Customer Reviews for

The Imitation of Christ

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

My favorite edition of this classic

As Msgr. Ronald Knox once said, if you find 'The Imitation' an 'easy read' then you're probably not getting much out of it. It's a tough book and it took me a long time to appreciate it. But at some point Thomas a Kempis' approach really hit home and became a source of ...
As Msgr. Ronald Knox once said, if you find 'The Imitation' an 'easy read' then you're probably not getting much out of it. It's a tough book and it took me a long time to appreciate it. But at some point Thomas a Kempis' approach really hit home and became a source of joyful and profound meditation. I've sampled numerous versions of 'The Imitation,' but I prefer the Penguin edition for its readability and scholarliness.

posted by Anonymous on May 25, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Beware Penguin translation!

Comparing the Latin text to the Penguin and Vintage translations, one finds in the 'vanity' section of chapter 1 that the Penguin actually leaves out the first sentence! The Vintage renders it 'It is vanity to seek riches that are sure to perish and put your hope in th...
Comparing the Latin text to the Penguin and Vintage translations, one finds in the 'vanity' section of chapter 1 that the Penguin actually leaves out the first sentence! The Vintage renders it 'It is vanity to seek riches that are sure to perish and put your hope in them.' The Penguin goes straight to the vanity of soliciting/pursuing honors. If the Penguin omits an entire sentence from the 1st paragraph, what else is wrong with it? Yikes. Try the Vintage Spiritual Classics edition (tr. Tylenda).

posted by Anonymous on April 30, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2004

    My favorite edition of this classic

    As Msgr. Ronald Knox once said, if you find 'The Imitation' an 'easy read' then you're probably not getting much out of it. It's a tough book and it took me a long time to appreciate it. But at some point Thomas a Kempis' approach really hit home and became a source of joyful and profound meditation. I've sampled numerous versions of 'The Imitation,' but I prefer the Penguin edition for its readability and scholarliness.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    Excellent!

    A very readable translation of a book that is second only to the Bible. Highly recommended!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thunderous!

    This book is an incredibly rare gem of spiritual knowledge. It is not just words, but a guide on how to live life spirituality. It shouldn't be left simply as words on a page, but this book should be lived by the reader who is really seeking the spiritual, and they will see these words come alive inside them. I gave this book as Christmas gifts for all those I thought would benefit. My favorite review from a friend was "Thunderous! Its just thunderous!"

    For anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. I was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2004

    Touches the Heart

    Simply put, this book changed my life.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    life-changing potential here...

    this book is so spiritual, so motivating, and very inspirational. it is worth the read. if there is anyone out there that wants to see a great book telling you how God wants you to live your life, this is the book, only second to the Bible of course.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    "Come and Follow Me"

    A beautiful and inspiring guide to living in the Image of Christ. This book is simply structured by specific topics, short entries and scriptural citations. A "must have read" for enriching your prayer life and deepening your relationship with God.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    Translation Comparisons

    I prefer this translation because it is the most penetrating, thought provoking, and most to the point. Comments on the book listed under various translations are not exaggerations. The book is applicable to all ages to all people, even non-Christians. The truths are basic, self-evident, and universal. You have already read or heard much content in other forms, but it is simply much better than anything you have ever read or heard on the myriad of ethical and moral issues. It is founded on basic Christian morality and theology, true, but non-Christians will appreciate and love the words as well. They may be surprised to find that they cherish every word as much (maybe in some cases more) than most Christians, regardless of some theology they do not agree with. I have also reviewed the other most recent translations. The one edited and translated by Joseph N. Tylenda is also well written, and I recommend you purchase both books and compare the two to one another. Keep the Tylenda book for its preface and introduction, and keep this one for the clearer, easier-to-understand content (a matter of taste, which is why you should buy both). This book is small, durable, compact in size and content, and has excellent quality paper. It is also among the least expensive, which has no relationship to its quality; paying more does not necessarily equate to being superior in quality. In my opinion, after comparing, you will buy multiple copies of this compact, maroon book for all your close friends as gifts.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    Buy This Translation, But Compare to Rest First

