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Walden (Everyman's Library) (Hardcover) by Henry David Thoreau (Author), Verlyn Klinkenborg (Introduction)
SummaryProduct Description (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) By virtue of its casual, off-handedly brilliant wisdom and the easy splendor of its nature writing, Thoreau's account of his adventure in self-reliance on the shores of a pond in Massachusetts is one of the signposts by which the modern mind has located itself in an increasingly bewildering world. Deeply sane, invigorating in its awareness of humanity's place in the moral and natural order, Walden represents the progressive spirit of nineteenth-century America at its eloquent best.
From the October 1854 issue of The North American review:
11. Walden; or, Life in the Woods. By HENRY D. THOREAU. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1854. l2mo. pp. 337.
THE economical details and calculations in this book are more curious than useful; for the author's life in the woods was on too narrow a scale to find imitators. But in describing his hermitage and his forest life, he says so many pithy and brilliant things, and offers so many piquant, and, we may add, so many just, comments on society as it is, that his book is well worth the reading, both for its actual contents and its suggestive capacity.
5 out of 5 stars Reflecting Pond, January 7, 2000
By Nancy Wisser "proponent of golden, timeless m... (Nazareth, PA) (REAL NAME)
This review is from: Walden (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.
5 out of 5 stars Incredible!, November 22, 2003
By merrymousies (Waterford, VA USA) (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
This review is from: Walden; Or, Life in the Woods (Dover Thrift Editions) (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.
5 out of 5 stars The cheese stands alone (and in the woods), October 13, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Walden (Library Binding)
This book screams simplicity!
In this book, Henry David Thoreau takes an extended look beyond human nature and human habit. He brings forth a new and exciting view point on life and teaches how to live in happiness without the confusion of mechanical materials. I had to read this book for a 9th grade Language Arts assignment, and I had never heard of Walden or Thoreau before this project was assigned. When I completed this book, I felt very refreshed. It encouraged me to take a second look at my own life, and simply discard of the things which were causing complications or confusion. This book stretched past the limits and capacity of my mind as a 9th grade student. It forced me to think. Judging by the majority of my peers, I am convinced that anything that would force them to THINK harder, deserves 5 shining stars.