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Download Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine: An Autobiography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine: An Autobiography, by Huston Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (150 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Huston Smith Narrator: Michael McConnohie Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 twentieth 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 bestselling 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 heart, mind, and soul.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Tales of Wonder brims with fascinating insights and tidbits.” 

    Boston Globe

  • “In this delightful autobiography, Smith tells us how he became the dean of world religions. Intellectual playfulness is definitely the spirit with which this book was written. Right to his final act, Smith is proving to be the consummate professor, giving us a valuable master class on faith and life.”  

    San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

  • “Smith parts the curtain on his past and says, “Look!” with the enthusiasm of a child—something he has not yet lost at age 90. The result is a joyous romp with a favorite uncle among holy places and mysticsthe most interesting of them the author of the book.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Essential for students of religion and highly recommended for others as well.”  

    Library Journal

  • Indie Next Notable Title

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Turi | 1/13/2014

    " Even after reading his autobiography, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of Huston Smith. It sounds like his whole life would've fit right into the things I was reading about in college and after. Basically, he's a religious scholar who has explored the world's religions very open-mindedly while retaining his ties to Christianity. Very interesting take on everything - I wish there would have been a little more about his travels, but perhaps that's in one of his other books... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kendra | 1/8/2014

    " Unexpected delight. It was a gift and I wasn't sure... His wife's name is Kendra "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Catherine | 12/21/2013

    " I came to this book through the Harvard Psychedelic Club. I'm usually not a huge fan of autobiography, but this was ok. Lots of pictures. I enjoyed thinking about what it must have been like to grow up in rural China in the 1920s. He definitely has had a fascinating life. Smith talks about a friend of his that did a pilgrimage on the west cost from Los Angeles to Ukiah. He took a vow of silence and it took him three years because for every third step they would bow down on the ground. I'm still somewhere between cool and totally crazy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Catherine | 12/20/2013

    " Though I give this five stars without hesitation, much of the reason I loved it so much is because I have already appreciated the author for quite some time, so reading his autobiography was significant for me. I'm not sure how good it would be if you didn't know his work. And some of you reading this would NOT like this book. "

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About the Author
Author Huston Smith

Huston Cummings Smith is among the preeminent religious studies scholars in the United States. His work, The Religions of Man (later revised and retitled The World's Religions), is a classic in the field, with over two million copies sold, and it remains a common introduction to comparative religion. In 1996, Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special to Smith's life and work: The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith. Smith has also produced three series for public television: The Religions of Man, The Search for America, and (with Arthur Compton) Science and Human Responsibility. His films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals.