Well, this one's a bit different. While I enjoyed his translation, what really stands out in this book is the fact that every single Chinese character in every single line is listed with a whole host of meanings that particular ideogram can have. Not only are the meanings given but the subtle nuances of the text are also included so implied meanings and combinations of terms that form a certain thought are also included.
References to many, many translators throughout the years and their particular understandings of the terms and the text as a whole are also included. It's a plethora of information for those who don't speak a lick of Chinese.
The great thing about is that by looking at the shades of meaning of even one particular character, one gets a better 'feel' on their own for the Tao itself. Rather than sheer dependence on the expertise of a particular author's Chinese, you can really work it out yourself.
For students and lovers of Lao Tzu's timeless poems of insight, gentle humor, and guidance in living a truly human life on both the inner and outer planes of being, Jonathan Star's translation must be considered essential. It is a marvelous work of research, scholarship, and truly creative presentation: he offers the first verbatim translation since Paul Carus' turn of the century (20th, that is) offering, using spreadsheet-style table to organize ideograms, lines, radicals, and translational possibilities. A marvelous essay on the first poem in the traditional ordering (Star uses the Wang Bi version and not the Ma Wang-Tui texts) is appended at the back of the book, along with an excellent lexicon. Best of all, Star offers us his own literary translation, which is worth the cost of the book all by itself: it has some breathtakingly beautiful points and is always a reflection not of a mere scholar but of a true lover of the Tao. This book is about $... in hardcover and will repay you exponentially for that small investment. And if you wish, you can even create your own translation of Lao Tzu with the help of this book--I did, and I recommend it as an excellent psychospiritual adventure.