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Robinson Crusoe

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Based on a real-life incident, Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who yearns to escape the mundane world and set sail for a life of adventure in faraway places. Defying his father's wishes he leaves on board a ship, then finds himself marooned on a tropical island where he wrestles with his fate and ponders the nature of God and man. The world has gotten small Based on a real-life incident, Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who yearns to escape the mundane world and set sail for a life of adventure in faraway places. Defying his father's wishes he leaves on board a ship, then finds himself marooned on a tropical island where he wrestles with his fate and ponders the nature of God and man. The world has gotten smaller since Defoe penned his novel, but the human imagination still looms large. So even in today's world of space exploration, this story of an ordinary man struggling to survive has not lost its appeal for modern readers.

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Based on a real-life incident, Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who yearns to escape the mundane world and set sail for a life of adventure in faraway places. Defying his father's wishes he leaves on board a ship, then finds himself marooned on a tropical island where he wrestles with his fate and ponders the nature of God and man. The world has gotten small Based on a real-life incident, Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who yearns to escape the mundane world and set sail for a life of adventure in faraway places. Defying his father's wishes he leaves on board a ship, then finds himself marooned on a tropical island where he wrestles with his fate and ponders the nature of God and man. The world has gotten smaller since Defoe penned his novel, but the human imagination still looms large. So even in today's world of space exploration, this story of an ordinary man struggling to survive has not lost its appeal for modern readers.

30 review for Robinson Crusoe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy Madsen

    It's really sad that people judge books from the 17th century from their 21st century politically-correct perspective. You don't have to agree with Defoe's worldview and religious beliefs to like the book. I'm repulsed by Homer's beliefs but I know his works deserve to be classics. People who think this book is boring probably think hikes through majestic mountains or quiet afternoons in a beautiful garden are boring. This book is slow at times. But the slowest parts are the best. Defoe is a mast It's really sad that people judge books from the 17th century from their 21st century politically-correct perspective. You don't have to agree with Defoe's worldview and religious beliefs to like the book. I'm repulsed by Homer's beliefs but I know his works deserve to be classics. People who think this book is boring probably think hikes through majestic mountains or quiet afternoons in a beautiful garden are boring. This book is slow at times. But the slowest parts are the best. Defoe is a master of detail. And the action is much more exciting when it comes after the calm. A book with only action would be boring to me (not to mention corny, e.g. Treasure Island). This is, hands down, my favorite novel of all time. Rich detail, gripping plot, profound character development, insightful meditations, and the meeting of two radically different worlds in Robinson and the cannibals. I never stop reading this book. When I finish I start again. I love Robinson and Friday as if they were a real life father and brother. BTW - There is an audio recording by Ron Keith that is spectacular. The publisher is Recorded Books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is one of those books that really serves to remind a modern audience of why we should kill whitey. Robinson Crusoe is the story of a young man with atrociously bad luck who, unfortunately for any shipmates he ever has, suffers from an extreme case of wanderlust. Every ship he gets onto sinks, but he just keeps getting onto them. Even after he's got a nice, successful plantation of his own, he decides he's just GOT to get on ANOTHER ship to -- get this -- procure himself some slaves. It cras This is one of those books that really serves to remind a modern audience of why we should kill whitey. Robinson Crusoe is the story of a young man with atrociously bad luck who, unfortunately for any shipmates he ever has, suffers from an extreme case of wanderlust. Every ship he gets onto sinks, but he just keeps getting onto them. Even after he's got a nice, successful plantation of his own, he decides he's just GOT to get on ANOTHER ship to -- get this -- procure himself some slaves. It crashes of course, and he gets stranded alone on an island. Not to worry, though -- he's got a bible, and he successfully becomes a religious zealot while alone with nothing better to do. It's too bad that his only book couldn't have been a copy of Don Quixote or something because maybe then he'd have become a more interesting storyteller. But no, like so many people who have terrible luck, he turns to "god" and starts counting his "blessings," more-or-less out of a lack of anything better to do. Then, after he's been alone for 24 years, he sees a footprint in the sand, and he totally freaks, and he becomes convinced it must belong to the devil. Ummm, ok. So I'm sitting there thinking, "Maybe it's your own footprint." But it takes this genius a whole day of scaring himself before he comes up with that explanation. Anyway, it turns out not to be his footprint at all, it actually belongs to the "savages" (Carribean Indians) who apparently visit the island sometimes in order to cook and eat their prisoners, which, for the record, was not actually a common practice among Indians in the Americas. And here's the part where you really hate white people. He then saves one of the prisoners from being eaten and makes him into his slave, who he renames "Friday," teaches English, and converts to Christianity. Friday, instead of kicking this pompous jerk's posterior from here to next Friday after repaying whatever debt he owed Robinson for saving his life, is a faithful slave in every way for the remainder of the book. Friday speaks in a pidgin English, which is probably realistic enough for a man who learned English late in life from one solitary individual, but Robinson has an offensive habit of translating easy-enough-to-understand things that Friday says to us, the idiot readers ("At which he smiled, and said - 'Yes, yes, we always fight the better;' that is, he meant always get the better in fight"). Also, during Friday's religious education, he asks Robinson why god doesn't just kill the devil and end evil, and because there is actually no good answer to such a question for a religious person, Robinson simply pretends not to hear him and wanders away. What a jack*ss! Luckily, Robinson Crusoe's religious conversion doesn't last forever. As soon as he's back in civilization and making money hand over fist, he pretty much gives it up. Speaking of which, what was with the end of this book? He gets rescued, he goes home, but there's no emotional payoff, and instead he goes on about his European adventures with Friday. We don't care about the wolves and dancing bear! We want to know, did you learn anything from your years away? Do you feel like you missed out? Was anyone happy to see you? Did they have a funeral for you while you were missing? What did your mother do when she saw you again? Robinson Crusoe is a man without any of the human characteristics that make people interesting to read about when they get into difficult situations. He has no regrets, no personal longings, and he never reflects on his life before he was on the island during his decades on the island. I understand that this is just an "adventure novel" but people actually still read this tripe and consider it a classic!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Reading Robinson Crusoe is like reading a grocery list scribbled in the margins of a postcard from Fiji: "Weather's fine! Wish you could be here! Need fruit, veg, meat...." I understand it's an early novel and should be respected as a pioneer of the craft, but dang it, this is the most boring pioneer ever!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    August 1651 Dear Diary, Woo hoo! Run away to sea at last! Mum and Dad didn't want me to go but honestly, what's the worst that can happen? So far I'm loving life on the ocean wave and have only been a little bit sea sick. Anyway it's Bye bye Hull, hello Honolulu! Yours, Robinson January 1653 Dear Diary, Sorry it's been so long. There was a minor incident with a shipwreck and just when I'd managed to find passage on another boat some pirates turned up and I ended up as a slave. I had to do loads of wor August 1651 Dear Diary, Woo hoo! Run away to sea at last! Mum and Dad didn't want me to go but honestly, what's the worst that can happen? So far I'm loving life on the ocean wave and have only been a little bit sea sick. Anyway it's Bye bye Hull, hello Honolulu! Yours, Robinson January 1653 Dear Diary, Sorry it's been so long. There was a minor incident with a shipwreck and just when I'd managed to find passage on another boat some pirates turned up and I ended up as a slave. I had to do loads of work for this Moorish guy and while it was all nice and exotic, it's not nice being stripped of all your civil liberties. Anyway I've just escaped with my buddy Xury and we're heading out to sea in order to see if we can flag down a bigger boat, er sorry, ship. Yours, Robinson March 1654 Dear Diary, Just arrived in Brazil - wowee it is hot here. Much hotter than hull at any rate. I'm redder than a snapper on stick and am having a bit of trouble finding my feet. There's some sort of carnival on and I've seen a big hill which would like nice with a big statue of Jesus on it. I've met some nice blokes on the boat and they said they'd help me make my fortune. Someone is predicting that Brazil nuts will be the next big thing come Christmas next year so maybe I'll give that a go. Yours, Robinson June 1660 Dear Diary, Well it's been a while and a lot has happened. I got myself all set up with a nice plantation and enjoyed the good life for a while here but I miss the salty tang of the sea air, the creak of the sails and the gentle rocking of the boat so I've decided to sink my money into slavery and am going to put to sea as soon as I can. I've realised I'm not one for a landlubbers life. Yours, Robinson November 1661 Dear Diary, Well I am literally scuppered. My slaving venture didn't go too well. Guess I should have thought about my own time as a slave with that Moorish guy before I set out in order to profit from other peoples misery but hey, everyone else is doing it and even Bristol are getting in on the trade now by all accounts. Anyway that's all by the by now. We headed for Africa but a devil of storm came and dragged the ship and all the men on down to Davy Jones. I think I'm the only survivor and the sea has spit me up on this miserable sliver of land with only the clothes on my back. A couple of animals survived too. I've called the dog Defoe and the cats are called Swift and Behn. For now I just pet them but if I can't find any food then Defoe is going to make a tidy stir fry. Am off to set up camp now so will write upon my return. Yours, Robinson January 1662 Dear Diary, I've settled in and created a quite minimalist base camp. It's taken a lot of ingenuity to make all the things I need. Wreckage from the ship and flotsam and jetsam have washed ashore and provided me with some raw materials like sails and timber, bits of rope and metal. It's not exactly the Radisson Blue but I'm quite proud of my little house. The cats and rats are multiplying quite ridiculously - I shudder to think what it's doing to the ecosystem. I kill and eat the goats and birds but they're getting wise to my tricks now. I've kept one of the birds as a pet and called him bird brian. I'm having to go further and further afield for food... the other month I fell into a ravine and broke a limb... I thought for certain I was a goner but the lord has been kind to me since I arrived here. I'm not normally one for solitude but the peace and quiet has been educational. I suppose I've become a bit introspective but I don't have much time to mope as staying alive takes up most of my days. Yours, Robinson August 1665 Dear Diary, Visitors! Wish I'd baked something! Turns out they're cannibals though so I guess nice scones and a cup of honest to goodness tea bark probably is not their thing. Was tempted to smite them for being heathenish devils but I'm looking pretty heathenish myself these days and beggars can't be choosers over company at a time like this. One of them chose to stay behind. Can't understand a bloody thing about him and he's not one for chatter. I've called him Friday and he's put up no objections so far. Am looking forward to spending some time with my new friend Yours, Robinson March 1672 Dear Diary, Seven years since I last wrote - well you could have knocked me over with a parrots feather when I realised! Friday and I have become firm friends. Still not a lot of chatter but then a man is glad of companionship without all the additional twittering. He's got a bit of a grip on my lingo now though and has shown an interest in the ways of our Lord. I told him about my big statue idea. He laughed. Yours, Robinson April 1685 Dear Diary, Recently some other cannibals came to the island. They were planning to hot-pot someone but we soon put pay that idea. There was a bit of a to-do and now we have two newly saved captives on our hands. The island is starting to feel quite crowded. One of them is a Spaniard who says his country men are near by and could save us, the other bloke was none other than my man Friday's father. The two of them are off back to the mainland to rustle up a rescue party. I keep thinking about bacon butties. Yours, Robinson December 1686 Dear Diary, Today was my last day on the island. Felt a bit sad to say bye bye. I've grown fond of all its nooks and crannies now, and though admittedly, I would give my eye teeth for a bacon sandwich and a nice cup of tea I suspect that never again shall I experience the resplendent solitude which I experienced on the island. Don't know if I'll ever get used to sleeping in a bed and not a hammock either. I'm thinking of writing about my experiences though. Wonder if this is the sort of thing that people would like to know about? Friday has agreed to come with me which is nice but I'm not sure what he'll think of Hull, after all it's no paradise island. Yours, Robinson

