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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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4.0 out of 5 stars The original Survivor, Oct. 28 2001
By 
J. Gifford (Las Vegas NV) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe never lived with a number of other people on his deserted island, competing for food and immunity icons every week, a television camera constantly in his face. Crusoe lived his solitary life not for the entertainment of others, but to suffer the plight of the lonely.
Ignoring the advice of his wise father, who begged him to choose an honest life close to home, Crusoe heads to sea and almost dies three times before ending up on his deserted isle. He chooses a life of a plantation owner, hiring slaves to do much of his work. He chooses to ignore the teachings of God, and puts himself at the top of his own kingdom. On a journey to collect slaves to increase productivity on his plantation, his ship wrecks on the rocks of an island. All are lost but him. He saves some provisions from his ship, but has to work the land on his own to survive nearly three decades in solitude. It isn't until one lucky Friday that Crusoe's isolation ends and his purgatory is over.
Defoe's book is really a treatise on humility, of suffering for the sake of one's soul and finding one's place in the world. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Crusoe, alone for 400 pages, keeps our attention to the end.
This is a children's edition, put out by Simon and Schuster's Aladdin Paperbacks. What makes this a children's addition is the foreword by Avi, a children's author, and the reading guide at the end worded for children.
But there's little, really, to distinguish this edition from others. As a book for children, Robinson Crusoe needs more than a few simplistic questions and a wispy introduction. There is much in this book from another age that parents and children will want to discuss: racism, slavery, misuse of your fellow man, cannibalism, butchery. Defoe's readers believed that cannibals inhabited many of the unchartered islands of the southern hemisphere, and the children of today, though not stupid, will need guidance to disavow them of this same incorrect thought and others. We should not censor this book -- it's as much historical document as it is literature -- but parents should be aware of what their children are reading, read it with them, and help them understand the world as it was (and wasn't) 300 years ago.
I would have given this book 5 stars (Robinson Crusoe alone deserves 5 stars) except for the mistakes on the back cover --Unabridged spelled "Unabrdiged" -- and in Avi's foreword -- foreword spelled "foreward," comma splices, and a reference to Crusoe's 24 years on the island (he was on the island 28 years!). Errors creep into most books, but in a children's book a publisher should take more care to ensure that the information is accurate.
This is a beautiful edition, marred by errors and lacking in supporting reading. Any other edition would suffice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe on Paper, Jan. 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
What I found surprising when you read this book is that when the characters described their environment or comrades, the vivid language they used in such times made you believe you were actually in the 1600's. I have rated this book four out of five stars because sometimes the language, the spelling, and the phrases became confusing, especially when dialogue was in use. I enjoyed this book because the fact that Daniel Defoe wrote in his time, the readers today get a well described 1600's English adventure story with 1600's pop culture. This book is very realistic, due to the fact that it was written in the time that the story was taking place, so the authenticity of this book written in its own time is "through the roof" compared to a similar adventure story written today.
I would recommend this book to strong readers and those out to get a feeling of 1600's lifestyle, culture and technology.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe, Sept. 29 2002
By 
Lauren (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
I just finsished reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and let me tell you what a long story it was. It was written in old english, so at the start it was very confusing and hard to understand. But if you keep reading you get the hang if it. I thought it was a pretty good story. I think it would be so hard to live on this island all by yourself for twenty-four years have hardly anything. Then finally one day save a prisoner that ends up your friend, Friday. Followed by several more joining yor little island. The plot was good, and well written but it seems to drag on. Until the end, when he gets all these companions. The end went by so fast. First, he has all these friends and then they leave for England. He sells his plantation, gets married and has three kids. I gave it three star because it was hard to understand but very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Adventure is Waiting for You to get Picked Up, Nov. 30 2002
By 
Jae Han (ChulaVista, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
"Robinson Crusoe"(can't underline), written by Daniel Defoe, teaches a life lesson through Crusoe's thrilling adventures and is recommended to people from age ten and up (minor violence is involved in the story). The story starts as young Robinson Crusoe faces a ship wreck and gets trapped in an uninhabited island. Desperate to survive, he attempts to create an environment where he can live with convenience. Through many conflicts, Robinson's wits are also shown, one of the things to catch while reading this book. Borrow the book from the library to experience the great excitement and to find out what happens to Crusoe in the island. This is one of those books that will make you stay up over mid-night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic for good reason, March 19 2002
By 
R. J. Marsella (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I recall reading this in grade school but as I re-read it as an adult I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the character development and the psychological and spiritual insights that Robinson Crusoe reveals through his reflections. Much more that just a remarkable adventure tale and a lesson in self reliance which has become part of literary mythology this story resonates with a man's self discovery under difficult circumstances.
While the main outline of the plot is familiar and recognizable there is much to enjoy in the details that make this a book to read again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic, Jan. 2 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
This is a great book filled with all sorts of adventures and lessons. Of course, with any book, it has its slow points, but the biggest word of caution is that it was written a long time ago and therefore is a little harder to read. However, if you can get past the difficult reading (which does get easier and easier as you get used to it), you will find a story with more excitement and thought provoking situations than you might have expected.
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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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High literary and historic value but aged entertainment, Jan. 26 2004
By 
C. Ebeling "ctlpareader" (PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Paperback)
The world knows of and has been inspired time after time by the story of ROBINSON CRUSOE, but how many people have read it in recent generations? I went back to it as part of my ongoing effort to fill in the gaps in my English major background. I found some surprises.
ROBINSON CRUSOE was billed as a boy's adventure in my youth. In college, Defoe's MOLL FLANDERS was on the syllabus and RC was only mentioned in passing though it is arguably attributed as the first English novel. The culture into which Defoe introduced RC was driven by a confident, literate middle class that eagerly consumed real life adventure and crime stories. Attempting to tap into that audience and achieve the quality of a true story, Defoe introduced the elements of verisimilitude and a first person, middle class narrator to fictional writing. He was, in his lingo, seeking to tell the truth through a lie, which stands as the guiding principle for fiction. The psychological development of the protagonist is brilliant and the description of setting and events are vivid. Not only does reading RC take us back to the Ur-moment of the novel form, it is a magnifying glass on the history and social issues of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The lifespan of RC's freshness for readers probably ended with my generation, the baby boomers. We were the first to possess across social and cultural lines enough information of the world to know that what RC claims to have found on the island is purely imaginative and that the concepts of slavery and the superiority of the white European are unacceptable. Cannibalism and realistic foraging for animal-based food are rarely considered fun entertainment nowadays, neither are the unenlightened methods RC deploys for controlling the cat population he introduced to the island. Although the Harry Potter series lured children back to thick books, I don't think today's youth are prepared for Defoe's lengthy narration and extensive vocabulary, clean and fluid as they are.
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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Paperback - June 12 2001)
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