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Walden [Paperback]

by Henry David Thoreau
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15, 2012 1477469613 978-1477469613
Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self reliance. It details Thoreau's experiences of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. Walden emphasizes the importance of solitude, contemplation, and closeness to nature in transcending the "desperate" existence that, he argues, is the lot of most people. The book is not a traditional autobiography, but combines autobiography with a social critique of contemporary Western culture's consumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from and destruction of nature. The book is not simply a criticism of society, but also an attempt to engage creatively with the better aspects of contemporary culture.

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Walden + Self-Reliance and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions) + Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Henry David Thoreau's classic, first published in 1854 and reporting on his experiences at the eponymous site where he lived in physical and social independence during the mid-1840's, receives refreshing treatment here. William Hope reads leisurely but with feeling, offering listeners the illusion that the author is speaking directly to them. The abridgements are not substantive, so listeners will feel that they have become acquainted with the complexities of a text that is both orderly and sprinkled with irony and other literary devices. The chapters are tastefully set off by musical interludes that complement Thoreau's own rhythms. Not only is this an excellent alternative for students assigned to read the text that is often offered in tiny print without benefit of margins, but it is also possible to suggest this to thoughtful teens who are seeking an intellectually engaging listening experience for their personal enjoyment. Hope's pacing invites readers with minimal skills to accompany their print foray with his narration. The careful editing here assures that they will not become lost between page and sound.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This edition of Thoreau's classic contains an introduction and annotations by Bill McKibben, who asserts that "at the close of the 20th century, it is most crucial to read Walden as a practical environmentalist's volume, and to search for his heirs among those trying to change our relation to the planet." Even if you don't buy his argument, you still get a dandy little hardcover for $15.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477469613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477469613
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
235 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflecting Pond January 7, 2000
Walden, what is it? Is it a book on nature, a book on ecology, a book on human nature, a prescient description of the struggle between modern civilization and the land that nurtured it, a critique of mankind, a string of quotable gems, an account of a mind, or, like Star Wars, a way of slipping a deep and human spirituality into someone else's mind without their recognizing it? It depends on who is doing the reading and when. Read it for any of these purposes, and it will not disappoint. If you've never read it, read it. If you read it for class years ago and hated it, read it again. This may be the most subtle, multi-layered and carefully worked piece of literature you'll ever find. By keeping the down-to-earth tone (no doubt in reaction to the high-flying prose of his friend, R.W. Emerson) Thoreau pulls a Columbo, and fools us into thinking he's writing simply about observing nature, living in a cabin, or sounding a pond. Somehow by the end of Walden, however, you may find it is your self he has sounded. People have accused Thoreau of despising mankind, but read deeper and you will discover he loved people well enough to chide us, show us our faults (admitting he's as bad as the worst of us), and give to all of us this wonderful gift, a book you could base your life on. There is more day to dawn, he reminds us at the end: the sun is but a morning star.
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199 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the annotated Waldens August 18, 2004
WALDEN has rarely been out-of-print since its first publication in 1854. Copies come in all sizes, shapes and price ranges. Today's Thoreauvians have three ANNOTATED versions of WALDEN to choose from. Each one provides same-page explanatory notes that help the reader interpret the sometimes esoteric references in Henry David Thoreau's original text. The three books are "The Annotated Walden" (edited by Philip Van Doren Stern, 1970), "Walden: An Annotated Edition" (edited by Walter Harding, 1995), and "Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition" (edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer, 2004). Each one has at least one map of Concord and/or Walden Pond. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Each one has appeal for a devoted audience.

"Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition" by Jeffrey S. Cramer was released in August 2004, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the original publication date. Cramer is the curator of collections for The Thoreau Institute and therefore has access to some of the best primary and secondary source material available -- including Walter Harding's notes. In addition to the text of WALDEN, this volume includes a few "extras": an introduction to Thoreau's life but only as it applies to his cabin stay and WALDEN writing; a bibliography; notes on the text; and a detailed index. The explanatory notes -- the essence of an annotated edition -- are quite extensive. They are set off from the WALDEN text with page-within-a-page graphic detailing and are easy to read. Cramer did not merely merge Van Doren Stern's and Harding's previous notes with those from David Gorman Rohman's dissertation. His analysis at times echoes that of Harding, but when it does, Cramer often goes one step further with a definition or citation.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! November 22, 2003
I had not read this growing up but wish I had. This is such a wonderful book. There are not many pictures in here - just a hand drawn map in one part of the book. Its excerpts from Thoreau's journal over the two year period when he lived on Walden's pond. He did not live like a recluse (he went in to Concord almost every day) so its not a book about living alone per se. Its more about reflecting on life, considering why one "is" and recognizing the beauty and mystery of nature around us every day, everywhere. Thoreau talks of regular daily things too like what it costs him to farm, or having cider, or building a chimney. The writing style is conversational, open, honest. He doesn't try to get tricky with words, he just tells it like he sees it. It's so beautiful. For anyone (like me) who indeed sees nature as their "religion" or sees the Great Spirit in every leaf, tree and bug, this book will be adored. So many wonderful messages, thoughts, woven throughout this book. Its an incredible work.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for Walden readers February 28, 2000
By jd103
Walter Harding was one of the greatest Thoreau scholars. His annotations include explanations of puns I hadn't understood, sources of quotes and references in the text, and information about Thoreau's time. I also learned that one of my favorite places in Concord was referred to by Thoreau as Fairyland Pond.
The book also includes a map of the area in Thoreau's time, reproductions of HDT's manuscript pages, drawings and excerpts from his journal, and his map of Walden Pond with water depths he determined.
I wouldn't say the book is perfect--there are still a few obscure references without notes, and some notes for points that are obvious--but it's as close as anyone is likely to come.
Be sure to also read Harding's The Days of Henry Thoreau, a great biography.
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139 of 152 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing quotes May 29, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Besides irritating formatting issues (as Mr. Wiggings mentioned in his review), I got over a quarter way through before realizing that the quotes are missing! I'd see many lines that just seemed to end with half a thought and a comma or double-dash, with nothing to punctuate his statement (price, poem, song, etc.). I just grabbed the MOBI version from Project Gutenberg ([...]) and everything seems to be in order. However be aware that THAT version has no table of contents (DOH!).

So ... it's free, yes, but you're missing out on key elements of the book if you download this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
My comment title says it all. Interesting read for sure, after all, you can't really go wrong with some Thoreau
Published 16 days ago by Zack C. Hornbuckle
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as expected.
this is a cheaply prepared and published edition. the Table of Contents and other front matter is on the left side of the book instead of the right. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Janice Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Walden edition to read.
A wonderful edition of Walden, The best I've read and enjoyed. Great cover!! If you have ever wanted to read Thoreau's Walden, or just want to sit back and enjoy Walden again,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph Nunes
1.0 out of 5 stars The incandescent gibberish of a letter from a self-described member of...
Henry D Thoreau of Concord had better go home and ask his mother if she “knows he's out”. Doubtless she, Nature, will say she missed him who is the soul of Walden. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ashtar Command
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a must read along with Alex Stewart and Last Child in the woods. we need to wake up and realize we are wasting our lives with technology.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Ann Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
This book is a must read, if you haven't read it, read it at some point in your life, as you won't be disappointed.
Published 1 month ago by Alexis
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing
Henry David Thoreau, was hard to follow for me. I don't read much but gave it a try. I will pick it up again and try again.
Published 1 month ago by Faraon Falcon Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Walden was good.
In the hood out in the wood.
If I could which I should
Speak of its philosophical greatness I would.
Published 2 months ago by Ben Backstein
3.0 out of 5 stars Did not realize it would be soooooo small
I looked at description to try to figure out why the book was inexpensive, well it is tiny, like the size of a paper back but hardcover. Pages are extremely delicate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Oregon Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatiful quality
I purchased this book as a gift for my son who loves this book and wanted a copy to keep. I loved the small size, the design of the cover and the quality of the paper and ribbon... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Loraine Koenig
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