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Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Non-fiction) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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From AudioFile

God is dead, and the superman is nigh! Nietzsche couched this ultimate expression of his philosophy (1883-91), not as a closely reasoned treatise, but as the passionate utterances of an ancient Persian prophet, Zarathustra, couched in a pseudo-biblical German. In this recording, brief glosses introduce sections of the text, while bits of the Strauss tone poem of the same name bridge major transitions. The narrators speak clearly and with comprehension, but they're stuffy; whereas, the book is anything but. Y.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Review

, also translated as Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Treatise by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in four parts and published in German between 1883 and 1885 as Also sprach Zarathustra. The work is incomplete, but it is the first thorough statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and the masterpiece of his career. It received little attention during his lifetime but its influence since his death has been considerable, in the arts as well as philosophy. Written in the form of a prose narrative, Thus Spake Zarathustra offers the philosophy of its author through the voice of Zarathustra (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster) who, after years of meditation, has come down from a mountain to offer his wisdom to the world. It is this work in which Nietzsche made his famous (and much misconstrued) statement that "God is dead" and in which he presented some of the most influential and well-known (and likewise misunderstood) ideas of his philosophy, including those of the Ubermensch ("overman" or "superman") and the "will to power." Though this is essentially a work of philosophy, it is also a masterpiece of literature. The book is a combination of prose and poetry, including epigrams, dithyrambs, and parodies as well as sections of pure poetry. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

The most famous Nietzsche book which formed part of his 'campaign against morality' […] the German philosopher explores the ethical consequences of the 'death of God'. Some say the book was a catalyst in Hitler's thinking and the rise of the far-right, others that Zarathustra was the most important text on human potential ever written. Hear it for yourself. The Naxos AudioBook also includes helpful introductions to every chapter, --Bukowski on Bukowski zine
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Product Details

  • Series: Non-fiction
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos Audio Books; Abridged edition (May 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626343257
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626343258
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,098,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I only want to say one thing here, and I say it primarily because I already love this work. This is the translation to buy. Everyone seems to adore Kaufmann, but the truth is he's much more obtuse and difficult to read (and I don't believe it's necessary, as some may say). Hollingdale gets it right. I'll defend myself with one example from a class I took, where Kaufmann's translation was the required text. I had read both translations (cover-to-cover), and sold my copy of Kaufmann's translation, keeping only my Hollingdale. So, needless to say, I wasn't about to buy Kaufmann again, and went to class with Hollingdale. Slowly, but surely, as the other students read bits of the translation I had, or heard when I spoke pieces aloud, they overwhelmingly agreed with me: Hollingdale is simply more clear, more beautiful, more powerful (less academic, shall we say, which is pure Nietzsche). Ok, over and out, enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
There seem to be plenty of reviews debating the philosophical principles of Nietszche and the statements he makes, so, for the non-philosophy students present (i.e. ME) I'll rate it for the layman.
`TSZ' is very longwinded, and as the introduction states, filled with `excess', but that does not make it a bad book. Every sentence is imbued with its own iconic poetry, and, philosophy aside, the metaphors and similes alone make this book worth reading. It is clear that Nietszche, or perhaps his translator, had a mind better suited to creative expression than most philosophers, or indeed today's authors, and it is in this that lies the book's real strength. Through its use of imagery it not only makes an interesting, inspirational, conjectural read (apart from a few really boring parts that seemed written only to slow down the pace), it makes its message easy to understand and backs it up with surrealistic examples. Whereas sometimes in philosophy, the use of allegory can confuse the issue (More's `Utopia' - mockery of idealism, framework for perfect society, or rambling tale?), in `Zarathustra' the reader, no matter whether they are new to the field or not, cannot fail to discern the message that Man is not a goal but a bridge, a rope over an abyss. As philosophy, and as literature, it succeeds in conveying its point, setting up a platform for discussion or merely to digest individually. Admittedly, some refuse to read Nietszche because of his view of women (`shallow waters'), and because of how his ideas for the Superman allegedly inspired Hitler's Aryan vision for the world, but such people deprive themselves of an interesting viewpoint that defines the meaning of life in human rather than spiritual terms.
One potential problem for the newcomer to philosophy is the storyline.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To start off with, the Walter Kaufmann translation is by now well known to be probably the authoritative edition of Zarathustra (although the excerpts I've read from the Del Caro Cambridge Texts edition seems to be perhaps a more beautiful style). One of the reasons I originally picked up this edition was because the only translations available over the web were the droning and pedantic Thomas Common versions which are not only dull but muddled. Walter Kaufmann's translation gives a degree of clarity that far surpasses the Common translation, cannot speak to all the differences (however large or small) between it and the Del Caro version.

The book isn't particularly long, but Nietzsche fills it with metaphors and parables in addition to simple narrative and merriment. This is one of the challenges of the book: you're forced to figure out what is meaningful from what isn't and on top of that what each metaphor means. Nietzsche has never been in the habit of going into intricate detail or clarifying what he's saying to the same degree as some other thinkers, and although the book is a stylistic masterpiece (with narrative deliberately done in a biblical style and herein lies one of the advantages over the Common translation, namely that Common translated everything to mimic the King James version with an overabundance of "thees" "thous" and "ests") the philosophy is at times difficult to comprehend. Again, it's not difficult in the sense that the Critique of Pure Reason is difficult, or at least not nearly to the same degree, it is difficult because it is at times cryptic.

Additionally, I've seen a lot of reviews suggesting reading Nietzsche just for the pithy phrases or the beauty of the work.
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Format: Paperback
Friedrich Nietzsche was a "failure" in his time. He was branded a nihilist and heretic and his works dismissed as the ramblings of a mad man. After the Great War many philosophers such as Heidegger resurected the works of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard (to name a few) and studied them with greater admiration. We should be thankful that the works of such an imaginative genius such as Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was called into the spotlight. Nietzsche constructed one of the most original and radical philosophies in all its history, as challenging to everyday life as Karl Marx. His ideas still send shockwaves through the Christian community because so much of what he says is blatantly obvious and true. Most people dismiss Nietzsche's slogan that "God is dead", but in this work Nietzsche truly refines this statement and incorporates brilliant ideas about living for the Earth, striving to become Der Ubermensch and the path to release from Christianities chains. The main theme of this book is that which Nietzshce will probably be best remembered for, but for all the wrong reasons. Nietzsche's vision of the "Superman" (der Ubermensch) was an idea that his sister, in co-operation with Hitler, twisted to begin the Nazi experiments for the Superrace. The Superman is at the centre of this book and Nietzsche gives a perfect description of his vision and furthermore what it will incorporate and help to abolish. It soon becomes clear that Nietzsche's Superman is far different from Hitler's, furthermore because it is not as brutal and inhumane and lastly because it centres around completely different principals: HItler wanted a physical Superman, but Nietzsche's Superman would be MENTALLY strong rather than purely physically.Read more ›
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