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Thread: Recommend me a thoreau book

  1. #1
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    Recommend me a thoreau book

    i have a couple of his books. i started readign the one about him living in that house by himself, but found it quite hard/boring to get through. i feel like i'm missing something here. but anyway, what would you guys recommend as the best one to read? i'll try to start again with that.

  2. #2
    I love Walden, but I can see how someone might find it boring who was not acquainted to the times Thoreau lived in, or the concerns he was engaged in.

    You might want to read through some of his essays, "Civil Disobedience" being the most famous, "Walking" being another one of my favorites.

    You might also want to read other authors of his time and place as well - Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was a neighbor of Thoreau's, wrote a huge number of great essays. You might also want to look into Melville or Whitman, other writers of the same period.

  3. #3
    Walden is a good book to start with but if you want to read a really good book that is environmental try reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. That one is a lot like Walden but is an easier read and I think it is more interesting.

  4. #4

    Walden Retold

    I realize this may be too late for the original poster, but for others there is a "retelling" of the first two chapters of "Walden" that makes accessing the original a little easier. The publisher is Japan & Stuff Press.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by manuke01 View Post
    I realize this may be too late for the original poster, but for others there is a "retelling" of the first two chapters of "Walden" that makes accessing the original a little easier. The publisher is Japan & Stuff Press.
    Where can I find the retelling?

  6. #6
    Amazon UK stock the book in question - don't know if it'll help :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thoreau-at-W...3762840&sr=8-4

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Yea, chances are it is too late, but you are right that other people may benefit.

    You have read a few of his books? Really?! It would have been nice if you could have given specifics. He has only written four books. These you can find collected into one volume. The same goes for his essays and poetry, while something like ten volumes constitute his journals. I'm not sure if there are any collections of his letters, if many of his letters even exist, or even if he wrote many. I'm going to quote a few things here from memory. Thoreau said something like "nothing bothers a brave man more than boredom". Robert Louis Stevenson's response was that, accepting this as true, no brave man could ever read Thoreau's Cape Cod. I can tell you that it is indeed amazingly boring. The same is true for A Week and Walden, though less so. I still don't know what to think about Thoreau. His writing is mostly very boring, and yet it is not hard to see something that draws you to him.

    I have never really read that much of Emerson. And still less of Muir and others. I think I have had enough of all that after Thoreau. I really love Melville and, though he comes from about the same time and place, he is very different from Thoreau. It is said that Melville beat his wife (unfortunately, he probably was not very good to his family), while Thoreau never had a girl of any kind and much less a wife (to name just one thing). Actually, they have very little in common I would guess. For this reason I think the Melville recommendation is a good one. My question would be "why do you want to try to read something else by Thoreau?" Choose anyone else. Try Melville or Dickens or something. If you think it is boring then don't read it! Iv'e thought about Thoreau a lot and read his books maybe more than any other author. My conclusion after all these years is that I am sorry for having wasted my time. He is interesting to be sure. Read him if you like him. But if you don't find him interesting just don't read him. You really won't be missing anything.

    [edit] I'm sorry. I didn't see that you wrote that you "have a couple of his books". I thought you wrote "have read". Maybe give them away if you find them boring. Read what you like.
    Last edited by bluosean; 07-30-2012 at 11:59 PM.

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