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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original castaway
As a boy growing up in 17th Century England, all Robinson Crusoe wanted to do was be a sailor. His parents tried to dissuade him -- it was a dangerous occupation, and certainly a middle class child like him could find a calling much safer and more comfortable. Naturally, he didn't listen, and essentially ran away from home, finding opportunities to sail on a few ships...
Published on Feb. 20 2002 by A.J.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unhurriedly Pragmatic Adventure Story
In the literary world it is perhaps blasphemy to say a bad word against Daniel Defoe's most acclaimed novel. So here goes. The fact that the book was originally titled The Life And Strange Surprising Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe illustrates the major flaw in Defoe's literary form. Put simply, this would be a far more interesting and gripping story were it not so...
Published on June 28 2003 by Yeanold Viskersenn


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unhurriedly Pragmatic Adventure Story, June 28 2003
By 
Yeanold Viskersenn (Bromsgrove, Worcs, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
In the literary world it is perhaps blasphemy to say a bad word against Daniel Defoe's most acclaimed novel. So here goes. The fact that the book was originally titled The Life And Strange Surprising Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe illustrates the major flaw in Defoe's literary form. Put simply, this would be a far more interesting and gripping story were it not so superfluously lengthy. The author makes a habit of repeating himself, especially when it comes to the act of dispatching kittens, which seems to be more of an obsession here than octogenarian ladies are to MatronsApron. It is difficult, you may think, to keep the subject matter fresh when describing the daily tribulations of a fellow stranded on an island for thirty years, without occasionally repeating yourself. True, but perhaps a straightforward solution to this diminutive quandary would be to simply truncate the duration of the story. There are some wonderfully intriguing and suspenseful moments, and some juicy action to boot, but sadly these are gratuitously diluted by lengthy descriptions of the unremarkable everyday goings on in Crusoe's life, and rather than serving to build up the suspense, they merely obstruct the reader's relationship with the more exciting parts of the story.
However, those with more patience than my ignorant self will find in Robinson Crusoe a delightful tale, which as well as being a fictional documentary of the most unusual thirty years of Mr. Crusoe's life, also has time to ponder upon philosophical and theological ideas, in a style that makes the reader feel as if they are involved in the conflicts between the functionalist and cynical thoughts going on in Crusoe's mind. It may not be a gripping white-knuckle adventure, being rather more leisurely and acquiescent, but it is still rather easy to see why Robinson Crusoe is regarded by some as one of the greatest novels of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original castaway, Feb. 20 2002
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
As a boy growing up in 17th Century England, all Robinson Crusoe wanted to do was be a sailor. His parents tried to dissuade him -- it was a dangerous occupation, and certainly a middle class child like him could find a calling much safer and more comfortable. Naturally, he didn't listen, and essentially ran away from home, finding opportunities to sail on a few ships and encountering a few dangers until he finally reached Brazil, bought a plantation, and looked forward to that comfortable life of prosperity his parents said would be his if he'd only use his head.
But Crusoe is one to push fate. He embarks on a ship bound for Africa to collect slaves, and during a storm in the Caribbean Sea, the ship is wrecked and the crew drowned except for Crusoe, who manages to swim to the shore of a deserted island. Unable to get back to civilization, he salvages as many goods as he can from the wrecked ship and resolves to survive as long as possible in this new, unwelcome habitat.
Crusoe's resourcefulness is astounding. He builds a sophisticated hut/tent/cave complex to live in, hunts goats and fowl, harvests fruit, and figures out how to grow barley, rice, and corn, bake bread, and make earthenware vessels. After living this way for nearly two peaceful decades, Crusoe discovers that savages from a distant island are using his island for their cannibal feasts. He manages to save the life of one of their potential victims, a savage he names Friday, who becomes his faithful servant. With Friday's help, Crusoe realizes he now has a chance to escape the island once and for all and get back to civilization, although his plans don't proceed quite as he envisioned them.