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    987. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a casta 987. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe ‎The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe‬, Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is presented as an autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends twenty-eight years on a remote tropical desert island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued. The story has since been thought to be based on the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on a Pacific island called "Más a Tierra", now part of Chile, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966, but various literary sources have also been suggested. رابینسون کروزوئه (رابینسون کروسو) - دانیل دفو (جامی) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: رابینسون کروزوئه؛ اثر: دانیل دفوئه، مترجم: محمود مصاحب؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، گلشائی، 1343، در 404 ص، فروست: گلشائی 33، موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 م رابینسون کِروزوئه، یا رابینسون کروسو، مشهورترین رمان نویسنده انگلیسی «دانیل دِفو»، نخستین بار در سال 1719 میلادی در انگلستان منتشر شد، کتاب خود زندگینامه منحصر به‌ فرد خیالی ست، که لقب «پدر رمان انگلیسی» را برای خالق آن به ارمغان آورده است. قهرمان داستان، که نامش بر تارک همین کتاب است، زندگی مرفه خود در بریتانیا را، برای مسافرت در دریاها رها می‌کند. پس از آن که از یک کشتی شکستگی، جان به در می‌برد، 28 سال را در یک جزیره، به گذران زندگی می‌پردازد. رابینسون یک بومی جزیره را نجات میدهد، و نام «جمعه» بر وی می‌نهد. این دو، سرانجام جزیره را به مقصد بریتانیا ترک می‌کنند. دفو، شاید بخشی از کتاب را، براساس تجارب واقعی یک ملوان اسکاتلندی، به نام «الکساندر سِلکرک» نگاشته باشد، که به سال 1704 میلادی، پس از ستیز با ناخدای کشتی، وی را به درخواست خودش، در ساحل جزیره‌ ای خالی از سکنه، رها کردند. رمان پس از انتشار نخستین در انگلستان و دیگر کشورهای اروپایی، با موفقیت روبرو شد، و برای همین، دفو رمان دیگرش «ادامه ی ماجراهای کروزوئه» را نوشتند The Further Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe ا. شربیانی

  6. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    Many consider this the first English novel. It was published in 1719, and the setting was around 1650. But the amazing thing about this novel is that it's timeless. Being stranded on a deserted island would be much the same today as it was 350 years ago. It's a great tale though, one I grew up with, along with Treasure Island and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The 18th century writing style is a negative for most kids today I would think.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    It is hard to estimate the literary (and cultural) impact of Robinson Crusoe. First published in 1719, this is certainly the benchmark upon which most all castaway stories have been judged since. Though I had to consider that Shakespeare’s The Tempest was published in 1610. No magicians or witches here, and no Calaban lurking in the shadows, this is all about everyman Robin taking care of business on an island that may have been present day Tobago. Having never read the novel before, I still fel It is hard to estimate the literary (and cultural) impact of Robinson Crusoe. First published in 1719, this is certainly the benchmark upon which most all castaway stories have been judged since. Though I had to consider that Shakespeare’s The Tempest was published in 1610. No magicians or witches here, and no Calaban lurking in the shadows, this is all about everyman Robin taking care of business on an island that may have been present day Tobago. Having never read the novel before, I still felt like I knew the story, simply because of all the references to it that exist in various media. What is not generally known is the quality and style of writing and the very illuminating before and after chapters, particularly his dangerous travails in seventeenth century France, that had more than its share of wild trails and snarling beasts. This is also an introspective work, with a loner of more than twenty years having plenty of time on his hands to consider social, economic, political, philosophical and theological mysteries. A book everyone should read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Monsieurboule

