- File Size: 1727 KB
- Print Length: 179 pages
- Publisher: AmazonClassics (July 18, 2017)
- Publication Date: July 18, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073QLBBYZ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Walden (AmazonClassics Edition) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, July 18, 2017||
|$2.99 to buy|
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About the Author
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American writer, philosopher, and naturalist who is best known for the works Walden and “Civil Disobedience.” Thoreau was a protégé of transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose friendship and guidance had a lasting effect on Thoreau’s work. In addition to his support of outdoor recreation and conservation, Thoreau made lasting political contributions as a lifelong abolitionist and through his philosophy of civil disobedience, which would serve as a foundation for leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Thoreau died at the age of forty-four, a result of much-weakened health after years of complications from tuberculosis. His writings, comprising more than twenty volumes, have been credited with influencing not only a multitude of writers, such as novelist Willa Cather and naturalist John Muir, but also the civil rights movement and the creation of the national park system.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Ten year's later, I decide that I would pick "Walden" up again. I told myself that I would stop whenever the reading became too discursive or abstract... And I did not stop until I reached the end!
As any student of early American lit. knows, Thoreau built a small house for himself in the woods of Walden Pond in Concord, MA, where he lived for two years (1845-1847), documenting his experiences living there in "Walden." He hoed beans for a living, lived a mile from his nearest neighbor and survived on the absolute minimum that he could. In his downtime, he would swim, fish, read and take in his surroundings, describing every sight and sound with the utmost care. Thoreau creates for his reader an unforgettable Nature-observing experience with such richness of detail that we feel we are right there with him. We hear the owl's cry, we witness the loon diving into the pond and the two ants going head-to-head in battle, we see the blue of Walden Pond. He is a student of Nature of the highest order and extracts from each of these experiences a parable about humanity: what we lack and how we can be free. For Thoreau, Walden Pond is a place of purity, an oasis, an Eastern paradise on earth, a Ganges.
An ardent non-conformist, Thoreau also uses this book as a sounding board for his "radical" views and practices. He detests the railroad and its encroachment upon his land (and more generally, that of technology on human and animal life). He refuses to pay taxes to a government that supports slavery and the Mexican War (for which he is briefly imprisoned during one of his sallies to the village). He prefers Eastern spirituality and meditation to Western religiosity. He spurns the high life and abstains from drinking and eating meat. He believes that man is in a dormant intellectual state, from which he can one day rise and embrace the dawn. And the list continues...
Thoreau's prose is also rather unique. What one must remember is that he is faithful student of Emerson and like Emerson, his paragraphs often contain non sequiturs, digressions and sometimes outright contradictions. It was perhaps this lack of logical linearity that initially kept from enjoying his work as a college student. We must be indulgent with Thoreau: his wit, his aphorisms, his acumen are well worth the sometimes uncomfortable task of deciphering his prose. I am very glad that at nearly the same age as Thoreau, I took a journey to Walden Pond with him.
The result is something that could have been fascinating being just plain awkward and unsatisfying to handle and read.
Top international reviews
If you are fascinated by the anarchist ideal of living separate from 'social order' (i.e. government by others), and the naturists ambition of relying on what the environment provides, then I highly recommend this book. Not only is the 'idea' a grand one, but the way Thoreau expresses himself is so eloquent as to make this book a timeless classic.
Regrettably, I found it harder to read Walden than any of the other hundreds of books read before it. I have given the book two stars as opposed to one because there are occasions through Walden in which the reader is gifted with beautiful insight into Thoreau's isolated, naturalist existence on the outskirts of society. I have also been lenient on appreciating that, whilst the writing style is challenging, it comes from a different time before writing became so widespread and accessible.
Regardless, Thoreau writes too poetically and abstractly in Walden to allow the reader much enjoyment. His, in my opinion, overuse of metaphors, irony, oxymorons and overly-complicated sentence structures makes the endeavour of reading this book feel similar to wading through thick, smelly mud.
I have no doubt that Walden will be more revered in America, where self-reliance and outdoorsmanship make up a more significant portion of the Country's sense of self, but personally, I cannot help but feel this book has become over-hyped and aggrandized over time.
This book was "printed in the UK by Amazon" and it's of VERY poor quality. Its like one of those self-printed vanity books or an MS word document printed out.
Terrible basic layout and font SO SMALL you can barely read it.
Total waste of time, very poor quality indeed. Need to buy a replacement from a proper publisher now.
Thanks for nowt Amazon.
The copy I purchased on 13 May 2016 from Amazon - ISBN 9 780393 930900 - is of perfect quality. I need it for my next OU course so was a bit worried but there are no problems with my copy. The book is roughly the size of a DVD box (but thicker, 688 pages). The text inside is fine and full copyright and publishing information is there as expected. Font sizes are as expected and both front and rear covers are fine.
(I'm guessing the other reviewer accidentally received some mutant, misprinted edition)
It is not to be devoured at a single sitting and this, I suspect, is the reason for the poorer reviews this book has received. I have read the book through several times over by now, but rarely reading more than half a page before staring into the middle distance and drifting off thinking about it. To read it any other way is not to do it justice - or as Thoreau would put it "we might as well omit to study nature because she is old".