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Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.
The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau (2015-11-07) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1811
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- ASIN : B01FKTYS12
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 1, 1811)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The first theme gets a bit played out over the length of the book, and Thoreau himself eventually tires of nature and moves on from Walden.
The second theme is an elitist position, and it may very well be that Henry David Thoreau didn't have to work very hard to live off his bit of land - but he seems to have no concept of how those who made his silverware, cookware, etc. are fed.
In regards to his attitude towards government, democracy and disobedience of authority - I would just say that I find myself mostly in agreement with Mr. Thoreau.
It was one of the most challenging reads of my life, but one book I am so glad to have read. Thoreau had a lot of wisdom for someone of his time. What threw me off at times were his references to things like ancient history when he discusses his narrative of whatever he happens to be talking about at that time, which seems kind of random at times. It can be fairly easy to get lost at times, but keep in mind, this was written in the mid 1800's. Sometimes, it felt like reading this book was a lengthy homework assignment. Even still, it was a pleasure to have read this masterpiece. I suggest giving this a read if you have the patience for a deep and enlightening read.
And so I bought this audiobook specifically because of the voice quality of the reader on the audio sample. Yet when the item arrived and I played it, the reader was indeed Adam Morgan, but his voice is completely different than the audio sample. And I don't like it.
Adam Morgan's voice is much more " Lah-Tee-Dah" than is appropriate for the voice of what should be a New Englander outdoorsman's voice, which should sound somewhat rugged yet thoughtful -- Adam Morgan's reading style is nothing like this. Morgan's reading style is more for reading something like Oscar Wilde -- more polo pohnies, more lah-tee-dah.
As the story goes, Walden is tale about the time Thoreau spent in his cabin along the shores of Walden pond during his latter 20s. During his two years, he reflects upon his surrounds with his transcendental insights into humanity. Sometimes cynical, sometimes complacent, Thoreau nonetheless weaves together his discoveries about the nature of the earth and that of humanity as whole. From his point of view on the economies of his little cabin and that of 19th-century man to the change of the seasons and the visitors who darken his humble doorway.
If you enjoy brilliant writing despite the aforementioned challenges, this is a must-read for all lovers of classic literature!
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2018
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2019
This book was "printed in the UK by Amazon" and it's of VERY poor quality. Its like one of those self-printed vanity books or an MS word document printed out.
Terrible basic layout and font SO SMALL you can barely read it.
Total waste of time, very poor quality indeed. Need to buy a replacement from a proper publisher now.
Thanks for nowt Amazon.
If you are fascinated by the anarchist ideal of living separate from 'social order' (i.e. government by others), and the naturists ambition of relying on what the environment provides, then I highly recommend this book. Not only is the 'idea' a grand one, but the way Thoreau expresses himself is so eloquent as to make this book a timeless classic.
Walden is a reflection on multiple themes - the need to simplify one's life, to reconnect with nature, to reconsider the ever-increasing materialism and shallow nature of our interactions, and to find a purpose and identity in a world that forces you to conform. It suggests that if you must belong somewhere, it should be with nature first and civilization second. The book is serialized into 18 chapters that cover a year of his life.
It's not an easy read. Since it's a collection of diary entries, some topics struck my fancy and some not as much. There were some descriptions of the pond, the animals, and the trees that made me want to go to Walden pond myself but there were also long-winded write-ups that I ended up glazing over. What impressed me though was how well read Thoreau was, with his text quoting, in ample amounts, Hindu scriptures, Chinese philosophy, Greek mythology, Christianity and more; references I wouldn't have caught on to had it not been for the annotations in the edition I was reading. I agreed with Thoreau's emphasis on individuality and pacing one's life to one's rhythm. There were some nice philosophical nuggets to think over and social critiques to consider. I enjoyed this book.