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Walden (Fall River Press Edition)…

Walden (Fall River Press Edition) [Hardcover] by Henry David Thoreau (original 1854; edition 2008)

by Henry David Thoreau

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10,048131416 (3.86)2 / 378
Title:Walden (Fall River Press Edition) [Hardcover] by Henry David Thoreau
Authors:Henry David Thoreau
Info:Fall River Press (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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Walden by Henry David Thoreau (Author) (1854)


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English (117)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Devastatingly wonderful. I had read parts of this at uni, of course, but never the whole work. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, or perhaps many, but it is the heart of a movement which I hold very dear. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
I then spent a ridiculously long time reading Walden. I couldn't get through more than a few pages a day because his writing and thoughts were so dense. It certainly wasn't as tedious as I remembered from high school though. It was just grounded in a strong knowledge of the classics and world religions and those were things that I hadn't been exposed to at the time. But many of his thoughts were simply truisms, like this bit from the chapter called Reading --
It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or the spring to our lives, and possibly put a new aspect on the face of things for us. How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

https://webereading.com/2018/08/me-and-hdt.html ( )
  klpm | Sep 17, 2018 |
Here's a timeless treasure to be revisited time and again. I always find something new in this book. It is very thought-provoking and inspirational. ( )
  lrquinn | Jul 6, 2018 |
"Walden; or, Life in the Woods" is a terrificly dreadful example of a book too long for its own good. While I admire the purpose of the book -- to show readers what life is like when one lives simply, and seeks out nature and a stress-free existence -- Henry David Thoreau's execution is so pretentious, long-winded and aggrivating that I can't imagine than a few thousand people ever have completely read and absorbed its content -- without skimming even once -- since its first publication in 1854. And at a mere 216 pages, there's really no excuse for this to be the sad, pathetic reality it is.

I would say I tuned out and started skimming around page 75 or so, just after Thoreau stopped talking about reading and then started droning on about sounds (like nearby train sounds he heard). I was genuinely enraptured up to that point and felt like this book -- with almost every sentence being full of depth and references -- was likely one of those perfect desert-island reads I was always excited to learn about. Instead, Thoreau's ridiculous detail by the halfway point became unbearable, and his focus on bizarre things such as sand movement after winter thaws and the depths of the lake would render the most avid reader near comatose.

On one hand Thoreau says wonderful things like this: "A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature." ...but then says oddball things like this, which make no sense: "Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth."

Thoreau also romanticizes "poets" who visit him and basically talks down about anyone who does manual labor or works for a living. This gem came after he made it clear how much he disliked farming, and how much of his time it took up: "Why concern ourself ourselves for so much about our beans for seed, and not be concerned at all about a new generation of men?" He then speaks of a neighbor: "I saw an old man the other day, to my astonishment, making the holes with a hoe for the seventieth time at least, and not for himself to lie down in!" He then talked down to (directly!) and about an Irishman and his family, who apparently were stupid laborers in Thoreau's eyes: "If he and his family would live simply, they might all go a-huckleberrying in the summer for their amusement. ... Poor John Field! I trust he does not read this, unless he will improve by it."

Walden is about a single guy living in a crude cabin. Something tells me the book wouldn't exist if he was married or had children ... yet he likes to speak as if he represents all mankind.

Also, for all of Thoreau's yapping about how much happier he was in the country, he only stayed there a couple years, and even worse, he visited the nearby town almost every single day, because he wanted to socialize and buy goods: "Every day or two I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip... ...with a bag of rye or Indian meal upon my shoulder, for my snug harbor in the woods." Well, I guess living-in-nature only works if you rely-on-civilization!

He also brings up how safe his simple dwelling is, and how he never worried about people bothering him because they are all essentially law-abiding and good-natured (he even said he didn't need a lock on the door!). Then he mentions how someone stole one of his books when he was away from his house.

All that said, my biggest issue with Thoreau, aside from his abysmal writing style and lack of brevity, is his weird injections of anti-establishment rhetoric slipped inbetween his gigantic paragraphs. At one point, he even talks about how he doesn't even acknowledge the society he is trying to make a judgment on (by leaving it for nature): "I was seized and put into jail, because ... I did not pay a tax to, or recognize the authority of, the state which buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house." I wonder if he worried about slavery that harvested crops, the economy paying for crops and society which allowed the ecosystem tow ork as he bought his sack of indian meal and gossiped in town on a near-daily-basis.

Walden is a book I wouldn't recommend to anyone "normal," simply because I cannot imagine anyone but the world's most snobbish literary experts and historians actually wanting to devour each sentence it contains, even if the vast majority are rambling and nonsensical. If it were half as long I think it would be something way more helpful, and far more interesting in a literary sense. For instance, instead of several pages on cutting and transporting ice, the topic could be trimmed down to a single page. This book took me four long weeks to get through off and on, and I'm not too thrilled about it, hence this also-rambling review. ( )
  scottcc | Jul 5, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am having a very hard time getting through this book. A lot of the text is very boring. I love finding an inspiration or uplifting quote but they are few and far between.. So many descriptions, so many judgments on his part. Thoreau comes across as a very independent, self sustaining person but it seemed to me that he had to rely on many people who were living their lives the 'mainstreamed' way. I agree with a lot of his views but not to the extreme as he talked. The trouble, IMHO, is that man can't live in moderation.
I'll keep plugging away at this book. Hopefully I can finish it. ( )
  cal8769 | Jun 19, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (120 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thoreau, Henry DavidAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auziņa, IrēnaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Åsberg, StigIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ābols, ValdisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bengtsson, Frans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, William O.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmerich, EmmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, TatjanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gissen, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groševs, EduardsCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Immonen, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nason, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, LauraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teale, Edwin Waysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.
First words
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my two hand only.
We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the prairies and forests without distinction. They all reflect and absorb his rays alike, and the former make but a small part of the glorious picture which he beholds in his daily course. In his view the earth is all equally cultivated like a garden. Therefore we should receive the benefit of his light and heat with a corresponding trust and magnanimity.
wherever a man goes, men will pursue and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
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Only "Walden" - please don't combine with any edition containing other works as well.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Scott Library edition consists of a cloth cover, uncut edges and gold gilt top. Original price was 1s 6d per volume. Published 1900ca.

Originally published in 1854, Walden, or Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486284956, Paperback)

One of the great books of American letters and a masterpiece of reflective philosophizing. Accounts of Thoreau's daily life on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts, are interwoven with musings on the virtues of self-reliance and individual freedom, on society, government, and other topics. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

One of the great books of American letters and a masterpiece of reflective philosophizing. Accounts of Thoreau's daily life on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts, are interwoven with musings on the virtues of self-reliance and individual freedom, on society, government, and other topics.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 34 descriptions

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