Reviews for Walden and on the Duty of Civil Disobedience

AudioFile Web Reviews
Thoreau's famous book about two years in a Massachusetts cabin, while partly a nature study, is primarily about how to live and a critique of how most people go about it. Narrator Robin Field's expressiveness is excellent, his pacing fine, his understanding of the text clear. His reading of the famous, and still radical, essay on civil disobedience is direct and down-to-earth, keeping all Thoreau's good qualities. However, in his reading of WALDEN, his Thoreau sounds alternately self-righteous and whiny or pompously elevated and "poetic." Field intones, as if lecturing or preaching, in an affectedly rhetorical manner. It's true that Thoreau can be preachy and priggish, but in WALDEN, Field makes him seem so even when he isn't. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine