• Crooked Cucumber

  • The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
  • By: David Chadwick
  • Narrated by: David Chadwick
  • Length: 21 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Crooked Cucumber  By  cover art

Crooked Cucumber

By: David Chadwick
Narrated by: David Chadwick
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Publisher's Summary

Shunryu Suzuki, author of the beloved classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, is lovingly remembered as one of the greatest spiritual teachers of the 20th century - whose legacy is felt in every facet of American Zen. This monumental biography of Suzuki, written and read by his student David Chadwick, weaves together a rich tapestry of stories and memories of Suzuki’s students, family, and friends. In this updated and revised audiobook edition, Chadwick also offers rare excerpts from archived recordings of Suzuki’s teachings in the great Zen master's own voice.

©1999 David Chadwick (P)2021 Shambhala Publications

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What listeners say about Crooked Cucumber

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Interesting

I appreciated the historical progression of the book. It was informative. However; the reading of the book had much to be desired. I realize the author has an emotional vested interest in the topic as he was close to the person but there were pauses and crying and laughter at such times that it made it difficult for the listener to understand what was happening. Often at inappropriate times. Perhaps there were many inside jokes and/ or values that made parts seem funny that wouldn’t seem so funny to someone not close to the topic. I as the listener had a difficult time with ranges of inflection as well. Maybe have someone else read the audible and let the audience make their own conclusions.

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A Very Detailed & Passionate Portrait of Suzuki!

The only thing I wished was that David Chadwick had repeated repeated his teacher’s words from broken English so I would have gleaned a few more pearls of the man’s characteristics! Honestly, this is one of the most detailed accounts of a Zen Teacher I have ever encountered! I have studied both Japanese, Burmese, and Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy, and Meditation intensively! If you desire to understand a broader expression of Zen Practices, then I would say give this a chance! My intensive training helped me get past some challenging struggles with what it means to really look inward, so you can look outward, and see with clarity! I encourage you to keep an open mind, and be tenacious! And, remember the path is the goal! I wish you well on your journey!

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Beautiful narration

Those who complain about David Chadwick´s narration are completely missing the point. He is narrating like a true zen practitioner, straight from the heart.

Needless to say, the book is extraordinary.

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Excellent Content/ Awkward Narration

The life of Suzuki is fascinating, and this offers snapshots of this giant's life. The content is amazing. I have rated it a 4 because the narration is just awkward. At one moment, he starts laughing at private memories. Later on, he begins crying. Then there are dozens of awkward editorial inserts that just break the narration. Additionally, the chapter content doesn't align with the descriptions.

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Terrible narration.

Crying narrator/author ruins story. Also cackles and laughing from narrator. Distracting to say the least. Narration nearly ruins an often interesting book. Also, book would be better if better edited — shorter. Too much trivial detail drags down important parts of book.

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heartfelt loving biography

this book is about waking up and so even though the man Suzuki Roshi is no longer, the teacher the essence lives on in this book. it's about waking up and listening to David Chadwick read the book is a shared waking up.

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A wonderful narration of a moving story.

The sincerity of David Chadwick’s narration of his book adds great richness and humanity to this listening experience.

Chadwick’s story of his teacher’s life is direct and honest throughout, omitting the kind of hagiography Suzuki would have found silly. Hearing more about Suzuki struggles and failures as well as his accomplishments was very inspiring and helpful for me.

This book is a gift to anyone interested in Suzuki and the origins of Zen in America.

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Thank you, David!

I'm grateful that you've passed on Suzuki Roshi's story. I've only just begun my practice, but I can already see what a great debt I owe him and his heirs. Thank you for this book, David. You and he have deeply inspired me to practice with my whole being.

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  • Marina
  • 11-23-22

ruined by narrator

Unfortunately the mumbling narration which at times seemed to be short of breath, made this difficult to listen to. I also found his forced chuckling cringe worthy and distracting and the emotional outburst indulgent and inappropriate. Regretfully I had to give up on this book long before the end.

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  • W. Laing
  • 11-13-22

wonderful book

a great life lived by a very humble zen priest who showed the world the way