Walden

Life in the Woods
Narrated by: Alec Sand
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,248 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Thoreau's classic account of the solitary life, describing his attempts to simplify his life and sort out his priorities by living alone in a cabin beside Walden Pond for nearly two years, is one of the most influential books ever written. The bible of the environmental movement, Walden vividly portrays Thoreau's reverence for nature, and his understanding of the idea that nature is made up of crucially interrelated parts.
Public Domain (P)2006 Trout Lake Media
What members say
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Energetic but choppy presentation

I found the reading choppy, read as though the text were arranged in blank verse, such that the reader had to break the flow of the reading every so many syllables, regardless of whatever punctuation marks or grammatical context were provided by the author. There were also a couple of repetitions and a number of mispronunciations. All this did not stop me from enjoying the reading, it is such a great book.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Substandard Narration

The narration is simply terrible to say the very least!

The narrator pauses after every 5 or 6 words, when he should be flowing, producing a very choppy read; he mispronounces words; he re-reads in an attempt to correct himself and emphasises content at the wrong times.

I cannot comment objectively on the content itself, as the substandard narration is so overwhelming that everything else falls by the wayside.

I stopped halfway through as I just could not stand listening to more!!!

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

SHAKES the Ground, Sun & the Wilderness within.

I rarely read books twice, but I already feel the need to come sit by the shores of this book again and again. Expansive and infinitely quotable, Walden is one of those books that shakes not just the ground you are standing on, but seems to shake the Sun as well. Certainly there are parts of this book that are unrealistic, a little bit crankish, and even a little too self-aware. However, it is also beautiful, magnificent, and compelling in Thoreau's desire to see man seek the greater, more compelling wilderness within.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book and narration

With only 1 minute of the preview available and with a couple 1 star reviews I was a little hesitant to buy this version. But with the Summer Sale a book like this for under $5 was too tempting to resist. So I bought it and I am very glad I did.

Firstly I could not tell you if the narrator embodies Thoreau's nature or persona. Nor could anyone else for that matter. He died in 1862. It is silly to say what they were.

Furthermore, I don't hear the choppiness, blank verse type reading mentioned. Neither have I yet noticed any mispronunciations or repeats. That doesn't mean there aren't any, it just means that it is not riddled with them.

What I do hear is a very natural way of telling a story. For the first time listening to an audiobook I feel like I am in a room with the author who is telling me the story instead of line being read from a book. It is this conversational interpretation that makes this reading so intimate, so natural, so engaging. And isn't that the feeling one should get by listening to Walden? For me it works. Highly recommended.

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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home remedy for existential angst

Home remedy for existential angst -- that pretty much covers it. Highly recommended for times like the present (2016 election season), or after reading Nietzche.
The narration glitched/repeated a few times, but the repeating sections were less than a minute and didn't disrupt the flow.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, awful narration

Great, inspiring book, but the narration was rife with mispronunciations, which was pretty annoying.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

James T Kirk reads Thoreau

I’m sorry I know this narrator has done several books but this read is so choppy it is difficult to get fully into the book. I still have three hours to go and I find myself longing for this to be over. Like it were required reading for a class or something. In three years with Audible I have only returned one book, but.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Did not enjoy the reading

Over the past 15 years I have listened to a couple hundred audiobooks. This reading is in the top five least enjoyable. First of all the reader's voice is thin and dry and not inviting. Secondly, the reading is rife with mispronunciation. Thirdly, the reader is reading the author's words as if reading an instruction manual for the first time... using the reader's rhythm, rather than the author's. Instead of clarifying and illuminating the author's thoughts, the oddly placed pauses and improper word emphasis interferes with the listener's understanding. Considering the money I spent on this, I expected a more professional production.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Long and dry

As a nature lover, I felt compelled to listen to this book but I struggled to complete it. I did pull some nuggets of wisdom out of it though.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor Performance...

While Thoreau's writings fascinate me, the narrator in this case is a very poor match for the content. I simply can't get through the book because the narrators pensive pace, tone, and anxious inflection simply transforms what is meant to be peacefully, contemplative content into a delivery that does not complement Thoreau's nature/persona well at all.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-29-18

Give it a try

I was almost put off buying this narration because of some negative reviews but I wanted to leave a positive one for those unsure which narrator they want to listen to.
I was attracted to this narrator because they have a story teller way about them. For quite a dense, heavy and sometimes dry novel I didn't want a monotone voice reading to me as I'd just zone out.
Others have commented that the narration is a bit stop/start. I think this would be the case listening at a faster pace but I found it to have a good cadence and rhythm.
The actual novel is great, I mentioned it cab be quite dry which is true - there are a lot of lists and the first chapter is the hardest to get through. But the story and experience is fantastic, I'd highly recommend it.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhys
  • 05-24-20

Great Classic with some complexity

Well read on the whole. An interesting book but there's some confusing language at times

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wadey
  • 12-10-19

Book of metaphors

A few people have moaned about the reader of the book, and in the beginning I found this too as it was a little too fast. But I reduced the speed to 0.90x and it made for great listening. So many great metaphors and quotes. A must read for anyone interested in the connection of man and nature, man and man. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sophie
  • 08-07-19

Fantastic

Lays down a challenge to our modern ways of living; Walden makes me think living in the woods next to a beautiful pond wouldn't be too bad.

1 person found this helpful