The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  3,850 ratings  ·  431 reviews
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a classic short story! This title features historical and illustrative photos, as well as brief author biography and insight story analysis.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Creative Education (first published 1939)
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Naomi
Shamelessly read in preparation for the movie.





Genuinely excited for this.
Laine (librarianscanreadtoo)
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
Cherie
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
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.
Lori
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 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...more
Liz*
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.

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
Chrissie
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.
Belle
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
Charlotte Jones
I got this audiobook for free on Audible.co.uk (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...more
Vanessa
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.
Mermaidrain
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...more
Anna
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 audible.com (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...more
Cameron
I read this story for my Modern Short Story class, which made me happy considering the Ben Stiller movie is about to come out. From what I can see from the trailer, the movie is very different from the short story. Big surprise, huh? Still(er), the movie looks really good and I enjoyed the story as well. It's very whimsical with a lot of personality, and I enjoyed the writing style. I recommend giving it a quick read before seeing the movie.
Zim Dela Peña
Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa!

-

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.

Here:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1939...

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...more
Meghan
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.
Matthew Turner
Shamelessly read in preparation for the upcoming movie and so pleased I did. I can understand why someone thought this extremely short story a worthy candidate for film adaptation.

In only a few pages, the character of Walter Mitty is impressively brought to life. His story is touching and tragic, but in small and conflicted ways. I love how Thurber kept this short instead of fleshing it out. I had the feeling of driving past a suburban home and peering in through a window — catching a glimpse o...more
Alex
A sublime short story. On a day I read two (see also: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, by Mark Twain) both of which were fantastic - this piece of escapist fantasy (quite literally an account of a man who invokes fantastical mind wanderings to get away from the mundanity of his own life) is a joy.

Creating ridiculous - but authentic sounding - language to detail five flights of fancy on a day of buying household supplies and driving his wife to appointments, it is easy to empathis...more
Adam
Went ahead and read this short story right after watching the trailer for the movie. It's interesting, but obviously the movie won't be anything like the story, it seems that it will only steal the theme and title of the story and just spin it off from there.

I wish Bill Watterson (Greatest Sunday Comics author of all time: Calvin and Hobbes) wasn't such a reclusive crazy person. I would like to ask him if he ever read this story, because Walter Mitty IS the adult Calvin.

Anyway, it was a fun rea...more
Histteach24
What a surprise to go to the library, ask for the book before the movie comes out, and be handed a 32 page (and the story is not 32 pages) short story. Intriguing. A man bored with life who wants to be something he isn't to tune out the sound of his nagging wife.
Can't wait to see how that get a full length movie from it. Also on the search for other short stories by this author.
Liked it, but since it was so short how do you really rate it?
Genius for his time, however.
Adira
This was a super short read coming in at 14 pages. It was really accessible and took all of five minutes to read. I know there is a movie based on this short story, but I haven't seen it yet. However, I will say that I noticed some staunch differences between the Walter Mitty of James Thurber's short story and the one I saw in the film trailer.

In Thurber 'a story, he shapes Walter Mitty into a character that seems to be a middle aged, married man with a tendency to slip into daydreams as he's d...more
Paula
I recently saw Ben Stiller's adaptation of this short story. I didn't even know it was a short story until I saw it listed in the credits! Anyway, the story seemed to be a bit of a disappointment at first. In the story Walter Mitty is a seemingly absent-minded old man without a job, not a guy who's worked for "Life" magazine for 16 years in the Negative Assets department. Another huge difference is that the story takes place in 1939. And he's married. But he does daydream. Or does he?

In the movi...more
Tracy Fleming-Swehla
I wish I could've read this book when I was in a short-story course in college. That was a great class, and this would've been a fabulous story for discussion. Short stories really are an amazing genre. This particular edition comes with a "Closer Look" … several pages after the story talking about Thurber, his life, his writing and the times in which this little story was written. I loved that information and read the story a second time after reading about the influences Thurber lived within a...more
Sarah Marie
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber, Narrated by Ben Stiller

3 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 qu

...more
Tina
3.5 Stars!

An enjoyable read! I'll admit that I only read this book because the movie is coming out this Christmas (which, by the way, I highly recommend you check out the trailer as the cinematography looks fantastic). I'm not obsessed with the book, but I don't regret reading it. When I learned that the movie was based on a book, I immediately though that the book would be a novel so I was a bit disappointed to find out it was only a short story. I knew not to completely base a book on it's le...more
Robert
The title has been familiar to me although I never saw the movie nor read the story. With the remake all abuzz set for Christmas Day, the title has re-entered my consciousness. I decided to look it up this evening. I found some group here at GoodReads read it back in October with a link to the text online.

Yup, a short story by Thurber. It makes sense, but I never knew that. And Dany Kaye starred in the movie! Whoot! I'll have to watch this.

Anyhow, as for the story, it's okay. Nothing great, noth...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
I watched the movie and really liked it, so when I heard of this I just had to give it a go.
It is a really short audiobook (and was for free).
The story does not resemble that of the movie but gives the essence of the character, Walter Mitty. A day dreamer. And the way his attention moves away from his boring every day life to have adventures with him the hero.
I liked it.
Cat Grimalkin Niedzwiecki
I should have taken more time to connect the dots in this venturous short story that is on the New Yorker twitter feed today. Walter Mitty is a versatile character with a full blown inducement psychosis, stepping into many protean situations - that somehow do not interfere with his being able to drive a car, put on gloves, and light a cigarette. So he has all of these wild imaginary escapades that are far cries from the traditional roles of his real life; Walter Mitty's wife notices tinctures of...more
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The Movie 3 13 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...
Many Moons The 13 Clocks The Thurber Carnival My Life and Hard Times The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces

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