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A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
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A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  22 reviews
An extraordinary masterpiece based on a river voyage taken by Thoreau and his older brother from Concord. In his river trip he meditated over history, science, literature, education, philosophy, religion, and other various subjects. Unusual for its imagery and structure, it depicts immense natural beauty. Fascinating
Published July 13th 2009 by ReadHowYouWant (first published June 1st 1954)
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At times this work seems a leisurely pastoral, at times a zoological exploration. Of most interest to me, however, are the times when Thoreau uses his travels as a framework on which to construct philosophical musings only tangentially related to the trip itself; for example, he has a fascinating long discussion about religion, the church, and Christianity that sheds light on his own beliefs in the context of his times. I personally find Thoreau’s iconoclastic perspectives refreshing and his rej ...more
Howard Olsen
Throeau's admirers laud him as a nature writer, and often describe this work as a "journal" recording a week's worth of river travel in Van Buren-era Massachusetts. This will not prepare you for the profound pilosophical and literary qualities found in this book. This is no journal. The seven days on the river are a framing device for Thoreau's extended thoughts on nature, religon, America, friendship, fish, and anything else that might cross his mind. Living as we do in an age of specialization ...more
a wonderfully sloppier, more circular version of Walden
Juan Jiménez García
Henry David Thoreau. El viaje como iniciación

Antes de recluirse en una cabaña en medio del bosque, para que de aquella experiencia saliera su obra más conocida, Walden, Henry David Thoreau tuvo tiempo de viajar. Podemos decir que sin viaje difícilmente podría haber recogimiento, porque el viaje, como uno bien sabe o intuye, tiene algo que nos remite al origen de todo pensamiento, y seguramente fue de montaña en montaña, de río en río, como se construyó su visión de la existencia. Lo importante n
I read somewhere that Thoreau’s 14 volumes of his journal may be the best thing he wrote, eclipsing even WALDEN. Of course, you wouldn’t look for any kind of organization in journals except a chronological one. This account of a trip he and his older brother took in l839 when he was 22 is even lacking in chronology as much of an organizing principle. They built a boat, drifted down the Concord River to its confluence with the Merrimack River , oared up the Merrimack through frequent locks to its ...more
Joy Barr
Some questions:
1. On pages 41-42, Thoreau hears dog barks while he is so far out in the middle of nowhere. He considers this "more impressive than any music," which is very surprising to me because this is certainly a marker of man. In the wilderness, Thoreau is interested in humans, not just nature. He finds the dogs barking is "evidence of nature’s health" but to me it is just a reminder of all the crap brought to the continent, along the lines of small pox, rats, and kudzu. Is Thoreau conside
Bryan Reyes
I've learned a lot from this book—from science to poetry, environment to religion, books to government, plants and animals to human beings. I yawned when I started reading this book because it's quite boring because Thoreau talks too much about plants and animals. I'm a nature lover but not as avid as Thoreau that I can quickly give the scientific name of every living things that I happen to see. I'm really amazed how natural historians study the environment's wide curriculum.

The book is full o
Thoreau’s first book ruminates on the rivers, traveling, and the natural world/Spiritual Nature (immortality). A condensed memorial recalling a trip Thoreau took with his late brother, there is a poignant allusion to “To a Waterfowl,” and passages that prefigure Thoreau’s “Autumnal Tints.” A central philosophical theme that runs throughout the books is Time vs. Nature. Thoreau is, furthermore, concerned with the plight of the Native Americans, which represent the extinction of wildness. He philo ...more
Thoreau’s first book ruminates on the rivers, traveling, and nature/Spiritual Nature (immortality). A condensed memorial recalling a trip Thoreau took with his late brother, there is a poignant allusion to “To a Waterfowl,” and passages that prefigure Thoreau’s “Autumnal Tints.” A central philosophical theme that runs throughout the books is Time vs. Nature. Thoreau is furthermore concerned with the plight of the Native Americans, which represent the extinction of wildness. He philosophizes abou ...more
There’s a lot that’s good in this book, at least for Thoreau fans, but there’s also a lot of flabby digression randomly dispersed throughout. The story of the trip down the rivers with his brother is a real pleasure, as are his observations of natural (and human) phenomena (some items are particularly interesting for a fellow paddler). And more than a couple of his ruminations are inspired. But more than a couple aren’t, and they go on and on. Then there’s his poetry …. So if you like Thoreau, h ...more
Less travel literature than an excuse for Thoreau to spout off about a bunch of other things that have been on his mind, from poetry to music to friendship to, well, you name it. The trip on the rivers is merely a structure on which to drape the weavings of his mind, interspersed with an impressive amount of poetry, almost all of which I skipped over completely. I prefered when he stuck to the more concrete elements of his story. I recommend reading a version that is either annotated or comes wi ...more
Brent Ranalli
Rewarding, but a tougher read than Walden. Partly because Thoreau was an inexperienced writer--it was his first book, and he tried to shoehorn into it everything he felt he had worth saying. But probably also partly because we just don't know how to read it. Garber's "Thoreau's Fable of Inscribing" appears to unpack some of the layers of meaning, some of the structure. Having read Garber, at some point I'd like to go back and reread A Week.
Dee Mills
I didn't finish the book; just marked Read to get it off my Currently Reading shelf. Got about a third of the way ... two days into their trip. I just wasn't in the mood for long narrative about plants and their scientific names. I wanted more about the trip and his relationship with his brother. It was sort of interesting and probably worth reading, but not at this point.
With due respect, this book felt like a month! Some of the language us beautiful, both much if it was like a slog through a swamp! There is a reason why publishers require an editor's review. Thoreau was a brilliant sel-published writer who desperately needed a good editor. Word to the wise:-)
I got a bit lost at the beginning but when I realized that this book was written as a posthumous tribute to his brother it made a lot more sense...Book one on my summer reading program... next up
Autumnal Tints by Thoreau
Another wordy tome, peppered with occasionally interesting (weird) things that people did in those days - like drinking rain water out of the puddles in holes made from horses hooves.... Hmmmmm.
A much underrated work by Thoreau. It's just a leisurely (much like the trip itself) journey, easy to lose one's self in.
Reads like a rehearsal for Walden, which, I suppose, it is. What a pain in the ass he must have been!
This book drags in the middle when he laments for a certain kind of friend that he wished he had.
Truth to tell, I skimmed over the passages of Thoreau's own verse.
Nov 09, 2008 Kyle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My cover looks different but it has the same ISBN #
Love nature. Where does it go?
John Brian Anderson
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Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau)was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books,
More about Henry David Thoreau...
Walden Walden & Civil Disobedience Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Collected Essays) Walking Walden and Other Writings

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