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Walden or Life in the Woods (unabridged & annotated) [Paperback]

Henry David Thoreau
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 12, 2012 1478227508 978-1478227502
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 or Life in the Woods (unabridged & annotated) + 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: 196 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478227508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478227502
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
238 of 246 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflecting Pond 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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206 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the annotated Waldens August 18, 2004
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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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The negative reviews here are frighteningly revealing December 22, 2000
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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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! November 22, 2003
Format:Paperback
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quality exceeded expectations.
Published 1 day ago by Zelda
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SERVICE! Great copy! Happy to GET THIS BOOK!
I keep this book beside me a lot. The passages have a calming effect because it talks about things in nature. Great copy! Happy to GET THIS BOOK! I love this author's words. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Polarity Phoenix-Mane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Person of Peace
Someone refered to Walden the other day as a special discipline in his summer retreats. I had to have it an just getting it on my Kindle for almost nothing was very helpful.
Published 25 days ago by John Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars When I read this book
Or rather the bulk of it I was in my twenties, living alone in a house away from society. One of the more memorable and life reassessing works I have ever read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ken S.
5.0 out of 5 stars ENJOY IT AGAIN...
I enjoyed rereading WALDEN POND again...I think the illustrations add a lot to this Time Less classic. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Big AL
5.0 out of 5 stars Walden, by Henry Thoreau
Dip into this book from time to time, reading a paragraph or a few pages, or spending a day with Thoreau. Many passages are rightfully iconic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael McLeod
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This book is as boring as a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. Just like all of Hawthorne's works Walden is severely over rated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a good edition for me to send to a serviceman, small and light.
Nothing fancy, but a nice edition, with good preface and forward sections. A good choice for me to end to serviceman who wanted something more to read than trash.
Published 2 months ago by David A. Sorflaten
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 3 months 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 3 months ago by Janice Kelley
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