"Robinson Crusoe" is a neatly woven adventure yarn, but under the surface there are several themes. The most apparent is that the novel seems like a morality tale -- i.e., hard work and faith in God will see you through bad times; virtue is rewarded and arrogance is punished. Another theme is that although nature can be a cruel foe, man is better off learning to work in harmony with it than struggling against it. Most interesting to me, though, is that reading about Crusoe's self-education in the art of survival is like witnessing the anthropological process of how civilization developed from savagery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read, Jan. 25 2002
By 
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
Do you remember the last time you got lost? Well if you do you must know how Robinson Crusoe feels. This story is about survival and it is a very interesting story that you can learn how to survive when you get lost. One day in the deep waters of the Pacific ocean, a man named Robinson Crusoe's ship had crash in some corals. He found himself on a beautiful island full of life.
He passed the night under some big trees of the island. Robinson Crusoe decided it was a beautiful day to explore around the island. He had a rifle with two barrels full ammo which if you don't know it's plenty for a life time. Robinson was far from the coast when he heard a weird noise. When he looked back it was a fierceful orange tiger. He remembered he had made a hole covered with palms and he quickly ran to it. The tiger fell in the hole and in one month he was very obedient. One year passed and he finally built a home in a cave and with a fence to keep himself safety. Soon an earthquake occurs. His cave fell down and his tiger was killed. Robinson Crusoe was very upset because it was his only friend in the island. Robinson Crusoe soon gets to know all the island and he found something very strange. If you want to know what Robinson Crusoe finds read the book!! It is awesome.
I think this is an excellent book that explains how Robinson Crusoe survived his cast away. The author of this book is Daniel Defoe. He is an author who likes to write adventurous books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not a book about living on an island..., Jan. 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
It con-founds the mind to read someone's review of a 300 year old book and see that they were put out by all that 'religious stuff'. Like somehow the world has been wrong about one of the greatest works of literature for 3 centuries, that is until some Generation X-er comes along in 2001 and causes everyone to realize this is just a boring book, written by some racist capitalist guy who likes to use big words! Of course!, how could we have been so stupid?
No,'dude', this is a book about how we as humans will always suffer until we admit and submit to the one true God. In other words it's a religious journey. This is a book about the folly of youth, when you believe you can conquer the world and what happens when you try without any faith being involved in it.
As for the slavery aspect, the fact is Crusoe himself was made a slave for years and I don't hear anyone complaining about it. At this point in world history slavery or servitude was an accepted behavior, like it or not. Anyone could be a slave, of any race or color as the book points out. Friday submitted will-fully to Robinson out of gratitude for Crusoe having saved his life. He wasn't kept tied up out back like a dog, Robinson loved this man and his love was returned. Robinson loved him enough to teach him Christianity and to turn from his cannibal ways.
I love how it's always the 'open-minded' people who are the first to want to burn the books they don't like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The old, wordy classic, July 19 2004
By 
Tobin Sparfeld (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This seventeenth century classic chronicles the story of Robinson Crusoe, an Englishman who leaves his family for a sea career. Shipwrecked and abandoned on a tropical island, Crusoe must find a way to survive. During his castaway adventures, Crusoe wrestles with God's fate and is challenged to answer the haunting question: is there somebody else on the island, or is he just going crazy?
Despite the exciting premise, Robinson Crusoe is not really an "exciting" novel. Indeed, each chapter title gives away the chapters' events. Moreover, Crusoe, who narrates his journey, is more concerned with describing the shape of the tigers' teeth, the nature of his growl, and various other details instead of building up any excitement about the encounter. Crusoe takes great pains describing how he counted all his objects and divided them up into equal segments.
Another theme about the book is Crusoe's preoccupation with mastery. Crusoe is determined to dominate everything he comes in contact with. In fact, when teaching Friday English, he teaches him to call him "Master" before teaching him "yes" and "no." In fact, Crusoe never refers to any other character by their name-very odd.
Despite these peculiarities, Daniel Defoe has created a wonderful story and portrayed it with utmost detail. Defoe really thought about every aspect of human survival, and provides an uncanny amount of realism. If you like adventures, and don't mind long descriptions, then this book is perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK GIVING A THOROUGH INSIGHT ON REALITY, Nov. 6 2003
By 
Rehan Yazdani (Jackson, TN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This critique is on Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. The story is about a young man, Robinson Crusoe, and his journey from a rich life in England to being a mariner and eventually being stranded on a remote island for twenty-eight years. The book is based on the true story of a mariner named Andrew Selkirk, who was also stranded on a remote island for five years. This book is a great example of the realism movement. Defoe talks about real life and its hardships, instead of writing fiction, in which everything is made up and is manipulated at the author's discretion. Defoe is also telling us to believe in ourselves, to have strong willpower, and listen to our parents. I think the novel gives a great insight on reality, and how hard real life is. It makes us think about the hardships of life and gives us the notion that we should explore our talents and have faith; that way we will succeed.
Robinson Crusoe is the son of and English merchant who chooses the life of a mariner rather than become a lawyer as his parents wanted. After going against his parent's whishes and becoming a mariner, Crusoe suffers a number of misfortunes at the hands of Barbary pirates and the elements. Finally Crusoe is shipwrecked off South America. He salvages needful things from the ship, and manages to survive in the island. During his twenty-eight year two months and nineteen days stay, Crusoe finds out the many qualities he possesses. With the help of his innovativeness Crusoe adapts into his alien environment. After several lone years he sees a strange footprint in the sand. The footprint turns out to be that of cannibals and their prisoners. One of the prisoners manages to escape. Crusoe meets the frightened man names Man Friday. Finally an English ship bound to England rescues them.
"Robinson Crusoe" is an expressive piece of writing. It is written using an English dialect. The narration of the novel is simple and is in the first and third person since Crusoe is telling only what he experienced. The tone is serious. There are no places in the novel where Crusoe is joking or laughing. The theme of the novel is most probably that we should believe in our capabilities and ourselves. We should never underestimate the powers that we possess. This is best portrayed when Crusoe learns how good he is at carpentry, pottery, construction, and baking. Crusoe never knew he had those capabilities. It was only after he tried and kept on trying that he succeeded in cultivating himself. He wanted to survive, and had the willpower to do so. Defoe also tries to tell us that we should listen to what our parents say. If Crusoe had listened to his parents, and become a lawyer, then he would not have to go through the harsh ordeal. When Crusoe is first shipwrecked, he is mad at himself for not listening to his parents.
I totally agree with Defoe and the things he addresses in the book. We should believe in ourselves, because if not, then we cannot survive. People who do not believe in themselves, who think they are low and cannot do anything, never make it. They are the ones who fail in life because if you do not believe in yourself then who will? It is not easy to live in today's world. One has to fight for his or herself. No self-confidence means no success but all out failure. If Crusoe did not believe in himself, then he would have died within days of being stranded on the island. We should have the willpower. If a person just does something without taking any interest, then are they going to do that thing right? Are they going to get anything out of it? The answer is no. But Crusoe had the willpower to survive. He used that strong willpower to learn how make his own furniture, bake bread, hunt, build a house, make clay jars. One of the most important ideas discussed is listening to our parents. Throughout the novel, Crusoe repents and asks himself why he did not listen to his parents. He knows that if he had, then his situation would not be what it was. Nowadays, some people tend to disregard what their parents say, thinking that they know what is best. But we have to remember that our parents are more experienced and they know what they are talking about. I strongly believe in this point. I have at times not listened to my parents, and suffered the consequences. Defoe's novel is a great example of one's life can take a turn for the worst. We must keep that in mind. This novel has allowed me to explore my own capabilities and inner strength. After reading the novel, I think anyone will gain more self-awareness, and give heed to what Defoe is trying to say.
