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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

James Thurber
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 May 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
James Thurber is universally admired for his hilarious sense of humour, off-beat imagination, and unique take on the world around him. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, in which a young man's fantasies have a much more powerful hold on him than reality, is probably his best-known prose work but this selection also contains wonderfully entertaining essays, poetry and cartoons gathered from all of Thurber's collections. Poking fun at his own weaknesses and those of other people (and dogs) - the English teacher who looked only at figures of speech, the Airedale who refused to include him in the family, the botany lecturer who despaired of him totally - James Thurber is essential reading for everyone who loves to laugh.

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New edition edition (4 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141182911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141182919
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

The American cartoonist and author James Thurber (1894-1961) is considered one of America's greatest 20th-century humorists. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Thurber worked for the United States Department of State and then worked in France for the French edition of the 'Chicago Tribune'. He moved to New York City in 1926 and worked as a reporter for the Evening Post. In 1927 Thurber became staff writer and managing editor of 'The New Yorker'.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The train was twenty minutes late, we found out when we bought our tickets, so we sat down on a bench in the little waiting room of the Cornwall Bridge station. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the charming humor of everyday life 4 Jan 2004
Thurber is a master of seeing the humor of the small battles of life, the neuroses we all recognize in ourselves but seldom admit to. His drawings are just off-kilter enough to let us see the ordinary world from a new perspective--the little irritations, the almost-lost daydreams, the small indignations. Spend an hour or two in his world and you'll return to yours refreshed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't agree less. Read "One is a Wanderer" or "The Kerb in the Sky" or even "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and there's plenty of heartbreaking melancholy to counteract the whimsy and the dated attitudes. Gentle and subtle perhaps, but not always cosy. Thurber is a master.
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10 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the unacceptable face of whimsy 22 Mar 2001
By A Customer
It is easy to see why Thurber is liked and easier still to see why he would be hated. I imagine his works would feel most at home in the pages of the Reader's Digest. Pure whimsy, reminding readers of an age that never really was, where everything was safe, and everyone was ever-so-slightly eccentric. Recommended if you like back yard tales of naughty dogs and henpecked husbands or slightly risque (if you are a doddering vicar) views on the 'battle of the sexes'. Thurber is just so unspeakably nice and cosy. Not recommended for anyone who likes an edge to their humour.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the best book i have ever read. 4 Jan 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Library Binding
Anyone you buy it for will absolutly love it.
Children, teenagers, and even adults should read this book.
It makes you want to jump in to one of Walter's day dreams the moment you read it.
Thurber really out did him self.
I have to say it is one of the funniest books i have ever read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laine (librarianscanreadtoo)'s review 21 Oct 2013
By Kelsey - Published on
Meet Walter Mitty.

He's a Husband.

He's a Captain of a Navy ship

He's a toughest man on the trial

He's the man who can a woman from distress and is a hero to all man kind.

He's also worrying his wife, his co-workers, his boss and his shrink.

Walter Mitty has dreams. Dreams of being a hero. But he's not dreaming them in bed, like everyone else is. He's dreaming these events while driving, while shopping, talking to his wife, walking down the street. He "sees" himself as a hero to everyone, but doesn't really do anything about it. He's just your average Joe that is taking his wife to get her hair done. And while she is getting her hair done, he runs errands. But everyday life, everything that we see, feel, touch, hear generates this scene in his head where he is the hero to the story and he's living it right then and there!! While everyone looks at him like he's weird, he doesn't see what wrong with this!!

As a writer I was thrilled that I am not the only person that this is happening too!!! I can't tell you how many times I will be sitting at the Library that I work at and there will be an event that will take place, or someone says something to me and it triggers a scene playing in my head and I'm living that story out (in my head of course). I am a writer and I am always getting scenarios playing out in my head that sometimes leave me speechless until I am writing that out in my laptop. Sometimes I talk out loud the scenes but hey, I'm a writer it's allowed. (I think....)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 5 Sep 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book, I had no idea the actual story of Walter Mitty was only about 5 pages long. I had watched the movie starring Danny Kaye from 1947 and didn't know what to expect from the book. Even though Walter Mitty is only one short segment of the book, I love the other stories and am very happy with this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces 15 Oct 2009
By Theresa Maurice Comer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank you the book was in great shape, the book was for my son, it was required reading for his english class. He liked the book. He even told me he thinks I would enjoy reading it.
4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 20 April 2001
By David - Published on
Format:Library Binding
It was an excellent book for someone who enjoys day dreaming. Good for both kids and teens. Adults might even possibly enjoy it.
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