    This translation is worth buying for its introduction and preface, as well as enjoyable reading. However, BEFORE you buy any translation, you should 1. Read and print the FREE excerpts and comments by others for the other translations. Print with largest type. 2. Compare all excerpts. What you prefer is largely a matter of personal taste. Each has its good points, none have bad points. 3. Buy more than one translation, unless you are positive you like one much more than all the rest. Each has its own strengths. The one I prefer at a particular time depends on my mood, and you probably will be the same. We bought this one and three othes. 4. Think in terms of buying many more later. Sound crazy? You will be wanting to send them to your friends for whatever occasion (don't wait for Christmas), including to non-Christians. Yes, it is Christian oriented, but NO, the content is NOT only for Christians any more than it is only for monks (for which I believe it was originally written). Remember that Ghandi's favorite book was the bible (he was Hindu). You may find yourself sending this book to some friends, and another translation to othes, depending on what you GUESS their tastes are. Make this book (and one or two other translations if you are inclined) a regular activity. Read it, give it to others.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    Beware Penguin translation!

    Comparing the Latin text to the Penguin and Vintage translations, one finds in the 'vanity' section of chapter 1 that the Penguin actually leaves out the first sentence! The Vintage renders it 'It is vanity to seek riches that are sure to perish and put your hope in them.' The Penguin goes straight to the vanity of soliciting/pursuing honors. If the Penguin omits an entire sentence from the 1st paragraph, what else is wrong with it? Yikes. Try the Vintage Spiritual Classics edition (tr. Tylenda).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2005

    Life is a path !!

    This book has helped me learn that no situation in life is permanent just like life itself so we can only be assured of eternal life if we do all things with Christ in mind, even scratching !!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    A Timeless Catholic Classic of the Spiritual Life

    After the Bible this is the all-time favorite book of Catholics world wide, and with good cause. This a truely concise instruction on the spititual life and 'its basic theme is that, since Jesus Christ is true God and true man, by imitating Christ as man, the Christian becomes more and more like Christ who is God.' (Fr. John Hardon, S.J.) If you want to obtain true holiness then this book is a must have for your library!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    Truly The Best Translation

    Dr. Joseph Tylenda, S.J., Director of the Theology Center at Georgetown University has provided the most excellent translation of this wonderful classic, The Imitation of Christ. Rev. Joseph Tylenda, SJ earned his Doctorate in Rome. But more than this, Joseph Tylenda's work is that of true Christian. I highly recommend his translation. His English translation brings this timeless classic to life. It has a beautiful cover, and makes a great gift. The Scriptures are in cleverly placed in italics with complete Bible references where Thomas A. Kempis used the Scriptures. If you are a reader of Classic Works, this translation is a must. But even if you are not, this translation will truly inspire you. Dr. Joseph Tylenda, S.J. provides the history as well. All of his work is elloquent and reader friendly. He gives complete dates with very well written readable explanations! Very unique. He demonstrates that he is not only a skillful Dr. of Theology, but also a modern genius of English, History, and Latin. All Christians should own a copy of this book which is among the world's most famous devotionals. So when you have the time, take a look for yourself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2010

    Life transforming!!

    This is a powerful book that will dramatically help bring the Bible to life for you and is the ideal companion to Scripture. If you are a Protestant and enjoy Chambers' Utmost for His Highest, you will really appreciate this devotional that is as timely today as it was in the Fifteenth Century. I just ordered a dozen copies to give to men in my Businessmen's Bible Study.

    BN also has a leather bound bound Wellsprings of Faith that includes Imitation of Christ, The Dark Night of the Soul and The Interior Castle. It is a wonderful volume to own, but is a large (but beautiful) book. The Dover Thrift edition is good for tucking into your briefcase along with your Bible or keeping by the night stand.

    If you are serious about doing God's will rather than your own or man's, then this is a book that will put you on the path to Heavan. If you are serious about your faith and have graduated from the feel-good, sugary, prosperity theology of the day that gives you a quick, brief high, but leaves your spirit weak and unfullfilled, then I highly recommend The Imitation of Christ.

