and helping others learn to fight it as well."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-30-2009
  • Publisher: HarperAudio