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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  5,598 ratings  ·  574 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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Shamelessly read in preparation for the movie.

Genuinely excited for this.
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!
Laine (librarianscanreadtoo)
Laine ( 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 "
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
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.

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
Raeleen Lemay
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.

Kasia S.
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
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
Jun 22, 2014 Yani rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
⊱ Irena ⊰
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.
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
I've watched the 2013 film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I still remember how great the cinematography was and how it was such a breath of fresh air - a very original movie. But I didn't know the movie is actually based on a short story of the same name, so when I found out, I decided to read it.

The general theme of the story is the same as the movie: Walter tends to daydream a lot and it helps him cope with his mundane life. He gets so lost in his visions of being someone else,
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

Lena Wisniewska
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
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.
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." Conde Nast 18 Mar. web. 12 Jan. 2015.
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
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.
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 :)
I have read this story before, but I wanted a refresher before watching the new film version. So when I saw that Audible had a version read by Ben Stiller for FREE, I jumped on it.

Now let me first say that I love Thurber. His subtle humor cracks me up in some of his other short stories (like "The Dog That Bit People" or "The Night the Bed Fell In"--personal favorites of mine). However, as much as I like the Danny Kaye film version (& have been opposed to having it remade for years), I'm not
Lucy Jane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte Jones
I got this audiobook for free on (I downloaded on 19th Feb. so I don't know if it's still available for free but it's worth checking). I had previously seen the trailer for the film adaptation and was not really interested in watching it but now I have listened to the audiobook I think it would be interesting to watch the film as I am curious how a 15 minute (approx. 32 pages in physical format) could be adapted into a feature-length film.

This short story was narrated by Ben Still
PLEASE, if you're in any way like me, LISTEN TO THIS SHORT STORY AS AN AUDIOBOOK (it's only 15 min long, guys)!!! Ben Stiller rocks!
IT'S FREE on (at least now).

Update from February, 19, 2014:
Hm, now, after listening to an audiobook narrated by Ben Stiller (brilliant narration, btw) I changed my mind about this short story completely and will be increasing my rating to 3,5, maybe even 4 stars (you'll see 4 stars anyway).
Guess, this story has to be read to you, because whole picture ap
I thought is was a good book but it was slightly confusing when Walter Mitty was in the real world then he went in to his daydreams. It was good because it was a fun book to read when he jumps to a daydream. The characters are Walter Mitty and his wife. The point of view is third person limited and it is limited to Walter Mitty.

Works Cited

Thurber, James. "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty." Condé Neet, 18 Mar. 1939. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.
What a funny little book, I started this pretty sure I wouldn't like it seeing as it felt like a lot to fit onto so few pages, but I thought it was good.

I think a lot of men are like Walter Mitty with such vivid imaginations, we find it easy to lose ourselves in a day dream.

Roight, enough reading I am off to fly my bomber under heavy enemy fire... Smoke me a kipper I'll be back for breakfast!


And now, I'm ready to watch the film. HAHA! The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is just a simple short story yet it is superbly constructed.

I like his daydreaming? or is it his past life? HAHA! Find it out by reading it.


Debbie Christiana
After seeing both the original Walter Mitty movie form 1947 and the new one with Ben Stiller, I decided to see where the inspiration came from. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber, is a very short story (7 or 8 pages) from 1939.

It was a wonderful little story, although written much differently than short stories are today, and I'm glad I read it. The end was perfect. Mr. Thurber doesn't say where it's set although he mentions Waterbury and New Milford, both towns here in CT not fa
You can either listen to this short story for free on audible or read it for free on the New Yorker's website. James Thurber creates a great short story of a day in the life of Walter Mitty who can't help but daydream he is elsewhere.
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Why does Walter travel to the specific realities in the story? 1 2 Sep 18, 2015 12:30PM  
Books2Movies Club: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 9 28 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.” 329 likes
“Lately, I have been wondering if there is time left for daydreaming in this 21st-century world of constant communication.” 5 likes
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