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Publisher's Summary

In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year.

From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature, and a deeply personal reaction against the commercialism and materialism that Thoreau saw as the main impulses of mid-19th-century America. Here also is Civil Disobedience, Thoreau’s essay on just resistance to government, which not only challenged the establishment of his day but has been used as a flag for later campaigners from Mahatma Ghandi to Dr Martin Luther King.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2010 Naxos Audiobook (P)2010 Naxos Audiobook

What listeners say about Thoreau: Walden / Civil Disobedience (Unabridged)

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Great Literature

This is one of the most important works of American literature. it is a book I return to again and again. This reading is very good. Degas rises almost to the height of the literature itself. Do yourself a favour. Buy this audio book. Listen to it. Absorb it. Thoreau is so poorly understood and, like the Bible, people rip bits out that suit their particular agenda. But when you read these texts in their entirety, and you should, you get the full flavour of Thoreau's wit, charm and eminent sense of justice. It has been said that there have only ever been two real Christians, Christ himself and St Francis of Assisi. And of the two, Jesus doesn't quite cut the mustard. But Thoreau comes close to being the third. Not that this is a Bible bashing exercise in Christian hegemony. It is anything but that. But Thoreau's sense of humanity may well be the acme of the humanist philosophical endeavour. He was a great thinker. A revolutionary. A philosopher. A lofty American. Every great American speech written in the last 150 years has its elbows resting on the literary platter penned by Thoreau.

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  • Tommy
  • 17-08-2012

Brilliant

Thoreau wrote with passion and sometimes anger. The performance reflects Thoreau's bitterness with the government and people of Concord and the United States. Thoreau looks deep into himself and society. The writing is amazing and Degas played to the character almost as if he was an old friend of Thoreau.

13 people found this helpful

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  • James J. Edwards
  • 13-11-2011

Kudoes for Rupert Degas

Henry David could not read Walden's timeless words any better than Degas. I've listened to it many times, and I hear new wisdom with each listen. I first read Walden 50 years ago, and Thoreau's message is just as timey today as it was then. Degas does justice to this everlasting classic. Thoreau by Degas is a treasure for all nature lovers.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Abby Sher
  • 02-05-2012

One-note

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The reader conveyed a persistent tone of anger, resentment and scorn. Never just thoughtful. I kept wondering what voice I would have heard reading the actual book and how reading it myself would have changed my experience of the book.

29 people found this helpful

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  • JTROTH
  • 19-08-2011

amazing book, ok narration

The book is amazing but most of the literate world already knows this. The reading is ok. At first sounding poetic but as the tone of each sentence goes through the same cyle of inflection, it starts to become repetitious and boring. The narrator begins each sentence strong and clear and slowly meanders to a quiet finish, almost whispering the last words. This would be fine ocaasionally but as it continues to recur you get exhausted listening to him. By no way should this trump the importance of this book in every collection and if your prefered method of digestion is auditory, I maintain a high recommendation for the purchase of this work.

17 people found this helpful

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  • christopher d cessna
  • 10-10-2016

Thought provoking

Amazing book! I occasionally struggled with the narration but the content made that easy for me to keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan Hunt
  • 05-03-2013

This should be read by everyone!

What made the experience of listening to Thoreau: Walden / Civil Disobedience (Unabridged) the most enjoyable?

This book will help you stop and reevaluate things. Too caught up in the struggles of modern life? Thoreau's Walden is a must read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nolan
  • 31-07-2012

great storyteller. Must read classic.

Where does Thoreau: Walden / Civil Disobedience (Unabridged) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

with the best

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry,the main character with deep thoughts about life. Very useful knowledge of living.

What does Rupert Degas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

an attitude of awe.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

Any additional comments?

MUST READ/LISTEN TO THIS BOOK

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  • Michael Priebe, MD
  • 28-06-2012

Didn't care for the narration

This is a great book, but I couldn't get into listening to it. I found myself drifting off to sleep or day dreaming. I think this was partly because the narrator's voice is rather depressing to listen to--flat, sad and dejected--although this very well may be the tone of the writer's voice and not the narrator's fault.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Babak
  • 07-06-2012

Good book, good narration

Thoreau is a great writer, thinker, and philosopher. I really enjoyed Walden.

I like the performance by Rupert Degas.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wes
  • 11-10-2021

Simplify your life

This is the key text on simplifying your life and decluttering. Thoreau’s experiment in simplicity living in a small cabin next to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts for two years documents his time getting away and fronting only the essentials of life. He says he did not want to come to the end of his life and find that he had not lived. There is so much inspiration and wisdom here in these pages. It is one of the great texts of American literature. It reveals Thoreau read widely and had a solid, rigorous academic education. We should all aim to be as well read and thoughtful as Thoreau. There is a popular trend right now of people living in RVs and vans and tiny houses and I think it comes from the same impulse as what motivated Thoreau to live in a small cabin by Walden. It’s the desire to simplify a hectic life and find out what really matters.

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  • Sanj
  • 30-01-2019

Guy goes on a gap year and is better than you

Dreadfully boring, condescending narration style doesn't help. I persevered til the end but did not enjoy

1 person found this helpful

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  • LC
  • 24-07-2019

A masterpiece

Thought provoking and also extremely enjoyable to listen to. Takes you to the world of life by the lake, and the surrounding nature.

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  • Paul Parkins
  • 18-01-2017

Skip Walden, go straight to Civil Disobedience

I had no problem with the recording or performance. It could just be me, but I found little of value in Walden - wasn't what I was expecting, and found myself skipping lots. This would be a worse review if it weren't for Civil Disobedience, which I'd read before, so I already knew that was good - that's 4 or 5 star content, but can probably get it elsewhere.

3 people found this helpful

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