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Walden (Everyman's Library classics) by…

Walden (Everyman's Library classics) (original 1854; edition 1992)

by Henry David Thoreau, Verlyn Klinkenborg (Introduction)

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10,731138420 (3.85)2 / 390
With his bare hands, an axe, and a plentiful supply of Yankee grit, Thoreau carved out his own way of life and thought on the banks of Walden Pond. His meditations ring as true as ever.
Title:Walden (Everyman's Library classics)
Authors:Henry David Thoreau
Other authors:Verlyn Klinkenborg (Introduction)
Info:Everyman's Library (1992), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)


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Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Admittedly, I pretty much gave up on this after the first (very lengthy) chapter. I stopped focusing on it and eventually just skipped to the last chapter. It was an audiobook version, and I think part of the problem was the reader (slow, too many annoying and un-needed pauses, almost breathy - just bad to listen to). But, I've read about the book and the importance of the book many times, so I decided that I knew enough and that it was ok to call it quits. ( )
  obtusata | Jan 9, 2020 |
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 | Dec 14, 2019 |
The first chapter, Economy, is mildly interesting and (given my own appreciation of thrift) I enjoyed it in a haze of self-congratulatory glee. From then onwards, Thoreau's urge to preach via forced metaphors becomes tiresome. Half way through I gave up and skipped to Conclusion. ( )
  jigarpatel | Oct 7, 2019 |
Thoreau set aside all worldly things and spent time in a small self-made home along the large pond known as Walden. Here he wrote down his musings on the natural world and everything else after spending so much time in near solitude.

This book is a classic and one of the titles on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list, so it was only a matter of time before I finally got around to it. I had been looking forward to it as well, and perhaps that was my downfall. Quickly I learned that this wasn't really the book for me. Thoreau does make some excellent points about living a simpler life and being more concerned about a person's character than their clothing (and other worldly trappings). However, he goes a great deal further than I think most of us would agree with -- for instance, he seems to think furniture and coffee are among the needless luxuries we all indulge in far too much. True, these aren't strictly necessities, but I don't think many of us really want to part with them unless we absolutely had to do so. In a similar vein, he sneers at the education provided by colleges and pretty much dismisses them as useless; while I agree that practical skills are needed as well, I don't think we need to get rid of education all together!

In fact, it was too difficult for me to not get frustrated by Thoreau's perceived superiority in doing this little experiment. He struck me as someone who would fit in perfectly today as the stereotypical hipster mansplaining why his lifestyle is the best and only way. Not everyone is able to just squat on another's land without getting shot by the police; not everyone is physically able to build their own home or live in relative isolation away from access to doctors among other things; and while Thoreau claims he could be left alone with just his thoughts forever (a point which I highly doubt or he would never have returned to society), there are few people who could get by without other human interaction. At one point, Thoreau essentially mocks the builders of the pyramids for being slaves who obeyed their masters rather than revolted -- as if things were as simply cut and dry as all that.

The audio version of the book I had was read by Mel Foster who did an adequate job -- nothing to write home about, but not bad either. ( )
1 vote sweetiegherkin | Apr 14, 2019 |
Sometimes inspiring and poetic, sometimes tedious and rambling. Thoreau’s attempts to offer wisdom are generally less satisfying than his intricate, loving descriptions of his environment.

"What is a course of history or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen? Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer?" ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (119 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry David Thoreauprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
Hope, WilliamNarratorsecondary 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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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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