    "There is a great difference between the wisdom of an illuminated and devout man, and the knowledge of a learned and studious clerk. Far more noble is that learning which floweth from above, from the divine out-pouring, than that which is painfully acquired by the wit of man." (Book III, Chapter XXXI) This is a book for those who yearn for devotion and illumination . . . for closeness to their creator and Savior.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book, which inspired John Newton to write Amazing Grace along with the Bible, is the perfect companion to the Bible. God tells us what to do, Kempis helps us know HOW to do it. Though this is a Catholic title, it applies to every Christian in most ways, especially in how to escape the corruption in the world, caused by evil desires..I'm ordering more to give away.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    A Classic On Meditation

    The Imitation of Christ
    This book is a meditation on Biblical texts. It is an abridged, updated version of the original text first printed in 1472 shortly after Gutenberg's movable type spurred printing. The Nook version "contents" is not a table, it is a long sequence of chapter numbers and titles. This is visually confusing. The chapter titles are links but there are no underlines to identify hyperlinks.
    The Imitation of Christ is divided into three "books." The first book is titled Admonitions Profitable for the Spiritual Life. The second book is Admonitions Concerning the Inner Life and the third book is On Inward Consolation. The "book" are meant to be read together so are more like sections of the whole book.
    The first book, Admonitions Profitable for the Spiritual Life tells us what to leave behind. The beginning of book one is a plea to forsake not only the flesh but also knowledge in order to master the "self." This spiritual concept sets the tone for the whole work. This reminds me of the Eastern philosophy popular during those tumultuous days of the 1960's. As well the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" and J. D. Salinger comes to mind.
    The writer, Thomas A. Kempis, says a learned man does the will of God. He notes that the path to God is the way to happiness now and forever. The book is all about how to find God. But some thoughts are quite practical such as "don't be hasty in action or stubborn of opinion."
    An exploration of the "inner life" is the subject of book two, Admonitions Concerning the Inner Life. Using Biblical stories the author explains why we need to be Christ-like. Relevant events and discussions lead the reader through a journey towards inner life. The stories give the reader much to mediate upon.
    The "Inward Consolation," book three, has many brief and contemplative chapters. Again much of the wisdom here is both spiritual and personal. "The wise lover considers not the gift of the lover so much as the love of the giver," may be applied to the sacred or the profane. How timely and Zen-like is, "...people often strive passionately after things they desire, but when they have obtained them they begin to change their mind about them, because their affections toward them are not lasting but rather rush from one thing to another." Sounds like something many of us are experiencing today. Some blame advertising but perhaps we need to raise ourselves above the noise. The Imitation of Christ will help you do it. Mediate on one of the 56 chapters each day for cycle spiritual of learning.
    "Many men have opinions, and therefore little trust is to be placed in them. Moreover it is impossible to please them all." That was written over 500 years ago. Doesn't this sound like good advice today. That is why this gem from the past still sparkles with wisdom today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Praetor barracks &star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Excellent!

    The Imitation of Christ is a must read for all the faithful. It should be read slowly, so as to not miss one word. It is second only to the Holy Scriptures and is a book that should be read over and over.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    a MUST read for anyone living for CHrist

    This book shows me how I truly must live to please my Lord. It is inspiring and made me love my Lord so much more than I ever did. He is all I need - He is my everything. Learn of His Ways and His Love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    timeless

    Although this book is quite old it is timeless. It discusses scripture and how we are to interpret it. It uses scripture and the way he feels we should be living by it. This book is by dover publishing which gives bargains for their books. You can also find other books about the bible for a very inexpensive price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2002

    A book of comfort and promise

    I'm not as good with words as some others, but I can say that since I bought this little book there has not been a day that I have not found myself thumbing the pages. This work cuts so close to the imaculate, loving heart of Christ that you can almost hear it beat. The wisdom here is Christian, and Catholic, but the message is so universal it can sway agnostics and even athiests to belief. I have given copies of this book to all of my best friends, and they pass the favor on. There is just something about this text that brings the comfort and promise of Jesus to life in few words. I can only say that the Holy Scriptures is the only volume I have that is more powerful than this book to obtain a feeling for the abiding love of Christ. And, it so inexpensive that you can give them to all the people you love. Give this little book a chance, you will not be disappointed.

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