    Hoo-boy! I'm surprised and amazed and dismayed by the ex post facto muy-contempo correct-nosity readings below...shouldn't be, I guess, but am. Gee whillikers, kids, uhm, here's one of the great social and, perhaps even more, spiritual documents of Western Civ, and it's a ripping read that declared ongoing archetypes, and it's getting dissed for...for being a bit blind to its own time. Which of us won't end up wishing for at least that when our tombstone gets knocked over? 'sides which, how many fi Hoo-boy! I'm surprised and amazed and dismayed by the ex post facto muy-contempo correct-nosity readings below...shouldn't be, I guess, but am. Gee whillikers, kids, uhm, here's one of the great social and, perhaps even more, spiritual documents of Western Civ, and it's a ripping read that declared ongoing archetypes, and it's getting dissed for...for being a bit blind to its own time. Which of us won't end up wishing for at least that when our tombstone gets knocked over? 'sides which, how many first novelists can say they wrote the actual first novel? Hmmm?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Spoiler alert...Robinson Crusoe was a total douchebag. If anyone deserved to get stuck on an island for 28 years, it was this guy. His story begins with his dying father pleading with him to stay at home, but the teenage Crusoe won't have it. He wants to be a sailor, he swears that he's meant to be a sailor, he totally loves the sea - even though he's never been on a boat. So, against his family's wishes he runs off to a buddy's ship. And guess what? He hates it. He's sick all the time, the boat Spoiler alert...Robinson Crusoe was a total douchebag. If anyone deserved to get stuck on an island for 28 years, it was this guy. His story begins with his dying father pleading with him to stay at home, but the teenage Crusoe won't have it. He wants to be a sailor, he swears that he's meant to be a sailor, he totally loves the sea - even though he's never been on a boat. So, against his family's wishes he runs off to a buddy's ship. And guess what? He hates it. He's sick all the time, the boat is super rocky, there are too many waves - then, they crash. It's the worst. Somehow, he survives. Once on land he gets drunk with some of his friends and is all like, maybe I was wrong about the sea, maybe it's actually great. So, after a night of binge drinking with the sailors, Crusoe forgets that he hated the sea and vowed never to go to sea again. So, like the idiot that he is, he gets on another boat. The minute he's on this other boat he's captured by pirates and he's forced to become a slave. Once again, asking for it. So, after a few years of slavery he escapes on a tiny boat. You'd think that once you're MADE INTO A SLAVE, you'd have some pity for other slaves but NO. Not this guy. He escapes on this tiny boat with a guy who is now HIS slave and after making HIS slave kill some huge, dangerous lions - so Crusoe could have a blanket to lay on (what's the slave sleeping on? nothing)- they finally meet some other sailors. Crusoe sells his slave to them and ends up in Brazil. He starts a farm and is doing pretty well, on land, mind you. Of course, old dickish Crusoe forgets how lucky he's been to make it this far, and decides it's time for another voyage. Why? Because he's a lazy prick and wants some free slaves to run his farm. So, he sets off for Africa, and gets what's coming to him. If only it ended there. After about 24 years on this island he saves this kid, who he names Friday, from being cannibalized. This is the first person he has spoken to in 24 years. And what does he do with him? Makes him into a SLAVE. Why? Because he can't be bothered with making corn and wheat, because he's too busy - being STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND. All he has is time! What do you need a slave for? After a mess of shit, involving more cannibals, some Spaniards and some mutineers - Crusoe and poor Friday make it to civilization. His time off the island is summed up in this paragraph, "In the meantime, I in part settled myself here; for, first of all, I married, and that not either to my disadvantage or dissatisfaction, and had three children, two sons and one daughter; but my wife dying, and my nephew coming home with good success from a voyage to Spain, my inclination to go abroad, and his importunity, prevailed, and engaged me to go in his ship as a private trader to the East Indies; this was in the year 1694." Meaning, the dick is back. He gets married, has some kids and when the wife starts to die he decides it's time to leave! Ring any bells? Dad is dying, time to be a sailor. Same deal. Asshole. If all that isn't proof enough this guy was a total douche, he drowns a TON of kittens on HIS island, so many he lost count.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    Around the year 1704, Alexander Selkirk, a 28 years old Scottish privateer was marooned, at his request, on a desert island off the coast of Chile. He managed to survive there for about five years until he was rescued and brought back to England. The young man died a few years later on a voyage to Africa, but his story as a castaway became a legend. At the time of Selkirk’s death, Daniel Defoe, an English businessman and journalist, had just published a book inspired by his adventure, taking som Around the year 1704, Alexander Selkirk, a 28 years old Scottish privateer was marooned, at his request, on a desert island off the coast of Chile. He managed to survive there for about five years until he was rescued and brought back to England. The young man died a few years later on a voyage to Africa, but his story as a castaway became a legend. At the time of Selkirk’s death, Daniel Defoe, an English businessman and journalist, had just published a book inspired by his adventure, taking some liberties, particularly with the setting and timing: Robinson’s ship runs aground off the coasts of Brazil, and he survives there for some thirty years, no less! Supposedly, Robinson Crusoe is one of the first modern novels written in English. To be sure, this book soon became a significant landmark in English literature, translated into almost as many languages as the Harry Potter series. It’s also considered a classic adventure tale for young readers; a claim that isn’t completely clear to me, given the archaisms and relative difficulty of the text itself. The story is told in the form of a journal, but with considerable after-the-fact knowledge of the events and with many tangents along the way. The first few (the Salee pirates) and last few chapters (the crossing of the Pyrenees) are a bit off topic. I was especially struck by the sheer amount of religious considerations, to the point that this book most strongly reminded me of Saint Augustine’s Confessions: in Robinson, as in Augustine’s book, a mature gentleman recalls his youthful mistakes and, as a new prodigal son, expresses his gratitude toward God for eventually redeeming him. In the meantime, of course, we are instructed in all the uneventful particulars of the protagonist’s existence on the island: how he managed to build himself a shelter, how he learned to grow crop and make his bread, how he used his gun for hunting and later implemented livestock farming around his “castle”… In short, how, through intelligence and industry, 18th-century Europeans could truly become “comme maîtres et possesseurs de la nature.” (Descartes, Discourse on Method). When Robinson finally meets Friday, the noble savage, he also realises that, although casual cannibals are an abomination before the Lord, a man in the state of nature is genuinely good and has an innate intuition of Christian theology. In that sense, Defoe’s book is a harbinger of 18th and 19th-century Western imperialism, and truly epitomises the optimistic views of the Enlightenment. Edit: In hindsight, there are three particularly memorable moments in Robinson’s adventure that come back to mind and are, each time, a bewildering epiphany to the protagonist and to the reader: the discovery of the corn sprouts rescued from the shipwreck, which will allow the hero to survive; the finding of the first human footprint on the sand, after many years of solitude; the sickening revelation of the mass grave, just after the landing of the cannibals, which leads to the adventurous epilogue of the novel. If Robinson is at the same time a new Adam, a new Ulysses, a new Sindbad or even a modern Prospero, it is practically impossible to make a list of all the later works that were directly or indirectly influenced by Dafoe’s novel: Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Edgar Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, H. G. Wells’ Island of Dr. Moreau, Michel Tournier's Friday, or, The Other Island, J. M. G. Le Clézio’s Le chercheur d'or, Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Andy Weir's The Martian, RKO’s King Kong, Tom Hanks’ Cast Away, J. J. Abrams’ Lost, just to name a few. Indeed, Robinson, on his own, has been fruitful and has multiplied!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Robinson Crusoe was the first book I had read by myself – I was absolutely entranced, I had no smallest idea that books could be so hypnotizing. Strange may it seem but most of all I enjoyed reading the lists of the items Robinson was salvaging from the wrecked ship. “My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew ther Robinson Crusoe was the first book I had read by myself – I was absolutely entranced, I had no smallest idea that books could be so hypnotizing. Strange may it seem but most of all I enjoyed reading the lists of the items Robinson was salvaging from the wrecked ship. “My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water. Those two I got to my raft with the arms.” I dreamt to be shipwrecked and to have all that stuff for myself and to live on some desert tropical isle where there’s no winter and coconuts just lie underfoot. And I followed Robinson step by step participating in all his adventures and misadventures. But somehow after Robinson Crusoe had found his man Friday the charms started dissipating… His solitude and lonely existence in the wilderness were much more enchanting. Robinson Crusoe is a book one should read in one’s childhood otherwise the greater part of its romantic charms would be lost. And although I was literally stunned by this novel I never had a desire to reread it. Robinson Crusoe is a timeless memorial to the human willpower and invincible will to live.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Francisco

