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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 listeners say about Self Reliance

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

18 people found this helpful

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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.

36 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

14 people found this 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.

14 people found this helpful

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the narrator is horrible

the narrator is horrible. Method acting is one thing
method reading is horrible
please find another reading

3 people found this helpful

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Narration is lifeless

The narrator does not seem to understand what he is reading. I've never heard Emerson quoted with so little passion.

3 people found this 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.

10 people found this helpful

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A difficult book to listen to.

It’s an old book, well worth listening to. But you really have to work for it. The phrasing is nonstandard by today’s language. I have no problem with that because I listen to a lot of oldies. The biggest problem is the narrator. Imagine listening to Captain Kirk or Christopher Walken reading for you. Very difficult to complete listening to the performance. Elocution is also a bit muddled at times.

1 person found this helpful

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This is how to ruin Emmerson

The narrator, not the text, makes this a painful read. He adds more punctuation than there is and oddly emphasizes words that need none while ignoring those that do.

It's as if he's trying to do a bad impersonation of William Shatner.

1 person found this helpful

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Wish it was longer

Reminiscent of "Meditations of Marcus Aurrelius". Then again most truly great minds have similar thought processes.

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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!

6 people found this 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Roche Charles
  • 03-06-20

Terrible performance

It seems like Alana Munro has only recently learned to read. Horrendous performance. The essay itself it great but ruined by a lm awful reading.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DC
  • 08-23-19

The Narration

Read the book. The narration is appalling. It’s read so monotone, but worse, it is just read in a way that makes no sense. It’s like it’s read without punctuation. It is just truly awful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 02-19-18

A must read.

This book is very inspirational and insightful from the first page to the last. A must read for everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful