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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,281 Ratings  ·  629 Reviews
A henpecked husband copes with the frustrations of his dull life by imagining he is a fearless airplane pilot, a brilliant doctor, and other dashing figures.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Creative Education (first published 1939)
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Emma Lunceford It's not really like the movie at all. The story is set in the 20th century is only a few pages long. I really enjoyed it though and would recommend…moreIt's not really like the movie at all. The story is set in the 20th century is only a few pages long. I really enjoyed it though and would recommend it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Naomi
Aug 01, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Shamelessly read in preparation for the movie.





Genuinely excited for this.
HFK
I got The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as a free listen from Audible a long time ago, and figured this would be a great way to spend some 15 minutes before going to bed. Just enough time to make one relaxed after a busy, common cold day.

Walter Mitty goes through many exciting and adventurous lives with a help of his wonderful imagination that offers him the possibility to experience action filled moments middle of an ordinary day. It is the great power of imagination we all have that guarantees
...more
Charlene
This was the shortest audiobook ever, but I loved it! If you've ever wondered what's going on in someone's head, this short story gives you some ideas. Recommended!
Liz* Fashionably Late
To every single one out there who's won wars, destroyed enemy ships, rescued the cat in the tree, saved the world, graduated from college, lost a few pounds, fallen in love and had their happy ending... in their minds.

Because daydreaming is underrated.

Laine The Librarian
Laine (librarianscanreadtoo.blogspot.com) Review:

Meet Walter Mitty.

He's a Husband.

He's a Captain of a Navy ship

He's a toughest man on the trial

He's the man who can a woman from distress and is a hero to all man kind.

He's also worrying his wife, his co-workers, his boss and his shrink.

Walter Mitty has dreams. Dreams of being a hero. But he's not dreaming them in bed, like everyone else is. He's dreaming these events while driving, while shopping, talking to his wife, walking down the street. He "
...more
Brian Yahn
Dec 10, 2015 Brian Yahn rated it liked it
James Thurber had me rooting for Walter Mitty from sentence number one. Adventure after adventure, Mitty dives in and out of wonderlands to escape his boring life. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty sort of reads like a children's short-story for adults--which is uniquely awesome if you ask me...
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
I downloaded this free audiobook from audible and decided to finally take the time to listen to it during my walk today. I was not impressed. The narration was great and I thought that Ben Stiller did a fantastic job but I found the story lacking. I really cannot believe that this is a well loved classic story to be honest. Maybe I am missing something as I often do.

Basically the story focused on a man who lives in a world of daydreams as his wife nags him constantly. This story was VERY short a
...more
Cherie
Dec 06, 2013 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-audio
I have known about Walter Mitty almost all of my life. I never heard his words though, just that he was a thinker/dreamer. Aren't we all? Thank you, James Thurber for being the writer you were.

I am so glad Audible and Ben Stiller brought him to life for me. I listened to his story on the drive home from my daughters appartment last night. I started it at the end of her driveway and finished just as I turned into mine. I did not have to sit in the car to finish listening, as Ben Stiller had indic
...more
Raeleen Lemay
Dec 19, 2013 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
This story was super short, but so beautiful! I was excited for the movie before, but now I'm even more excited because I'm intrigued to see how they make an entire movie based on what I just listened to.

THIS BOOK IS CURRENTLY FREE ON AUDIBLE.COM. GO GET IT.
Kasia
Nov 26, 2014 Kasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This snippet of cozy brilliance by Thurber is his best short story ever, a story that makes the ordinary feel extraordinary. A story that gives the reader open permission to do the same in their life. A way to take a trip in your coziest chair without more than simply using your mind.

Walter Mitty is a regular chap who likes to day dream a few times a day; his adventurous second life is rich and riveting and so often interrupted by his whiny wife and life’s demands. Without worry he’s able to per
...more
Duane
Not great literature, but I had to smile because occasionally my 10 year old imagination takes over my brain as well. And it's hard to fault poor Walter, after all, he's married to Mrs Walter Mittty.
Lori
Jan 04, 2014 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio-book
Took advantage of the free download from Audible, in anticipation of the film. Ben Stiller has a nice reading voice, which was a tad shocking to me, because I mean, it's Stiller. I've never really thought of him as a narrator and was pleasantly surprised.

The length of the story itself is shocking as well. A 32 page tale(or 15 minute long narration) translated onto the screen as a full length feature? Obviously a lot of liberties have been taken (as was the case with Where The Wild Things Are wh
...more
Yani
Jun 22, 2014 Yani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gente harta de la rutina... y de los exámenes de junio
No sé si a todos les parecerá que merece cinco estrellas, pero a mí sí. Estaba buscando algo corto para descansar de los trabajos de la universidad y me acordé de este. Y elegí bien.

No repongo el argumento porque es un cuento (o short story, como le dicen) muy breve y, además, algunos deben conocer las versiones cinematográficas (que no vi y que, según lo que leí por ahí, distan del libro). Lo que sí puedo decir es que divierte, pero deja una sensación agridulce que perdura después de terminar
...more
⊱ Irena ⊰
Jan 25, 2015 ⊱ Irena ⊰ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, humour
3.5
A story for all those daydreamers. Walter Mitty has a bitter-sweet way of coping with life. There's nothing really wrong with his life. It's just plain ordinary, so he incorporates anything he sees or hears around him into his his daydream.
I prefer reading to listening (my mind starts wandering), but the audio of this story is also wonderful. Highly recommended.
Amina
Mar 13, 2016 Amina rated it liked it
A very short short story :D if you wanna know what's maybe going on in someone's head :D very light, different from the movie but still a good one
Mitchell
Jan 20, 2015 Mitchell rated it liked it
The book was quite advanced and confusing to read, but however still made for a good read because it was just one of those books that grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading. I think there was only one bad thing about it which was how confusing it was other than that a great read.