    Now and then it's good to go back and read a book written three hundred years or so ago. The mind-shift necessary you need to make to enjoy the book keeps your brain limber, cleans the mental attic of the literary clutter that has accumulated- that a book needs to be fast-paced, that the dialogue needs to be witty and revealing, that long descriptions are boring. So you read a book that doesn't meet any of the standards someone has told you a good book should meet and you still enjoy it because Now and then it's good to go back and read a book written three hundred years or so ago. The mind-shift necessary you need to make to enjoy the book keeps your brain limber, cleans the mental attic of the literary clutter that has accumulated- that a book needs to be fast-paced, that the dialogue needs to be witty and revealing, that long descriptions are boring. So you read a book that doesn't meet any of the standards someone has told you a good book should meet and you still enjoy it because somehow you allowed yourself to enter and accept the author's and the book's world. I say this because I think Robinson Crusoe is a book that doesn't quite transcend its time, like say Don Quixote, a book that is both of its time but also magically contemporary. Robinson Crusoe's world is the world of 18th century England, a world where a person's highest achievement is the use of reason to make life more comfortable. Crusoe's challenge is twofold. Externally, he needs to use his reason to survive. Internally, he must use his reason to conquer fear and despair. This account of Robinson Crusoe's internal journey was an unexpected pleasure. It is a journey that we can all identify with - the journey from anger at our hardship to resignation and acceptance to tranquillity and peace to end finally in gratitude for life itself, despite the hardship, which is as good a way as any to define joy. Crusoe is aided in this journey by the Bible he rescued and by prayer, but really the mental transformation is more the result of reason, of the ability of Crusoe to direct his thoughts, through constant practice, in one particular direction and away from another. Defoe's gods are, when all is said and done, reason and will. There were a lot of things about this book that I would "fix" if I were an editor and this came across my desk in 2014. I would throw in some kind of sexual desire or sexual fantasies of some kind of which there are unrealistically none in this book. I would have Defoe admire trees and plants and animals a little more for their beauty and less for their potential use as shelter or food. Of course Friday would be treated as an equal to Crusoe and not as a servant. But this book was written in 1719 and not 2014. It belongs there so when you read it let yourself go, surrender yourself to that time and those thoughts and enjoy and take simply what the book gives.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    I'm so happy this nightmare is over! I only trudged through to the end because it's a classic. Look at me, yes me, I'm Robinson Crusoe and I'm stuck here on this Island and I'm going to tell you all about it, down to the minutest detail... oh and I'm going to do this more than once and... if that's not good enough, I'm going to tell you how I found Providence - that's right - because there is a reason I survived the sunk ship, so I'm going to thank Providence over and over and over and, just whe I'm so happy this nightmare is over! I only trudged through to the end because it's a classic. Look at me, yes me, I'm Robinson Crusoe and I'm stuck here on this Island and I'm going to tell you all about it, down to the minutest detail... oh and I'm going to do this more than once and... if that's not good enough, I'm going to tell you how I found Providence - that's right - because there is a reason I survived the sunk ship, so I'm going to thank Providence over and over and over and, just when you thought I was humble enough, I'm going to show you how human I am and how things go wrong when I forget to thank Providence, so I'll do it all over again and again and again. Since I'm on this Island all by myself for 200 pages long, you'll have to put up with every wisp of internal monolog too, that's right. And I'm going to be scared and worried until I figure out each obstacle - even though you'll hope for tension and excitement about the state of my imagined dangers, there's really nothing to worry about. I'm a genius, yes, because even though I was stuck here at a young age all by myself, and even though I hardly knew a thing about the world beforehand, I'm going to figure out farming, goat herding, carpentry, sewing, weaponry, tool making, boat building and so many other skills, and I'm going to be an expert in each one of them. Ok ok, you've put up with all of this right? Now I'm going to reward you with a bit of action here and there for the last 100 pages, but mind you, I'm never in real danger and I'll always be the victor and supreme ruler of my Island, AND I'll thank Providence after each victory. Basically, I'm blessed and everyone I'm in touch with will have good fortune and will give me in return nothing but good fortune, no one will ever cheat me, lie to me, betray me, hurt me or do any evil unto me. There you are, everything works out, smooth sailing all the way, the end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Alright, well I am going to respond to those who think that the only way you could not enjoy this book is if you are looking back from a privileged 21st century point of view and judging the actions of our less socially conscious ancestors. I read this book as a part of my 18th century literature class, so I have been reading a lot of novels written around the same time and with a number of the same themes. I have been able to enjoy many of them despite some uncomfortable and shocking moments of Alright, well I am going to respond to those who think that the only way you could not enjoy this book is if you are looking back from a privileged 21st century point of view and judging the actions of our less socially conscious ancestors. I read this book as a part of my 18th century literature class, so I have been reading a lot of novels written around the same time and with a number of the same themes. I have been able to enjoy many of them despite some uncomfortable and shocking moments of racism and superior Christian colonialist sentiment, though the religious rhetoric in Robinson Crusoe was admittedly far beyond that of any of the other books I've read in this course and very difficult to swallow as a result. The reason I did not enjoy Robinson Crusoe is that nothing in this novel made me care for or invest in any element of it. The main character is psychologically flat and completely lacking in complexity, seeming to suffer absolutely no ill effects from being completely alone for 25 years or so. The drama is contrived and not suspenseful. As I don't really care for the main character, I don't really care if he were to be eaten by pagan cannibals. The over detail, while perhaps a comment on the plodding, relentlessly boring life of an isolated islander, could be eliminated entirely. I do not need to know how much bread someone ate on a particular day or how to make clay pots. The plot left absolute GAPING holes in it's wake, which I do realize is a symptom of lack of editing and the cost of paper at the time, but it still made it difficult to enjoy parts of the novel. Those are some of the reasons that I personally did not enjoy this novel. I do not disagree with it's status as a classic because it was an important novel in it's time and obviously provides an excellent commentary on British attitudes of the 18th century. I simply did not enjoy it, but that does not diminish it's importance. I think that to accuse people of not enjoying the novel because of a lack of understanding of the time in which this was written is an oversimplification and I will remind you that many people writing these reviews, such as myself, enjoy other novels written in the same period despite their cringeworthy racist or zealous moments.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I know, I know... Robinson Crusoe is a book full of cultural relativism and unconscious cruelty. He's an imperialist bastard. I know. But it is exactly these elements, plus the fact that it is one hell of an adventure story, that made me really like this book. Yes, it is absolutely provoking. But it also thinks deeply on religion, economy, and self. And it's an adventure. So while in some ways, the story/viewpoint/author are extremely distasteful, it is a very satisfying read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    There are reasons that some books are considered classics—even after many years, they still have things to say to us. Robinson Crusoe is one of those stories. I first encountered it as a child, in comic book form (anyone else remember Classics Illustrated?) and I remember reading it numerous times and then day dreaming about how I would survive on a desert island. And of course, it is often asked “If you could take only one book (or five, or whatever number) of books with you to entertain you wh There are reasons that some books are considered classics—even after many years, they still have things to say to us. Robinson Crusoe is one of those stories. I first encountered it as a child, in comic book form (anyone else remember Classics Illustrated?) and I remember reading it numerous times and then day dreaming about how I would survive on a desert island. And of course, it is often asked “If you could take only one book (or five, or whatever number) of books with you to entertain you while so stranded, which one(s) would it be?” Poor old Robinson Crusoe seems to have only had the Bible, which is rather low on entertainment value, although it does have good bits. Now the graphic edition of RC, although fairly true to the original, was very abridged (and rightly so, for the juvenile crowd). As is so often the case, I found it fascinating to read the adult version in comparison. I’ll say right up front, that if archaic spellings and language annoy you, you would be best to stick to the modernized versions. Originally written in the early 1700s, Robinson Crusoe is a peek back in time into the attitudes and values of that day. No one questions that Christianity is the best religion (although there is a tug-of-war between Catholicism and Protestantism). Slavery and class inequality are just facts of life. European culture trumps all other cultures. Members of non-European cultures are barbarians and savages, suspected of all kinds of indecent behavior right from running around unclothed up to and including cannibalism. Dafoe really got into describing the “cannibal feasts” happening on the shores of Crusoe’s island. This kind of thing has been happening since the dawn of time—dehumanize those who are not like you so that you can feel morally superior. After all, we get the word barbarian from the Ancient Greeks, who perceived anyone who didn’t speak Greek as saying “Bar, bar, bar….” Witches and Jews, among many other persecuted groups have been subject to the same accusations. The target moves, but the argument remains the same. I think Dafoe meant Robinson Crusoe to be a way to steer the worldly reader into the fold of Christianity. The young Crusoe is unconcerned with things spiritual and out to experience what the world has to offer him (travel, booze, money—the good stuff). It really isn’t until he has been alone on his island for many years into his 28 year stay that he finally “finds religion.” And he still doesn’t really examine his beliefs until he is trying to teach them to his rescued “savage” Friday. SPOILER ALERT (if such a thing exists for a 300 year old work of fiction) he ends up rescued, returned to “civilization,” and wealthy—well rewarded for his faith. I think if Robinson Crusoe was alive in the 21st century, he would be an avid admirer of books like The Secret, where the power of positive thinking can get you whatever your little heart desires! Part of the story I never knew before: Crusoe’s defying his parents to go see the world, his time in Brazil before his shipwreck, and his trip back to England after his rescue. I was also very struck by the difficulty of shifting money from place to place and having someone to trust with finances. Not that our big banks have proven to be eminently trustworthy, but at least they have made international commerce less of a crap shoot than it used to be. An interesting look at a time and cultural space that no longer exists.

