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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
By 
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 flora and fauna, Jan. 17 2014
By 
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
Poor Robinson being stranded on a tropical island never encountered a coconut tree, or a banano, or a mango tree, or a papaya tree, or a guava tree, but lucky him he did find grapes! Lucky Robinson encountered no aligators of any kind and mosquitoes, sand flies and the many other insects that exist in those latitudes in quantities enough to suck a cow's blood to death in one night, avoided him... maybe they were afraid of the White Man, but must certainly they were afraid of the White Man's hyenic habits as there's not a single mention of Robinson taking a bath during his 28 years of captivity. If you happen to have an insect repellent business and you're looking for a brand name, Robinson will more than do. Apart from that a very good reads.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible editing!!!, Jan. 3 2013
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Hardcover)
This is one of my all time favourite books and was looking forward to having it in hardcover.

My low rating is that this book is misprinted!!!! Example - bottom of page 83 "....perhaps, as was never heard of...." and then there is a list of "Evil" vs. "Good" - this list should not appear for at least another 10 pages. Never mind the fact it is plopped in the middle of a paragraph that makes no sense.

If you didn't like this book because it seemed disjointed, that's because it was.

Returning it for a better copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Moral Novel, Jan. 11 2012
By 
Gaboora (Red Deer Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
Possibly based on the true account of Alexander Selkirk, Robinson Crusoe is set some decades before that unfortunate event, in the mid-1600's. Against the warnings of his father and the pleadings of his mother, young Robinson Crusoe resolves to go off on adventures, which plan pans out like so: "never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued longer than mine" (p. 16.) Indeed, by the time the prodigal son returns home, his parents are no more, and he is on the verge of becoming an old man. No doubt the book's popularity has had much to do with the obvious moral that a son disobeys his parents at his own peril. Notwithstanding the divine oversight that saves Crusoe from perishing time after time, the misfortunes that make this care necessary may be enough to discourage some young man from tempting Fate.

Though `something fatal in that propension of Nature' (p. 11) is said to drive Crusoe to disobedience and misery, the effect of this reflection is not licentious. The concept of being predestinated to misery tends to produce revulsion from those acts that might fulfill the prophecy. So there is no cause to fear the book on that account.

As nearly obvious as the moral on obedience is the moral on contentment. The story may be interpreted as the fallout from not being content with what Providence has supplied. Somewhere in between poverty and riches are the safest and happiest stations in life to be found, according to Proverbs 30.8. This verse and the teachings that surround it are alluded to on page 12. In fact, the Proverb is well preached there. `The middle state' is the blessing Crusoe is born into and so soon gives up at great personal cost.

The opportunities he gets to settle back into that blessed state in spite of having `broken through good advice' (p. 39) is what breaks open the moral on God's forbearance, which moral persists until Crusoe is finally brought to repentance by the fact of divine patience breaking in upon him (pp. 92, 128.) This awakening to the goodness of God causes Crusoe to rethink his past judgment of things. He had supposed that the grain springing up beside his makeshift hut was due to some miracle of Providence, for example. Then when he remembered pouring some chicken feed out where the grains were now growing, his "religious thankfulness to God's Providence began to abate" (p. 80.) But Robinson Crusoe, once enlightened, sees that the train of events necessary to the remarkable blessing of growing grain is a wonder that merits thankfulness to God as much as a miracle would. Present-day miracle-mongers might learn from this. They are like Crusoe before his conversion: their religion is deflated so long as no miracles are happening. "And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction" (p. 96.)

Robinson Crusoe is a narrative catalogue of morals. For those seeking to learn the basics of sorrow leading to repentance in the easiest possible way, but with some force, a novel like this might faithfully serve. And it's as clean and righteous a novel as one can wish for. Notice how discreetly Defoe describes a bodily function that your modern novelists would take advantage of for the sake of being what they call `true to life': "in short, I turned away my face from the horrid spectacle; my stomach grew sick, and I was just at the point of fainting, when Nature discharged the order from my stomach" (p. 158.) Class resists the allure to be crass.