"Robinson Crusoe" is novel about the realities of life, and how we should counter them. Defoe vividly describes the positive and great impact of self-belief and strong willpower on our lives, and also the negative impact of not heeding to our parents advice. I totally agree with Defoe on his generalizations of life. This book makes me more self-aware of myself, and has allowed me to explore the talents and capabilities I possess as well as my inner strengths. Defoe has written a masterpiece which will have a great impact on generations to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great language and characterization, July 18 2003
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This is not a novel for those who like quick action and a lot of dialogue. Robinson Crusoe is superbly written, and tends to draw out the events, with a great deal of imagery provided in order to describe everything with minute details. Seeing as to how this is one of my favorite novels, I have read Robinson Crusoe probably about six times, in more than one language. My favorite aspect of this novel is the language in which it is written. Defoe's ability to make every word worth reading is enough to captivate and ignite the imagination. I do not think that if you like fast-paced novels that you would enjoy this masterpiece, but it is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy well-developed character, then Robinson Crusoe's character is one worth devoting your time to. Defoe creates a human being, with faults and flaws, as well as dignified qualities. Robinson Crusoe is truly worthy of emulation, and is one of the greatest-developed characters in a work of literature. I recommend this novel to anyone who is willing to take the time to read every sentence and who is not so impatient as to expect action to appear on every page of the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great language and characterization, July 18 2003
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This is not a novel for those who like quick action and a lot of dialogue. Robinson Crusoe is superbly written, and tends to draw out the events, with a great deal of imagery provided in order to describe everything with minute details. Seeing as to how this is one of my favorite novels, I have read Robinson Crusoe probably about six times, in more than one language. My favorite aspect of this novel is the language in which it is written. Defoe's ability to make every word worth reading is enough to captivate and ignite the imagination. I do not think that if you like fast-paced novels that you would enjoy this masterpiece, but it is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy well-developed character, then Robinson Crusoe's character is one worth devoting your time to. Defoe creates a human being, with faults and flaws, as well as dignified qualities. Robinson Crusoe is truly worthy of emulation, and is one of the greatest-developed characters in a work of literature. I recommend this novel to anyone who is willing to take the time to read every sentence and who is not so impatient as to expect action to appear on every page of the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great language and characterization, July 18 2003
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This is not a novel for those who like quick action and a lot of dialogue. Robinson Crusoe is superbly written, and tends to draw out the events, with a great deal of imagery provided in order to describe everything with minute details. Seeing as to how this is one of my favorite novels, I have read Robinson Crusoe probably about six times, in more than one language. My favorite aspect of this novel is the language in which it is written. Defoe's ability to make every word worth reading is enough to captivate and ignite the imagination. I do not think that if you like fast-paced novels that you would enjoy this masterpiece, but it is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy well-developed character, then Robinson Crusoe's character is one worth devoting your time to. Defoe creates a human being, with faults and flaws, as well as dignified qualities. Robinson Crusoe is truly worthy of emulation, and is one of the greatest-developed characters in a work of literature. I recommend this novel to anyone who is willing to take the time to read every sentence and who is not so impatient as to expect action to appear on every page of the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great language and characterization, July 18 2003
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This is not a novel for those who like quick action and a lot of dialogue. Robinson Crusoe is superbly written, and tends to draw out the events, with a great deal of imagery provided in order to describe everything with minute details. Seeing as to how this is one of my favorite novels, I have read Robinson Crusoe probably about six times, in more than one language. My favorite aspect of this novel is the language in which it is written. Defoe's ability to make every word worth reading is enough to captivate and ignite the imagination. I do not think that if you like fast-paced novels that you would enjoy this masterpiece, but it is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy well-developed character, then Robinson Crusoe's character is one worth devoting your time to. Defoe creates a human being, with faults and flaws, as well as dignified qualities. Robinson Crusoe is truly worthy of emulation, and is one of the greatest-developed characters in a work of literature. I recommend this novel to anyone who is willing to take the time to read every sentence and who is not so impatient as to expect action to appear on every page of the novel.
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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Paperback - June 12 2001)
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