  17. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    This book seems to be a protonovel, a progenitor to the idea of a today's modern novel. It is an adventure story meant to excite the imagination and satisfy the need for a suspenseful plot denouement. But you can't expect a novel written almost 3 centuries ago to follow the genre conventions established today. Stick with it. This novel, an adventure of a type only possible in the 1600s and 1700s, reflects a real historical period of human development. For a book which was exploring the possibili This book seems to be a protonovel, a progenitor to the idea of a today's modern novel. It is an adventure story meant to excite the imagination and satisfy the need for a suspenseful plot denouement. But you can't expect a novel written almost 3 centuries ago to follow the genre conventions established today. Stick with it. This novel, an adventure of a type only possible in the 1600s and 1700s, reflects a real historical period of human development. For a book which was exploring the possibilities of how to write about an adventure as much as describing a story, this is a damn good ripping story. I don't care what anybody says, I loved it. And it's not just about a shipwreck on an island - there's cannibals, Spaniards, mutineers, pieces of eight, and 300 wolves in the Alps surrounding our hero armed only with single shot pistols and swords. 'Robinson Crusoe' is a snapshot of England during a time when the most of the world was a blank area on maps, which didn't stop these brave ruffians from going exploring and death literally was a minute away whenever travel was undertaken. It was fascinating to read those parts about how business paperwork and legal instruments of property transfer occurred, and how the various European aristocrat powers were crumbling under the rising power of the individual merchants and plantation entrepreneurs. Class and politics mattered, but brave ordinary men seeking adventure AND wealth were taking charge of their own particular destinies, which was not an option a few centuries earlier in feudal Europe. Business was becoming an energy force of society. Members of the lower classes could actually bump up the scale of society if they were prepared to risk everything by taking ship to Africa, South America and the United States. This stage of novel exposition was cool, far superior to the century's previous poetry, religious instruction, and romantic adventure writing of what then was passing as an exciting book. Try to pay more attention to the details of Crusoe's Europe, the one Jack Sparrow would have really lived in, and not the book's deficiencies as a modern novel. It increases the value of reading this historic game changer in writing novels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    2 1/2 stars. There are two main ways I could view Robinson Crusoe - firstly, as a reader who reads for enjoyment and entertainment, and secondly, as someone offering a more critical analysis of historical attitudes. To be honest, though, the book doesn't fare too well under either microscope. As a novel for enjoyment, it's about the titular character being shipwrecked on an island many believe to be based on Tobago, near Trinidad. There's a whole lot of survival skills going on (but a modern read 2 1/2 stars. There are two main ways I could view Robinson Crusoe - firstly, as a reader who reads for enjoyment and entertainment, and secondly, as someone offering a more critical analysis of historical attitudes. To be honest, though, the book doesn't fare too well under either microscope. As a novel for enjoyment, it's about the titular character being shipwrecked on an island many believe to be based on Tobago, near Trinidad. There's a whole lot of survival skills going on (but a modern reader will likely have read more compelling accounts of survival) and Crusoe finds himself facing native cannibals and captives. The style is distant and emotionless, only marginally more readable than Swift's Gulliver's Travels, but that is largely due to the more simplistic narrative. The parts where Crusoe turns to his knowledge of European agriculture to survive are particularly tedious for any reader not interested in production theory, trade and economics. Looking at this book through the eyes of history, it's something of an advocate for colonialism and European superiority. Crusoe arrives on this island and quickly attempts to adjust it to his own expectations of civilization, even to the point of wanting the prisoners as slaves. It should also be pointed out that Crusoe is shipwrecked during a voyage to acquire African slaves. He survives by using his European knowledge, adapting very little, killing off natives, and embracing Christianity. Crusoe is the intelligent European and the natives, including his one friend - Friday, are savages. He becomes a "king" figure of this "colony" and the conclusion appears to be that he brings civilization to these backward peoples. Perhaps interesting as a view of European mentality in the 18th century, but frankly quite nauseating to sit through today. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miquel Reina

    Robinson Crusoe is one of literature classics and for me, a reference in the construction of the novel I'm writing (and that I would love to share with all of you very soon). I love the stories of survival, travel and where the sea plays a vital role in the development of the story. Robinson Crusoe is the shipwrecked prototype we all have in our minds and it isn't a coincidence that is the most famous. It's an excellent novel and I recommend it to all those who, like me, love the kind of stories Robinson Crusoe is one of literature classics and for me, a reference in the construction of the novel I'm writing (and that I would love to share with all of you very soon). I love the stories of survival, travel and where the sea plays a vital role in the development of the story. Robinson Crusoe is the shipwrecked prototype we all have in our minds and it isn't a coincidence that is the most famous. It's an excellent novel and I recommend it to all those who, like me, love the kind of stories in which human nature is put to its limits. Spanish version: Robinson Crusoe es un clásico de la literatura y para mí un referente en la construcción de la novela que estoy escribiendo. Adoro las historias de supervivencia, de viajes y en las que el mar juega un papel fundamental en el desarrollo de la historia. Robinson Crusoe es el prototipo de náufrago que todos tenemos en nuestras mentes y no es casualidad que sea el más famoso. Es una novela excelente y la recomiendo a todos aquellos que como yo, les gusten este tipo de historias extremas en las que la naturaleza del ser humano se pone al límite.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tamra

