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Walden [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Henry David Thoreau , Mel Foster
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.28
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Book Description

5 May 2008 1400156939 978-1400156931 Unabridged
This work describes Henry David Thoreau's experiment in living in the relative wilds by Walden Pond from 1845 to 1847. It is an examination of the ecology of his time, and is by turns a source of philosophical speculation, social protest, personal anecdote and the study of nature.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (5 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400156939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400156931
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,282,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Each [volume] is preceded by a substantive, lively and idiosyncratic essay. . . . Together, the essays are a mini-course in Thoreau and the trends he launched in American thought."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post Book World --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Updike is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and poet, internationally known for his novels "Rabbit, Run" (1960), "Rabbit Redux" (1971), "Rabbit is Rich" (1981), and "Rabbit at Rest" (1990). He lives in rural Massachusetts. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
And `Tis a shame that I cannot claim this is a re-read after 40 years or so. I can only cite the very well-worn cliché: Better late than never.

Walden is a pond, just outside Concord, Massachusetts, and for two years in the mid-1840's Henry David Thoreau lived a largely solitary existence there, in a simple wooden cabin which he constructed. This book is a collection of his mediations on the natural world, and a person's place in it. Thoreau also ruminates on an individual's place in society and certainly demurs about the hurly-burly existence led by so many, or, in an expression that I had always attributed to T. S. Eliot, but was first coined by him: "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

The first third of the book is on "economy," and the house that he built near Walden. He describes his labor, and provides a table indicating the total cost, and compares that with the annual rental cost of housing. Similarly, he covers his food, clothing and fuel expenses (the "essentials"), and the underlying theme remains the subject verse, taken from a Shaker song, "Simple Gifts," written about the same time: if you simplify your life, and rid yourself of the bondage of so much self-imposed clutter, you really are much freer, and that includes having the opportunity to take a ramble in the woods, which was a major aspect of his two years at Walden. As Thoreau phrased it: "Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel 11 Dec 2003
By Jimbob
I find it hard to believe that the above reviewers are talking about the same book. This book is one of my personal treasures. Thoreau seems to embody the intelligence and wit of a great thinker with a childlike enthusiasm and excitement about the beauty of the natural world. When you combine that with his desire to live life and his respect for even the most humble of his fellow men you are in for some profound literature. This is not a book to be scan read or rushed through. Savour it, I don't see how you could be disappointed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to live simply 11 July 2009
Verified Purchase
Walden is a masterpiece by Thoreau, about his years living in a cabin by a lake. He explains the advantages of a vegetarian way of life, saving money otherwise spent on meat, coffee and tobacco. It is the perfect book to take with you for that quiet retreat. I read it on Bardsey Island, living in a simple cottage in peace and tranquillity, and it has inspired me to simplify my life!Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (Dover Thrift)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy, not a record or instruction manual 11 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase
Walden was not what I was expecting in one way, in that it isn't a very complete record of how Thoreau actually lived. Yes there are details of his plantings and his accounts, but I was expecting it to be more hands-on in the details of self-sufficiency. However, that is not to say I was disappointed by any means, rather the book is full of WHY he lived in this way and that is much more valuable and interesting. Nearly every page has some deceptively simple thought that opens the mind and allows one to see the world in a different way. He is at his strongest when considering the human condition, and it is worth persevering through some of the denser passages as taken overall this has to be considered a classic.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a different brand of spirituality 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
although reading about potatos and bean fields is less than thrilling,Thoreau's simple and impactful words strike a chord and directly address the side of us that so easily becomes overshadowed in a consumerist society. With lines of such force as "Men do not own their homes, but rather the homes own the men", Thoreau's view of life as it should be is revolutionary, fuel for human change.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant! 26 May 2006
One of the best books I have ever studied. Hidden gems await inside for anyone who reads this classic. If literature can be seen as a medium to express our thoughts in the deepest yet most lucid ways, then Walden must be in the top quartile of the best of them.

And all of this for a couple of quid? Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful account of a simple life. 22 Feb 2012
By Outis
If I could only recommend one book to somebody, it would be this. A beautifully written account of 'Life in the Woods', and subsequent musings on a myriad of topics. Thoreau left behind the daily grind, built a log cabin, and the insights gained thereof are the sort of wisdom that this grumpy plastic bureaucracy we live in would do well to learn from.
On one page, a poetic description of the surrounding wildlife, on the next a scathing critique of materialism. I would never have expected that somebody could write beautifully about growing beans in a field, and indeed use it as a metaphor for life as a whole.
I can't help but think, if everybody read this book and took heed of it's message of simple living, we would all be happier for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry David Thoreau and Hindu scriptures 29 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
Reading through the pages of this book makes you wonder if the author was a hermit and a heretic or a social reformer, or a mystical philosopher. "On Walden Pond" sounds similar to the classic movie "On Golden Pond," starring Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. There are some similarities; in both stories the lead characters go and live near a secluded lake (pond) to spend their lives, but Thoreau goes a step forward to find himself and his soul when he can't accept the status quo of life. His journey is to find the truth that is beyond the apparent reality: A search for transcendental truth of Bhagavadgita and Upanishads. His search for the nature of soul is found in the tranquility of Walden Pond when he states that, "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta, since whose com¨position years of the gods have elapsed, and in com¨parison with which our modem world and its litera¨ture seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our con¨ceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! There I meet the servant of the Brahmin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very dry but fantastic if you persevere.
Published 26 days ago by c.l.jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, great for loners like me who want to ...
Good, great for loners like me who want to shack up with a few beans and bowls of rice.
Published 1 month ago by PHaire
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsuspected Pleasure
I got this without any great expectation but more with a sense of duty that it is something one ought to have read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Trumpeter
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Complete bore from beginning to end. Get a life and do something more interesting than read this crap. The book sucks.
Published 3 months ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man of Strong Opinions
....about everything. Barmy, verbose, erudite &, at times, extraordinarily moving. A study in self-imposed solitude & about 100 years ahead of the pack in terms of concern for the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Doris H
1.0 out of 5 stars A book of gobbledygook
What a waste of 77p buying this book. It is almost nonsensical in content . It is a book about nothingness. I would recommend that you do not buy
Published 6 months ago by D. hickson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting reading
Present to my son and he find the book very interesting, as he spend a lot of his spare time in the wood.
Published 6 months ago by G.Petersen
4.0 out of 5 stars Observing Nature. Philosophical and insightful.
Walden continues with the same theme and exploration set out by other influential nineteenth century transcendental philosophers, most notably, Thoreau's great mentor and friend... Read more
Published 11 months ago by TS
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Bought as a gift. The reciepent is delighted with the book. I am delighted with the price and the quick service.
Published 12 months ago by c woosey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Excellent condition my friend will love his present. The book has arrived and it looks amazing if I say so myself
Published 14 months ago by kelv
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