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Publisher's Summary

Walking is not as well known as Thoreau's other works Walden, The Maine Woods, and Civil Disobedience. But it is a good place to start exploring his writing because it was his last book, in 1862, published by the Atlantic Monthly shortly after his death. It is less well known because it is general, as opposed to singular, in focus. It is his summing up of his thoughts on life: One should saunter through life and take notice; one need not go far (as Thoreau rarely left the 25 square miles of Concord and its population of 1,784, according to the 1840 census.)

This is not a political or ecological book as many advocates have stated; it does support nature, but in a small subtle way. He was a man of his age who possessed a variety of talents and abilities, similar to Jefferson and Franklin. He sought to encourage people to notice and saunter, but did not rail against anyone who chose not to. This was a favorite work of Justice William Douglas, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. As the liberal jurist Douglas said, This book displays how Thoreau could have been transplanted to any American century and prospered. Jefferson, Franklin, Douglas, King, and Gandhi would be five men who could join him in his appreciation for sauntering and noticing.

Public Domain (P)2011 Deaver Brown

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Brief transcendental ditty; amateurish narration

Would you try another book from Henry David Thoreau and/or Deaver Brown?

This is a great little work by Thoreau, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in his catalog, be they a fan of his more popular books (Walden, Civil Disobedience, etc.) or new to the author’s unique and influential prose. The lecture is full of quotable and transcendental nuggets, and Thoreau manages to pull together many diverse topics into a very concise and flowing text; he moves seamlessly from observations about 19th century New England life to transcendental analysis of ancient Rome’s attitudes of nature to commentary on the human anatomy. A brief, insightful listen!

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The lecture is full of quotable and transcendental nuggets, and Thoreau manages to pull together many diverse topics into a very concise and flowing text; he moves seamlessly from observations about 19th century New England life to transcendental analysis of ancient Rome’s attitudes of nature to commentary on the human anatomy. A brief, insightful listen!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Deaver Brown?

Content aside, my biggest complaint is with the awful and amateurish quality of the narration. The sound file was never professionally recorded or edited; it is full of constant static, noise interruptions, and clicking sounds every time the narrator pauses or restarts his tape deck. The sound is not balanced, and it is obvious that the narrator did not use professional grade microphones or soundproofing; every time he moves close to or further away from the microphone, the noise level jumps.

Was Walking worth the listening time?

Worst of all, the narrator is just plain bad at reading. He speaks with a thick accent and struggles over simple words and sentence structure; what was, I’m sure, originally a flowing and smoothly-given lecture by Thoreau has been turned into a choppy, befuddled listen.

Any additional comments?

How this ever got approved to sell on this website, I will never know. Now please excuse me while I find some public domain titles to record through my iphone and license to audible.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Terrible Audio

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

The sound is very bad with a loud hissing in the background. Not recorded in a studio.

Would you be willing to try another one of Deaver Brown’s performances?

Probably not

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Compelling & beautifully written.

A wonderful essay written near the end of Thoreau's short life. As the reader says, it is a great introduction to Thoreau's work as it touches upon all his key themes in one short, compelling essay. Compact and beautifully written.

Narrator's accent distracts at first, but you get used to it.

If you're new to Thoreau, don't start with Walden (& its tedious list of materials & expenses), start with this.

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I love this short read, Thanks...H.D. Thoreau

one of my favorites to listen to insightful chalk full of wonderful inspirations, why not you go for a walk?

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Fire this narrator!

Would you try another book from Henry David Thoreau and/or Deaver Brown?

Thoreau--yes!, Deaver Brown -- never! Brown is the worst narrator due to poor pronunciation of words and poor phrasing. The worst ever.

What did you like best about this story?

Thoreau to classic. Find a real story teller to narrate this beautiful material.

What didn’t you like about Deaver Brown’s performance?

He has a "lazy mouth" in which words are incorrectly or incompletely pronounced. Poor phrasing breaks up thoughts which should be whole. He reads worse than a non-native English speaking person.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I would like to hear it again with a real story teller. The poor narration makes me feel that I missed or misunderstood many parts of the story.

Any additional comments?

Fire Deaver Brown!

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not the correct narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This is a classic book, by one of America's classic authors.

Would you be willing to try another one of Deaver Brown’s performances?

No. This is absolutely the wrong narrator for a performance of a 19th century author. This person has a wonderful voice....if you're listening to The Sopranos; not Thoreau.

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A great and inspiring work.

This is a "Great Book" in the truest sense - one that can be read over and over, and still inspire and educate about all that is most important.

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Thoreau's thoughts are quite thought provoking

Deep thoughts certainly pervade this work. It still catches me off guard when books like this are as meaningful today as they were when written. I appreciate what the reader did keeping this as rough as it sometimes was but it got more distracting the farther I listened. That said I appreciate the reader and his love of Thoreau and only criticize because it after all is a review. Thank you for taking the time you did to allow us to hear Thoreau and this work was worth listening to.

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a wonderful message

The content of the text is great. Needed a better narrator. He sounded wooden which made it a struggle to listen to.

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Technical issues but ok

The voice, intonation, pronunciation and rhythm was ok almost perfect.
Few technical hiccups, some voices and sound on the back, and a little cut off at some point.

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  • 07-24-17

Beautiful reflection on Walking and life

The narration is a little awkward in places but it is a live recording and that is to be expected.
Walking is certainly a wonderful book for an introvert with a passion for being in nature lots of beautiful moments of reflection.