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Disclaimer: I am an avid audiobook listener, especially biographies. I wanted this on audio. So I called my brother who is an audio engineer and said, let's make an audiobook for the experience. So we spent 3 days in his studio and recorded it, got my book designing friend to design a cover and submitted it to Audible, iTunes, etc. Good experience, but obviously my reading skills are not on par with accomplished narrators!
Whether you read it or listen to it, I think you will benefit from this short bio on Thoreau.
This book, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson's son (who was 18 at the date of Thoreau's death) is an excellent short biography of Thoreau. Edward Emerson does a great job of countering criticisms of Thoreau. One of the quotes I will remember is "to his lonely happiness the world will owe the best gifts he has left."
He was certainly a happy, but also a lonely man. Edward remembers him as both. Henry was kind to the children especially of the Emerson household. The short 50 or so pages/just over 2 hrs on audio is well worth it. After reading this book I began to connect Thoreau's life to that of Jesus' and Socrates. They both were outcasted by the society who didn't understand them, they both were friends to outcasts and dedicated to their ideals. Thoreau was certainly a prophetic voice carrying ideas and ramifications into our own time period.
I started at 4 stars, but considering the brief nature of the book, I think the investment is well worth the yield. Everyone needs some Thoreau in their life, and this is a great addition/brief picture of his life to augment one's reading of his works.
Also consider checking out Ralph Waldo Emerson's 12 page biography on Thoreau (which I have not narrated ;)