Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Walden is a work by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and to some degree a manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond amid woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. 

Thoreau used this time to write his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. The experience later inspired Walden, in which Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development. The book can be seen as performance art, a demonstration of how easy it can be to acquire the four necessities of life. Once acquired, he believed people should then focus their efforts on personal growth.  

By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic period.  

Thoreau makes precise scientific observations of nature as well as metaphorical and poetic uses of natural phenomena. He identifies many plants and animals by both their popular and scientific names, records in detail the color and clarity of different bodies of water, precisely dates and describes the freezing and thawing of the pond, and recounts his experiments to measure the depth and shape of the bottom of the supposedly "bottomless" Walden Pond.

Public Domain (P)2018 Flâneur Media

What listeners say about Walden

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Butchered

I understand that Walden is a classic of American literature and is a must read in environmentalist circles, and that was the reason I bought this.

However, the narration in this edition makes the listening so painful that I couldn’t progress with it.

Now I don’t know whether that’s because Walden is a difficult read or whether the fellow reading it in this edition struggles with the content; but honestly I couldn't recommend this listening experience.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bhima das
  • Bhima das
  • 08-08-20

Peace be with those who read this

It is with little wonder that most who have sought the simple life, have found depths within themselves revealed by the quiet and stillness which are its consorts. This is the occasion to listen to Walden.
I have had a friend, a true hermit, one who could hew out a living in the woods by the edge of the axe and flint, say that Thoreau was but a dilettante, that two years two months with plenty of visitors and dinners at the Emersons was not deliberate enough- that to find oneself as one truly is requires a wholesale casting off of the material condition without compromise- including the desire of publishing a treatise about it.
I dont know. What Thoreau wrote gives me hope. If he saw society today surely he would think not a soul had ever turned a page of it.
But those who have are not idle. A new movement is underfoot. Either we all will reconnect with or be forced into a reckoning with nature sooner or later. She will not suffer long the callousness of this species, so blind and full of hubris as if there were a vaccination for time itself.
I ramble on like some loner myself- as if i will receive an encouraging nod.
Forgive me. Peace be with you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebecca Azizov
  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 09-04-19

a very interesting point of view

this book is super interesting I loved it a lot it's full of sarcasm and a lot of interesting factors that I liked a lot it's not the usual book and it's a bit strange to listen to it but I think about it as a unique artistic piece the book was very very good brilliant even
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review