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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

by James Thurber

genre: short story

Synopsis from Audible

Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller’s imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.


I don’t usually rate short stories very high because it’s rare that there’s enough time for me to fall in love with the characters. Short stories are probably more difficult than novels for that reason. I also don’t care for Ben Stiller as an actor. He’s just not my cup of tea, so I had low expectations for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I only downloaded it because it was free and I needed another book toward my Goodreads Challenge this year.

Stiler was an excellent narrator. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s a definitely “inspired by” the book rather than “based off” the book. In 15 minutes, I understood Mitty, felt bad for him, and was left wondering what would happen next. Rather than the lonely man who just needs a push toward an adventure (movie Mitty), book Mitty is a deeply disturbed married man lost in his fantasies.

5 out of 5 stars

amazonbutton2 copy-Eliabeth Hawthorne

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