Thoreau's Walden ("Reading") and Ayn Rand's introduction to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition) summarize my library well.
"Walden" is a blog, and Emerson is the world's first blogger. No, really.
- Each chapter is essentially independent of other chapters.
- Some passages are difficult to get through because it seems the author has nothing better to do that write all evening about bean hoeing.
- The author writes as though his words are the world's most important work.
- Interlaced between the opining and hoeing are -true- works of beauty.
I always pictured Thoreau as a mild-mannered man. Perhaps he was--who is to say--but his written words are anything but mild-mannered. Walden is a biting critique of society's impact on man. While Sand's narration is atypical (perhaps he was indeed voice acting in a manner fit for 19th century New England), I believe the passion that Sand brings to the text is one that Thoreau would approve.
I would go from being bored of details in one instant to immediately enthralled by a powerful soliloquy the next. Certainly one of the most moving passages I've ever come across in my life was in Chapter 3 of Walden where Thoreau speaks his thoughts on the act of reading:
"The works of the great poets have never yet been read by mankind, for only great poets can read them. They have only been read as the multitude read the stars, at most astrologically, not astronomically. Most men have learned to read to serve a paltry convenience, as they have learned to cipher in order to keep accounts and not be cheated in trade; but of reading as a noble intellectual exercise they know little or nothing; yet this only is reading, in a high sense, not that which lulls us as a luxury and suffers the nobler faculties to sleep the while, but what we have to stand on tip-toe to read and devote our most alert and wakeful hours to.
I think that having learned our letters we should read the best that is in literature, and not be forever repeating our a-b-abs, and words of one syllable, in the fourth or fifth classes, sitting on the lowest and foremost form all our lives. Most men are satisfied if they read or hear read, and perchance have been convicted by the wisdom of one good book, the Bible, and for the rest of their lives vegetate and dissipate their faculties in what is called easy reading."
Stay astronomical, fellow reader.
The narrator read as if English was a foreign language to him, with no regard to proper inflection, pace and emphasis. The mispronunciation of words was grating, as were he awkward pauses after every few words... I'm off now to find a different version with better narration.
I agree with everything Walden has to teach and enjoyed the narration (other reviewers did not). If you ever want to know how dull another person's mind is, literally stepping inside for the full journey, then this could be for you. The prose is refined in parts, but hard going which may be the reward in its self for listening.
I will listen again at a later date, but at this point 5 hrs in I'm stuck.
I have recommended this book many times, but not this particular recording which is poor.
It's a beautiful American classic that cherishes simplicity and nature.
No. I picture the narrator as a young Irish man in his dorm room sitting with a Dell computer mic or possibly a lay reader in church. His accent is the only good quality because his style is mostly flat with echoes. This narrator does not seem to be an actor or trained in narrating.
Yes, I read this book regularly to stay simple and humble.
Maybe the author, NEVER the reader.
I found him to sound impatient, pretentious, and bored. He seemed to almost be sighing at the end of a lot of the sentences.
As humans destroy the very planet that gives us life this book becomes even more relevant
I listened to this audio version of Walden in the car on a long trip. It was easy to accept the reader's interpretation of the phrasing--his voice is distinctive and wonderfully appropriate to the story and its time. I felt like I was being told tales whilst (definitely "whilst") warmed by a cozy fire in an old stone fireplace in a log cabin. I will not comment on the book itself - who would dare!
Good perspective on the challenges of the modern world.
Good reminder in this fast moving, technical world to slow down and enjoy life.
Read a slow, gentle story way too fast. Noe true to the spirit of the story.
Slow down and smell the flowers.
This narrator pauses at the wrong times and often emphasizes the wrong words. His voice isn't bad, but it was hard to listen to.