    There can not be many classics WORSE than this book. It might be decently written. And it might be a classic. For that I'll give it 2 stars instead of 1. But it's boring! I really don't know why this is a classic. But you won't waste much time reading it. It'll take you 3 hours to read it, tops. This isn't really a book but more of a pamphlet. HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN ROBINSON CRUSOE: #1 Create the start of a plot line that sounds very interesting. For instance, a man being marooned on an island and There can not be many classics WORSE than this book. It might be decently written. And it might be a classic. For that I'll give it 2 stars instead of 1. But it's boring! I really don't know why this is a classic. But you won't waste much time reading it. It'll take you 3 hours to read it, tops. This isn't really a book but more of a pamphlet. HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN ROBINSON CRUSOE: #1 Create the start of a plot line that sounds very interesting. For instance, a man being marooned on an island and having to struggle for survival. #2 Think of descriptive sentences. "His hair was long and coarse from a diet consisting mainly of cheese and pine nuts." Then cram a bunch of those together in an unsatisfying way: "The cheese came from the goats that he had learned over time to domesticate and keep in a small pin which was left alone except when the tiger came to prowl. He gathered the pine nuts from a tree that he had to examine to make sure wasn't poisonous first. He only did a half decent job at the inspection as he suffered from severe bloating as a reaction to the nuts. Later he found trees that would serve better as a main nutritional suplement." #3 Let the reader keep thinking that you will develop the interesting plot line. #4 End the book without developing a plot line at all, but keeping it sufficiently short and resolved enough that the reader won't all-together care.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    This tale was first published in 1719, and was one of the earliest example of a fictionalized account of possibly real events. I recall that the first time I read it, I was fascinated by the very long titles for every chapter, and somewhat put off by the archaic style. I still highly recommend this book as a glimpse back into the roots of novels, as well as being a great tale.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Five stars for the first 2/3, two stars for the rest. I thought most of this book was gripping. The early adventures are exciting, and shot through with the dread of ominous prophesy. The infamous long sections on the island where nothing happens and we get detailed logistics of house-building and tool-making... I found these all fascinating. The industriousness and cleverness Crusoe displays as he turns whatever he can to his meager advantage are inspiring-- literally, I was inspired. The religi Five stars for the first 2/3, two stars for the rest. I thought most of this book was gripping. The early adventures are exciting, and shot through with the dread of ominous prophesy. The infamous long sections on the island where nothing happens and we get detailed logistics of house-building and tool-making... I found these all fascinating. The industriousness and cleverness Crusoe displays as he turns whatever he can to his meager advantage are inspiring-- literally, I was inspired. The religious meditations on redemption and deliverance and greed are sincere and moving. How do you build up Western civilization from scratch? In this novel we witness an evolution that starts with its narrator sleeping in the trees like an animal, finds him discovering agriculture almost accidentally, and depicts his painstaking recreation of many staples we take for granted, including shovels, baskets and umbrellas. I may lose my credibility by confessing that, in fact, this book sometimes reminded me of a video game, in which you start helpless and alone, and slowly "power up" until you come to dominate the land. There are even some attempts at humor, although they are somewhat buried in the historical distance of the novel's voice. But then... (view spoiler)[ It all goes downhill, at least for this reader. I'm not one of those upset by the depiction of the "savage wretches", or the arguments for the superiority of Western civilization over the Indians' made again and again in the last part of the book. Nor am I more than a little annoyed that his friend Friday willingly and immediately became, without anyone thinking twice about it, the white Western Crusoe's slave. This novel is a product of its time and place, and it's not hard to see the thing from the narrator's point of view-- who among us did not feel alienated by the descriptions of the natives' cannibalism, and a kinship with the good English captain saved by Crusoe? No, my problem with the book's last act is that is was boring, ordinary and ill-plotted. The magic of Crusoe imprisoned on his island in complete isolation for decades was gone. Instead we suddenly get a lot of guests: first Friday (interesting for a while), then a Spanish sailor, then Friday's father (what?), and finally the party is really spoiled by the English captain and his crew, engaged in a mutinous rebellion we don't care much about. There is a deadness of mood that afflicts all of these final proceedings: the plotting to seize the English ship, the return to England and Lisbon, the completely random encounter with wolves in the French mountains, even the return to the island. It's like the last 100 pages are just a first draft. The facts are spelled out, but the timing feels off, and, even worse, we feel almost no emotional connection with the narrator. The incredible event of his rebirth into society after decades of solitary torment is barely described. We who attended him over the years, who witnessed his ongoing struggles with God, the protracted miracle of the production of bread, and the slow transformation from a roguish youth into a wise philosophical middle-aged man-- we feel we deserve more. (hide spoiler)] Incidentally, as it's always interesting to see how language evolves over the centuries, I'm happy to say that this book is filled with words that are used slightly differently from what we're used to. Like the narrator hidden behind a tree, wondering if he should "discover" himself to his enemy ("dis-cover"). It adds entertainment, and some feeling of linguistic depth, to the experience of reading Robinson Crusoe.

  23. 5 out of 5

    lindy

    There is something inherently absurd about any sort of qualitative evaluation (a la "how many stars do I give this on goodreads?") by a twenty-first century reader of a book like Robinson Crusoe. Published in 1719, it embodies a rather paradoxical identity crisis of being a novel that was written before novels really existed. It doesn't play by the rules -- simply because there were no rules when it was written. There are a lot of unfamiliar things that will put off, or even disgust, the modern There is something inherently absurd about any sort of qualitative evaluation (a la "how many stars do I give this on goodreads?") by a twenty-first century reader of a book like Robinson Crusoe. Published in 1719, it embodies a rather paradoxical identity crisis of being a novel that was written before novels really existed. It doesn't play by the rules -- simply because there were no rules when it was written. There are a lot of unfamiliar things that will put off, or even disgust, the modern reader. No, there really isn't anything along the lines of what we'd call "character development." Yes, Robinson is going to kill a bunch of "savages" and try to impart the word of God those he chooses not to kill. For readers who have trouble suspending their twenty-first century sensibilities, these are dangerous waters indeed. But if you can get past all the imperialist hoo-ha and the passages that are just flat-out dull (I mean, there are quite a few), there's something about this book that is truly amazing -- and still would be, even if you attempted to scrub off the Important-with-a-capital-I stamp that the crusty old keepers of the literary canon have branded upon it. Robinson Crusoe is, at its core, a simple and affecting story about what it means to be human. Had I read that sentence I just wrote three weeks ago, I would have thought it a hollow cliche, but maybe because it is such a cliche, there are really so few books that invite us to consider our humanity in its most basic and elemental form. You can't read this book without putting yourself in Crusoe's shoes; would I be going to all this work just to harvest some corn, or would I have completely given up the will to survive by now? At what point is a single, isolated human life not worth living anymore? You ask yourself a lot of humbling questions while reading this book. Maybe Robinson's lack of character enables us to see ourselves in him more readily; plenty of people must have felt compelled to do this, or else we'd have the sad, sad fate of living in a world without Gilligan's Island (among a number of other TV shows.) The story of Robinson Crusoe ripples through our culture immeasurably. Does this make up for the fact that sometimes it's insanely boring? For me, kind of. For everybody? Probably not. Maybe for you, if you are one of those awful people who think pirates jokes are indiscriminately funny, in which case, God help you. Regardless, I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

  24. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    This seems to be the quintessential Idiot Ball story, where the only thing working against the protagonist is his own constant short-sightedness, if not head-slapping stupidity. This can be amusing enough, but Defoe constantly ignores promising plot-hooks in order to pursue Crusoe's thick-headedness undisturbed. You'd think a survival scenario would provide a wealth of hardship, but, despite his constant panics, Crusoe has a rather easy time of it. Even more than this, every other character in th This seems to be the quintessential Idiot Ball story, where the only thing working against the protagonist is his own constant short-sightedness, if not head-slapping stupidity. This can be amusing enough, but Defoe constantly ignores promising plot-hooks in order to pursue Crusoe's thick-headedness undisturbed. You'd think a survival scenario would provide a wealth of hardship, but, despite his constant panics, Crusoe has a rather easy time of it. Even more than this, every other character in the story rushes to Crusoe's aid, chumming up with him without a hint of interpersonal difficulty and remaining always loyal to him. Then again, the plotting isn't elegant to begin with. We get the same stories and observations over and over, with the narrator telling us how he doesn't need to repeat what he's already told us, only to go on and do precisely that. His 'translations' of Friday's pidgin speech are likewise hilarious, proceeding along these lines: "Many mans come from big boat", Said Friday, by which he meant that a group of men were disembarking from a ship. Some have suggested that Crusoe's religious conversion in the book is meant to show the reader the noble truth of belief, but since Crusoe comes to his beliefs out of ignorance and fear, it's hardly a very convincing tract. It reads more like a satire of religion, following a thoughtless, superstitious man who believes chiefly because he is alone and afraid. There are also a lot of little errors about animal behavior and tribal practices, showing that Defoe was more interested in sensational stories than in research. He even misrepresents animals that live in Europe, like bears, which he depicts as unable to outrun a man. He also portrays Friday as being familiar with bears, despite the fact that the only species of bear that lives in South America, the Spectacled Bear, lives only in the Andes, far away from coastal islands. The book consistently reads as deliberately silly and overwrought, but good satire is often indistinguishable from poor writing. As far as prototypes for the novel are concerned, I'll take Quixote over Crusoe any day of the week, (and The Satyricon over both).