It was good that the story was in third-person because it helped control how confusing everything in the book was. Because it was in third-person everything was easier to understand because you could te
...more
Chrissie
Dec 21, 2013 Chrissie rated it liked it
Shelves: short, humorous, audible
A SHORT, short story and you now I am not into short stories. Still, I liked it. Why? Because Thurber lets you escape with Mitty into his fantasy world, and you understand why he flees there. This has to be short, or it will be longer than the story itself.
Felicia (Little Prairie Library)
I first read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when I was just out of high school, and I found myself totally relating to Walter Mitty in a big way. Not that I imagine myself being a surgeon or a pilot, but I often spend my time daydreaming and wishing for things that realistically will never happen for me. This time I listened to the audio version with Ben Stiller narrating, and it was a lovely little treat (as the whole thing is only 14 minutes long). I look forward to watching the movie again t ...more
Sarah Marie
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber, Narrated by Ben Stiller

2.5 stars

Walter Mitty always has his head in the clouds. Sometimes as a Navy pilot other times a surgeon, and my personal favorite a man accused of a crime. I really liked the portrayal of daydreaming and how everyone wants to escape from reality. Ben Stiller did an excellent job of narration. I’ll be honest I probably would’ve never read this short story or would’ve seen the movie, but after listening to the audiobook I’m

...more
Laura
Dec 06, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
You may read online here

Michelle
Mar 30, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: movie, classic
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Novella) by James Thurber 5

I bought this very short ebook to read before I saw the movie. It is very short. But it was cute. And boy Walter is a dreamer. I am a little curious as to how old Walter is. He's married. And has a little bit of a bossy wife. Or so that's what Walter thinks. All he would like to do is daydream about anything, be it a surgeon who is the only one who could save the patient or a soldier, or well... just about anything where Walter is the g
...more
krishna  Fūjin
I wish it is a Novel than a short story.
Lena Wisniewska
Jan 25, 2015 Lena Wisniewska rated it liked it
I thought that this short story was very good, because although it was very short, the reader was able to understand the main problem, which seemed to be that Walter Mitty was living in his head and day dreams, instead of in reality. He was constantly thinking about himself as someone else, instead of concentrating on his own life. There was some great language used, for example: "The Commander’s voice was like thin ice breaking." (Thurber) or "War thundered and whined around the dugout and batt ...more
Maria Ella
It was an American classic, a short story written in 1930's. I love how the prose became poetic, and how the author switched Mitty from an ordinary husband doing a weekly chore to become a surgeon. And a hero - inscrutable to the last.

There is something about onomatopoeia that made the short story appealing. It adds up to the reader imagining how Mitty quickly triggers a daydream. At one moment he is an assassin. And then he became a surgeon.

The thing with this short story is it leaves you a s
...more
Grete
Jan 20, 2015 Grete rated it did not like it
This book is not deserving of even one star. It is all confusing and puts and strange picture in your mind. If you are going to introduce the story don't start in a day dream with different character. The plot in the story makes no sense what so ever. Walter Mitty's wife is always rude which in so boring and mean.

Works Sited

Thurber, James. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Thenewyorker.com. Conde Nast 18 Mar. web. 12 Jan. 2015.
Jenna
Feb 08, 2014 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short, audiobook
This is a super short audiobook - like, 11 minutes long. Obviously this is the basis for the movie, which I haven't seen, but judging purely from the trailer they haven't kept a lot from the original story. Walter Mitty is an old man who escapes the tedium of his life and his nagging, annoying wife by going on fantastical adventures in his head. It was a good short story, if a little depressing, and Ben Stiller's narration was quite good. I don't know that I'll bother with the Hollywood version ...more
Vanessa
Dec 11, 2013 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I revisited this classic by listening to the audiobook narrated by Ben Stiller. It's a fantastic, quick story. Who says imagination is just the stuff of childhood? I love the idea of imagination as an escape from the humdrum of daily routine. Plus Ben Stiller is a fabulous narrator. And if you're trying to make some progress on your reading goals this year, this will take you one step closer and it's totally worth the few minutes to read it.
Amy
Jul 08, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How can they make this into a movie? There's nothing to it. Then again, I've never read anything by Thurber that I liked. I'm all for imagination, but this is boring old man war imagination. It's as interesting as Snoopy's adventures flying the Sopwith Camel as a World War II flying ace. How I hate the Snoopy parts of Charlie Brown (and most of the other bits). Oh the agony.

Now come the hate comments.
Shoa Khan
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a very short read, where an ordinary man keeps escaping from his mundane life by virtue of his highly imaginative daydreams, in which he is a hero of sorts!
It is this basic idea which is the only thing common between this short story and the movie, which was one of the first movies I had seen last year :)
Lucy Jane
Jan 19, 2015 Lucy Jane rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Why does Walter travel to the specific realities in the story? 1 5 Sep 18, 2015 12:30PM  
Books2Movies Club: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 9 29 Nov 08, 2014 10:56PM  
The Movie 3 18 Mar 22, 2014 07:58AM  
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Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles L. Thurber and Mary Agnes (Mame) Fisher Thurber. Both of his parents greatly influenced his work. His father, a sporadically employed clerk and minor politician who dreamed of being a lawyer or an actor, is said to have been the inspiration for the small, timid protagonist typical of many of his stories. Thurber described his mother as a "born comedien ...more
More about James Thurber...

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“Beautiful things don't ask for attention.” 368 likes
“Lately, I have been wondering if there is time left for daydreaming in this 21st-century world of constant communication.” 9 likes
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