Which leads naturally to a comment or two on Daniel Defoe's style. His sense of rhythm is superb, which he sometimes achieves by combining the right amount of syllables with similar sounding words: "It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like condition, to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances" (p. 45.) At times he closes a sentence oddly, which keeps him from slipping into cliché boredom: "and shot him into the head again which dispatched him quite" (p. 33.) You might say that Defoe, like Crusoe, `called a council in his thoughts' (p. 57) in order to arrive, only for different reasons. The novel's faults are few and paltry. It may be that penguins never journey as far north as Trinidad (pp. 107, 200), the mention of which gives us the most certain idea of where Crusoe's desolate island paradise generally is. Would it get dark there during the rainy season, or any time of the year, for that matter, as early as seven o'clock? (p. 79.) Such matters are not worth checking out. There's only one cumbersome sentence in the whole book, a burdensome affair of twenty lines (p. 183.) But even this can be gotten hold of without too much strain. The worst error is Crusoe's assumption that an anonymous kidnap victim is Christian, for which reason he fights off the savages preparing to kill and eat him (p. 216.) But this may be just Crusoe's fault, not Defoe's; for all we know the author put that in on purpose to show a character flaw in the chief subject of his book.

The story of Crusoe is much occupied with relating the mundane details of how to survive and then prosper on a deserted island. A sense of wonder is maintained through all of that by observations on incidental events: "I believe it was the first gun that had been fired since the creation of the world" (p. 56.) This sense of wonder is executed by tantalizing speculations too, conjectures on the nature of what we call gut instinct (pp. 177, 230.) These lines of guesswork come right up near the edge of superstition. Maybe one of them walks off the edge into dark, dangerous territory (p. 166.) The story does contain `a whole collection of wonders' (p. 238), by which is meant `a life of Providence's chequerwork' (p. 278.) But this recitation of so many wonders is a little choked by pages and pages of detail on necessity being the mother of invention on this island. Because of that, mainly, this novel, like Pilgrim's Progress, continues longer than it should, and makes for much reading for too little gain. Had it been cut to half, the impression would have been more wonderful, and Robinson Crusoe would be known today as one of the greatest short stories. As a novel, however, it is good but not great. This edition is sketched by George Cruikshank, `the preeminent English caricaturist and book illustrator of the 19th century.' These twenty-two illustrations, along with the glossary at the end, make for pleasant, carefree reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Production, Providence and a Historical Worldview... OH MY!, Jan. 25 2002
By 
"joe_r_schendel" (Minneapolis, MN 55126) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
After seeing the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks I had an urge to read this book. It is an interesting autobiography-like story of Robinson Crusoe getting stranded on an island. It is easily a classic if you take into account when it was written, almost 300 years ago.
Reading this novel was like reading three books in one. Yes that's right, three for one!
You get to read about Robinson's wealth, inventory and production and he blabs on and on about his island's production. An example is he may say something like this: "I killed and ate 2 goats today and was pleased as well. Then I moved some sacks of rice from the cave to the castle." This gets quite boring but send a strong message that he went from having little to a great deal with hard work.
Another of the books in this novel is an example of man's previous Religious and Racial superiority complex. Robinson might say something like "Twas providence that guided me to find the savages and give me the chance to spread Christendom." Robinson lets it be known that he believes his culture is the correct one. You cannot look at this as political incorrectness, as no such thing existed. Around 1660 everyone throughout the world had this worldview and many people do today.
The third book within this novel is the historical perspective. You get to see how large world was before our modern era. Robinson travels to many location and needs to overcome many obstacles, often requiring he use his mind. He only knows the technology of his day, which he speaks of often.
The first half of the novel is boring. If you can tough it through the second half gets much more interesting. I would recommend this to anyone who read my review and still has an interest in Robinson Crusoe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile!, Nov. 19 2010
By 
Pierre Gauthier (Montréal) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I thought that I had read this book as a child!

Clearly, it was an adapted version since this unabridged edition provides much more detail as to Robinson's life before the shipwreck, for instance as a slave or as a planter in Brazil. We are also told what the purpose of his ill-fated trip actually was.

The writing style is uneven, with some needless repetitions. Wildly varying levels of treatment are made, much emphasis being given to the first year and the last of the 28 spent on the island. The ending is quite abrupt and little is said of the characters' life after they are rescued.

Though by no means outstanding, the narrator in the audio version does an adequate job.

All in all, this work is definitely worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, Feb. 8 2009
By 
K. Schlaht (Canada) - See all my reviews
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Great book! The beginning is a little long but give it a chance and it gets really good. Especially if you like tv shows like Survivor. It's a great story. People interested in Christianity might also like this book, as it has biblical referenced and the main character develops a special relationship with God.
Really great book for anyone!
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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Paperback - June 12 2001)
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