In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the town 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 $8 a year. From this experience emerged one of the great classics of American literature, a deeply personal reaction against the commercialism and materialism that he saw as the main impulses of mid-19th century America.
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Walden is organized like a conversation. Thoreau moves from topic to topic in an easy flow, touching on politics, economics, and spirituality. William Hope's performance of the work brings out this quality wonderfully. Narrating slowly, with regular pauses, as if engaged in a conversation with a close friend, Hope allows readers to hear the rhythms of Thoreau's prose. But however it rambles, the essay always returns to the loving descriptions of nature and insightful reflections on personal identity that Thoreau developed in his cabin by Walden Pond. This is an accessible adaptation of an American classic.
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