During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600's an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.
My assignment in English class was to choose a book from the Romantic period. There was an abundance of girly stories, so I chose a book that I would feel comfortable reading--Robinson Crusoe.
The book is not terribly long, like other books in this era (Three Musketeers), though it is not a quick read. The book is enjoyable, but it took a lot of sitting down and trying to focus. It was easy to read, probably suitable for 8th graders, but I had trouble getting through the book, especially during the slow parts, and I'm a fast reader.
Robinson Crusoe is filled with religion, which put me off a bit. While I don't want to spoil anything, he allows freedom of religion on his island, but tries to make his Protestant buddy Friday convert to Christianity.
This story is definitely worth reading, especially because at some point you'll probably need to read it for school. It's a fun book, however it has dark moments, and some questionable incidents, such as selling a comrade into slavery. It is one of the better school-books I've read, having suffered through Scarlet Letter and other Puritan literature.
This book has been popular since it was published in the 1700s, an impressive feat. It is clearly a classic novel, and the sketchy scenes were normal back in the Romantic period. Slavery, racism, and no PETA means that this book was written without the limits we see today. Go ahead and read it if you like adventure or the movie Castaway. Four stars for good plot, good character development, bad slow parts, and overkill religious devotion.
Defoe's language reveals classic appreciation of the English language that really appealed to me as a reader. His narrative accounts of adventure, shipwrecks and survival are precise and captivating. this book is made up of many short stories tied together in following the main character. The character grows and matures through his trials and becomes a man worthy of emulation.
Defoe shows brilliant insight into humanity through his writing as his main character challenges nature, savages, and his inner darkness. I enjoyed the spiritual aspects of the book. Any close look at a character such as Crusoe would be lacking if it did not follow his spiritual transformation as well as his physical changes.
There are some brief slow parts interspersed in the book that are more like speedbumps in a great tale that many have tried to imitate but failed.