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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

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What listeners say about Walking

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

12 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Clumsy performance

The content is beautiful and thought provoking. The performance, however, with numerous stumbles and mispronunciations, detracted from the work. Happily, it made me put this book on my list of those to read myself.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

poetic

I probably would do better to read this prose in order to better appreciate the individual gems hidden in the Victorian language.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator does not enunciate the words clearly

I would avoid this version of Walking if I were you, particularly if English is not your first language. The narrator doesn't enunciate the words clearly, emphasizes phrases strangely, and has a pronounced regional accent. He sounds a bit as if he's eating his lunch while he's reading.

It's cheap, so no complaints there.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, poor narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Like a miniature Walden. Pearls of wisdom.

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator. It was like listening to a brick-layer reading Shakespeare -- butchering it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I only listen to it while walking...and I don't walk quite as much as Thoreau.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Is he drunk?

Read with offhand lazy inarticulate garbling and truly odd emphasis and intonation. I had to give up. I'll read the damn thing for myself. Grrrrr.

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Get a different version

I love Henry David Thoreau. Sadly, I wish I could say the same about the narrator.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration!

It is not my intention to be mean but the narrator is terrible. This narration destroys the quality of a wonderful essay and makes it almost impossible to listen to. Please don't purchase this audio book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tools26
  • Tools26
  • 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.

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  • Louisa
  • 06-13-18

The narrator can't read. He's struggling

Really interested in the writing but the performance is unbearable. was it recorded in a cassette tape?

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  • Rebell
  • 12-08-19

POOR Narration

The narrator does not pause, breathe or take his time as the book requires. Instead of a space between words, sentences, headings etc he changes his tone. This is tremendously unclear, muddled and frustrating to listen to. My ears are actually hurting from trying to follow. Poor quality. It seems all books narrated by him share this in reviews.