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Stranded in the Tropics 10 May 2016 Well, he I am, sitting at one of my favourite coffee shops on a blustery and wet winter morning in Melbourne where I have just finished another book of which I have known the story since I was a little boy but having never actually read the book. I'm sure we all know of the story of Robinson Crusoe, who was shipwrecked while out at sea and ended up spending years (about twenty three of them) alone on an island, forced to make do with what he could scavenge from Stranded in the Tropics 10 May 2016 Well, he I am, sitting at one of my favourite coffee shops on a blustery and wet winter morning in Melbourne where I have just finished another book of which I have known the story since I was a little boy but having never actually read the book. I'm sure we all know of the story of Robinson Crusoe, who was shipwrecked while out at sea and ended up spending years (about twenty three of them) alone on an island, forced to make do with what he could scavenge from around him (including off a couple of ships that had become wrecked along the coast). Sure, he eventually finds some company, first with the native whom he rescues and names Friday (because he rescued him on a Friday, but the term has now become a part of our language to basically refer to a gopher – I remember reading job advertisements for positions as a Person Friday), and then a couple of Spaniards, before he is finally rescued by an English merchantman, though he initially has to help the captain wrestle the ship back from some mutineers. I'm not necessarily going to say that this is the first story about a person trapped alone on a desert island – the concept goes back as far as the Ancient Greeks with the story of Odysseus (and one might also suggest The Tempest) however what differs is that Robinson Crusoe is entirely focused on Crusoe's life on the island, where as the earlier works have the island (in the case of The Tempest) as a backdrop, or (as in the case of The Odyssey) as another hurdle that the hero must overcome to reach his ultimate goal (and the protagonist may not actually be alone either). The story of Robinson Crusoe is a story of survival against the odds – not just adapting to a life outside of civilisation, or even trying to create civilisation where there is none, but also surviving the fact that he has been left here alone for so long. The idea has been picked up by numerous stories later on, including Gulliver's Travels, the Mysterious Island, and The Swiss Family Robinson, however, unlike Robinson Crusoe, these stories aren't about a person who has been left alone on the island and a part of me feels that maybe Dafoe doesn't necessarily understand the true nature of loneliness. The question that I raise is how is it that Crusoe manages to survive for twenty-five years on this island, alone, without either going mad or simply becoming an animal? I guess this is one of the major things that challenged me in the book because I am sure that a human cannot survive mentally for such long periods alone without going insane. Okay, I'm not a psychologist, and I don't pretend to be one, nor am I familiar with other stories of people who have lived a bulk of their lives outside of human contact, either willingly or not. Sure, we have the stories of the crazy cat ladies (and we used to live next to one), who would never leave the house, and never answer the door (which raises the question of how they managed to buy food and stuff before the age of the internet and home delivery, though the one we lived next to had a supermarket just across the road, which I have to admit was really convenient). However a part of me feels that for us to maintain our humanity, and not descend into our base animalistic instincts, we need to have human company, and to be able to interact with humanity. This, I have to admit, seemed to be one of the major flaws in an otherwise quite entertaining book (ignoring the fact that the end dragged on for a bit – the fight with the bears and the wolves as they were traveling across France at the end was quite unnecessary, though it probably did work to suggest that traveling in those days, whether it was either by sea, or by land, was always going to be a very dangerous exercise). Oh, before I continue, here is a map of the Island of Robinson Crusoe: Interestingly enough there is actually an island off the coast of Chile that is called the Island of Robinson Crusoe, though it was my understanding from the book that the island is actually located in the Caribbean Sea, off the North Coast of South America, and the reason I believe that is because Crusoe was ship wrecked while traveling between his plantation in Brazil and the Caribbean. However, according the Wikipedia, the reason the island received this name was because it was where the sailor Alexander Selkirk was shipwrecked, which some believed inspired Dafoe to write this book, as opposed to being the island that Dafoe selected as the setting of his story (and I am doubtful that Dafoe would have been all that familiar with the Caribbean islands in any case). I'm not sure if we can actually consider this book to be an adventure novel because while in some aspects it is an adventure (which has been picked up by numerous renditions since its publication, especially when it was turned into a children's book), it doesn't come across as such. Most of the book is basically Crusoe's life on the island, and it is only the last part where the adventure begins. Some have suggested that it is a travelogue, but once again I'm going to have to disagree since a bulk of the action is set on the island. Interestingly there is an awful lot of theology in the book, and in a way could be connected to Pilgrim's Progress, but once again I'm going to have to say that I don't believe that it is necessarily a Christian allegory. Dafoe suggested at the end, when Crusoe discovered that his plantation in Brazil ended up doing exceedingly well, that there was a relation between Crusoe's adventures and the Biblical book of Job. However time and time again Dafoe suggests that Crusoe lands up on the island because he refused to listen to his father and instead wanted to sail to the seas. Every attempt he makes he comes across misfortune, first a storm off the coast of England, then he is captured by the Moors and enslaved, and finally he lands up on the island for twenty-eight odd years. This isn't the story of Job, but the story of a man who wanted adventure, and got it, and then came to realise that adventure wasn't as exciting that he anticipated – twenty-eight years trapped on an island with a bunch of cannibals as neighbours isn't my idea of a really fun time. Nor do I believe that it is a psychological story, as I have suggested above. Yet time and time again Crusoe talks about his puritan (and quite Calvanistic) belief in God. Maybe it is his unwavering belief in God that enables him to survive for so long. He even goes as far as evangelising Friday, yet I note that he never actually leaves the island to become a missionary to his neighbours (viewing them as savages who through their actions are deserving of God's judgment, which isn't really a Christ-like attitude). Sure, in the end he becomes wealthy, but it isn't exactly the type of book that I would consider labeling as either Christian, or as an allegory. The final thing that I find interesting is the idea of how he brings civilisation to the island, but then again it is more a story of survival as opposed to the civilising aspect that comes across in books such as Verne's Mysterious Island. He doesn't actually turn the island into some English utopia, but rather simply does what he needs to survive with what he has at hand. Even then things, such as the crops, and the second shipwreck, simply happen through luck as opposed to any purposeful family, though of course Crusoe (and in turn Dafoe) wouldn't see it as such, suggesting that these events are once again a reminder of God's providence. In the end, though, I'm just going to suggest that it is an adventure.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I just had to get in a classic this month and since I already had lined up a Lycanthropic version of this particular classic, I thought, "Hey! This is gonna be great!" Cast away on a desert island... me and Mr. Friday sharing the same fate... Yeah, well, it was certainly a fast and fun read, sharing all the usual things I have enjoyed from Tom Hanks, short stories of Stephen King, or any number of coolness from Lost. Only, this is blunderbusses and goats. Cannibals and grateful captains. And such a I just had to get in a classic this month and since I already had lined up a Lycanthropic version of this particular classic, I thought, "Hey! This is gonna be great!" Cast away on a desert island... me and Mr. Friday sharing the same fate... Yeah, well, it was certainly a fast and fun read, sharing all the usual things I have enjoyed from Tom Hanks, short stories of Stephen King, or any number of coolness from Lost. Only, this is blunderbusses and goats. Cannibals and grateful captains. And such a pace of three decades in the space of a short novel. :) Well! It sure is a popular idea! And redone about a million times, alas. Still, I'm glad to learn the origin of My Man Friday. :) And for Halloween, seeing raven's corpses on poles. Muahahahaha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    This early 18th-century British classic is one of those novels which relatively few people today have actually read, but which has become a household word in popular English-language culture, with a basic premise that virtually everyone is aware of: English seaman is shipwrecked and marooned for years (27 years, in fact) on a desert island. Most people are also aware that he eventually has the companionship of a native, whom he calls "Friday" because he met him on a Friday. But that's about as f This early 18th-century British classic is one of those novels which relatively few people today have actually read, but which has become a household word in popular English-language culture, with a basic premise that virtually everyone is aware of: English seaman is shipwrecked and marooned for years (27 years, in fact) on a desert island. Most people are also aware that he eventually has the companionship of a native, whom he calls "Friday" because he met him on a Friday. But that's about as far as the general knowledge of the book goes. The average person would probably be surprised to learn that Crusoe is rescued about midway through the book and has other adventures, finally traversing the entire breadth of Asia and Europe from the Pacific back to England. The book is also one which any number of adults (most of whom, as noted above, haven't read it for themselves) traditionally assume would be a particularly child-friendly classic, since shipwrecks are thought to be the stuff of "adventure;" so it turns up a lot in school libraries and public library children's collections. I first encountered it (though I'm not sure if I actually finished it --I certainly didn't remember the last half of it!) as a grade-school kid, but at that age, I found much of the description of the title character's life on the island to be excruciatingly boring. Even reading it as an adult, as part of my preparation for teaching British Literature when we were homeschooling our girls, I found the same material a fairly tedious slog. Defoe describes all of his hero's various physical-technological arrangements for daily living under wilderness conditions, with no man-made resources except what he could salvage from the wreck, in great detail. This part of the book would make a great survivalist manual, and some readers also find it fascinating as narrative fiction; but I don't. For me personally, much of the attraction of fiction is in the interpersonal interactions of the characters; I want fiction that's relationship-centered, not physical processes/technology centered. Much of this novel is the latter. Before and after that, it has more person-centered narrative, and even situations that are inherently dramatic and exciting, with action, violence and danger. But even that part is narrated in the dry, ponderous diction of the Neoclassical school, which distrusted emotion and deliberately tried to keep its prose cerebral and dispassionate. That has a tendency to minimize the full effect even of exciting and dramatic events. As a grade school kid, I was a precocious reader, and had no problem with Victorian, Edwardian, or Romantic period style; but Neoclassical prose, while I could follow it, tended to seem dull to me, and even as an adult, I can see how it ultimately provoked the Romantic reaction. A point that's worth taking seriously is that Defoe didn't write this as a kid's book; he wrote it for adults. As an adult reader, I found much more of it that I could appreciate than I had decades earlier. For one thing, it's a seriously Christian novel; Crusoe was largely indifferent to the spiritual side of life before his shipwreck, but having salvaged a Bible, it becomes his sole reading matter, and he learns to take his inherited Christian beliefs seriously. Through Crusoe's first-person narration (a typical device of early novelists, who still tried to disguise their fiction as true memoirs to avoid moralistic attacks on the concept of fiction itself as sinful "lying"), Defoe presents explicit messages about the importance of salvation from sin through Christ's sacrifice, God's love and providential care, and our moral duty to Him. At the same time, this is a basic, ecumenical kind of faith (what C. S. Lewis, much later, would call "mere Christianity") which explicitly deplores nitty-picky wrangling over doctrinal theology. (For instance, unlike virtually all English Protestants of that era, he does not demonize Catholics; a Roman Catholic priest is actually a sympathetic character.) Unlike at least one reviewer, I don't agree that Crusoe's newfound faith is nothing more than a sop to get the Church to approve of the book, and that he doesn't actually live up to it. That naturally segues into a discussion of the racial and other messages of the book. Crusoe's desert island is in the Caribbean, near the mouth of the Orinoco River; Friday's people are Carib Indians (and cannibals, when they're dealing with enemies captured in war). They lack a great deal of the knowledge that Europeans possess, as well as lacking Christian revelation in the Bible; but as Crusoe reflects at one point --and this being message-oriented Neoclassical fiction, his verbalized reflections on philosophical, moral and religious questions are a big part of what the author wants to use him to communicate-- once exposed to it, they have just as much moral, intellectual and spiritual ability to make use of it as Europeans, and may actually make better use of it. Since our hero rescued Friday from enemies who intended to eat him, Friday feels a debt of gratitude to his rescuer, and a regard for his superior knowledge (which Crusoe's willing to share), and tends to fall into a servant role voluntarily, but he's not a slave and I wouldn't say he's exploited. The two share the labor their lifestyle requires, and share the benefits of their labor fairly; a lot of their interaction is more as friends than as master and servant. Although Crusoe was wrecked on a slave-trading voyage, he comes to take a Christian stand against slavery and slave-trading, at some cost to himself. Defoe also takes the position that it's perfectly legitimate for English men to marry Carib Indian women, and that it's NOT legitimate to exploit them sexually outside of marriage. On all of these points, the book takes a stance that's diametrically contrary to the racist attitudes and practices of the overwhelming majority of early 18th-century Englishmen. I give Defoe high marks for that, and I'd say he represents a consistent moral stance that was often all too lacking in the nominal Christianity of the early modern West. (If it had been more prevalent, our history might well have been a lot different, for the better.) Some critics have characterized this book as "the first English novel." That depends on how you define a novel; if you consider it, as I do, to be just a book-length prose fictional narrative, then this is far from the first. It is, however, certainly one of the most realistic and technically accomplished of the early novels, and one that I liked overall in spite of its faults. It's still the only Defoe novel I've read (I have read his story "A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal," but that's worthwhile primarily as an instructive example of how the Neoclassical ghost story differs from those in the Romantic tradition --and like most readers, I prefer the latter); but I do have Moll Flanders on my to-read shelf.

