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Walden

4.1 out of 5 stars 894 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1613820889
ISBN-10: 1613820887
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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

Walden's original publisher releases an annotated edition to celebrate the book's 150th anniversary.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (July 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613820887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820889
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (894 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nancy Wisser on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
As a professor of philosophy, I at one time regularly took classes of first year college students to Concord for a week-long intensive seminar on Emerson and Thoreau. I eventually abandoned the seminar, because I discovered that each class was progressively more hostile to what these two wonderful persons stood for. The ..... reviews written by young people of this edition of _Walden_ are, then, disconcertingly familiar to me. I obviously disagree with their evaluations of the book and of Thoreau's character. But what's interesting is why they have such a negative reaction to a book written, as Thoreau says, for young people who haven't yet been corrupted by society. What is it about the culture in which we live that encourages such hostility to his eloquent plea for simplicity? It's too facile to suggest that the backlash is motivated only by resentful pique at what's seen as Thoreau's condemnation of contemporary lifestyles, although I suspect this is part of the explanation. I'd be interested in reading the thoughts here of other readers who are likewise puzzled and disturbed by "Generation Y's" negative response to Thoreau.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most influential books in American history. I picked it up for the first time in thirty years only to realize that Throreau's philosophy had long ago permeated my being. I remember being blown away by my first reading more than half a century ago, but with each immersion new depths are achieved.

Thoreau sought both authenticity and simplicity in his life. He never abandoned Concord and the real world but merely sought refuge at Walden to plumb the depths of his being. Serious introspection and brilliant writing show each of us the the way to our own core. Can we stand the examination? That is for each of us to determine.

The Transcendentalists may never have been able to define their philosphy, but what remains of it more than a century after the movement's passing can be summed up in Thoreau's always upbeat outlook of "...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet success unexpected in common hours."

One cannot read Walden without gaining confidence in one's ability to change direction in life and optimism about the future. We do not have to live lives of conformity and quiet desparation. "In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high."

There has never been a book that better expresses American optimism, and there is no reason for us to lose confidence now. Simplify and be as close to authentic as you can be and all will turn out well. Oh, and while you're at it question authority.

If there could be a six star book, this would be my candidate.
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Format: Hardcover
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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