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Publisher's Summary

The most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." This essay is considered a watershed moment in which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement. An American classic.

Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Don't buy this

Audible should remove this narration. The performance is terrible, as if the narrator doesn't understand the meaning of words. Makes it almost impossible to understand the sentences. The most terrible cadence I've ever heard.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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RWE is great, but the narration is lacking

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Emerson is certainly one of the great thinkers of the American experience, however the narration of this text makes it quite challenging to get at the heart of Emerson's point. The narrator seems to lack the feeling and flow that would have really brought Emerson's words alive from the page to the listener's ear.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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narrator reads like William Shatner.

narrator reads like William Shatner. it was so hard to listen to, I couldn't finish.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great essay destroyed

It is a pity that this essay is read by someone with such a bad voice. The reading is slow and very very low. I listen a lot in my car, but I need to cut out aal the bass, to listen to this without having popping sounds.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Highly recomended☆

Suupeeriinspiiriing foshooo!!! Elevated my soul as well as my intellectual brain synapses :) read it!!!!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Terrible Narration

If you would like to have this Emerson classic as an audiobook, please please do NOT buy this version. The narration is absolutely awful. The narrator, while having good clear diction, reads the book as if there is a comma every third or fourth word. This becomes extremely tedious within a very short time. In fact, I would say it creates a barrier to understanding the content of the book, which was not written in modern english.

A good narration should be transparent and not get in the way of a book. However, in this case, the narrator's pauses every third or fourth word made comprehension of the content a struggle. It sounds like a computer is reading it. If I could have given this narration zero stars, I would have.

The only good thing I can say about this version is that is was really cheap and I didn't waste too much money on it. I will look for another version. The one enjoyment I got out of it was knowing I had the power to press the stop button on my player.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Todd
  • Gaithersburg, MD
  • 11-03-17

First book I couldn’t finish due to narrator

Emerson is difficult to follow as a rule. The narrator had such a deep voice with so little voice inflection that it was just too difficult to understand what was being said. I may try this again, but with a different narrator.

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Classic text with dry narration

Basically required reading, I wish the narrator would have brought more life to this classic essay.

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Great work, fatally performed

If you could sum up Self Reliance in three words, what would they be?

Great. Life. Advice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

n/a

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator. This was the first book I listened to from this narrator. The work is an essay - tightly packed information constructed by a brilliant man. The narrator's voice was completely without the passion the author intended. The reading was delivered so dead-pan that it seemed clear the narrator had never actually read the work prior to the recording of his reading.

Any additional comments?

This appears to be one of those works best enjoyed by reading it rather than listening to it. Perhaps with a slightly different cadence, a more impassioned voice - this work could have been done justice.

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  • RC
  • 01-26-17

Inspiring

I struggled to understand some of the old vocabulary but a very good book nonetheless. I will definitely listen to it several more times.

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  • Reginald pelle
  • 10-04-15

Wonderful!

Full of inspiring, ever-lasting words of wisdom, to give you nurturing and extra motivation. Worth reading!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Isidrums
  • 11-12-17

Great philosophy for modern times

The whole book is superb, it contains a philosophy that the Western World is sadly forgetting about and I recommend to read it often in order to survive in modern world's confusion. However I find the narrator's accent and voice difficult to understand in this version.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-17

Slow and Stilted

Despite possessing a beautiful voice, the narrator's performance was stilted and lacking fluidity. His tendency to pause mid phrase was particularly off putting. Whilst this may have been an attempt to break complex text into bite-sized chunks for ease of consumption, I found it extremely frustrating. However, I would thoroughly recommend the text of Self Reliance ... perhaps with a different narrator.