  28. 5 out of 5

    James

    'It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceeding surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore, which was very plain to be seen in the Sand: I stood like one Thunder-struck ...' Robinson Crusoe is one of the most famous adventure stories ever written. The account of a sailor shipwrecked on a desert island for twenty-eight years, it is also a tale of mythic proportions, an allegory, and a spiritual autobiography. I remember being fascinated with the industrious 'It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceeding surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore, which was very plain to be seen in the Sand: I stood like one Thunder-struck ...' Robinson Crusoe is one of the most famous adventure stories ever written. The account of a sailor shipwrecked on a desert island for twenty-eight years, it is also a tale of mythic proportions, an allegory, and a spiritual autobiography. I remember being fascinated with the industrious nature of Crusoe and his ability to develop survival habits while stranded, alone at first, until encountering the man whom he would name "Friday". In more recent years I have been able to understand better the historical and literary context, but the wonder of Defoe's story has not diminished with the years. This has been a favorite of mine since I was a young boy. I have read it several times and the Norton edition is the one I have most recently read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Exina

    Robinson Crusoe was a required reading at English literature seminar. While I understand its literary merits, it was not an enjoyable read for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    Robinson Crusoé (1719) Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) I have read this novel at least three times in my life, and now it is like meeting an old friend. In every man, there is a boy, and in every boy, there is Robinson Crusoe. Handy work around the house needs improvising tools and working methods of your own, and that is when you remember Robinson. I remember when he was shipwrecked near this island, when giant waves, half drowned him and violently washed him onto the beach. When he slept in a tree being Robinson Crusoé (1719) Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) I have read this novel at least three times in my life, and now it is like meeting an old friend. In every man, there is a boy, and in every boy, there is Robinson Crusoe. Handy work around the house needs improvising tools and working methods of your own, and that is when you remember Robinson. I remember when he was shipwrecked near this island, when giant waves, half drowned him and violently washed him onto the beach. When he slept in a tree being scared of roaming wild beasts, And how the storm had overnight brought the wrecked ship closer to the shore so that Robinson could climb onto it and find food, clothing and tools and all he needed for survival. And how he explored the island and how he found it completely deserted. How he built himself a shelter, and how he had to learn every handy work from the beginning, that is for his protection, for hunting and for making fire and cook food, and make a table and a chair, and wicker baskets and pottery for storage and much more. How he discovered wild goats, which eventually he could catch and tame, that would provide him with meat and milk and cheese for permanent food, without having to use his gun and limited gunpowder. And how he discovered agriculture, with sowing a few seeds and increase the harvest with every season and how to clean barley and rice and how to make the flour and eventually bread. It took him many weeks and month and years to overcome his seemingly hopeless situation. But he made the best of it. He had discovered a bible in the shipwreck and in a period of depression he started reading the book, and finding salvation for his soul, he converted himself to the Christian faith and became a true believer. About halfway through the book, the part of religious philosophy becomes exceedingly long. And then comes the event of how he saved the life and met Friday, the savage who had been brought to the island's shore by cannibals to be devoured by them. Educating the good savage Friday and converting him to the Christian belief is another long chapter. After more than twenty-eight years, Robin Crusoe is witness to an attempt of mutiny on an English ship near his island, but he succeeds in interfering and saving the lawful captain from his rebellious crew, and restore him to his position and saving the ship. This event, in short, is the free return fare to England for Robinson and his servant Friday. The following chapter of Robinson's return to England and several voyages and experiences is reading like another book altogether. The adventure should have ended with Robinson’s departure from the island. No doubt, this novel has had an essential influence on adventure literature in the years and centuries after that.

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