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Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

Written by Jonathan Swift

Narrated by Neville Jason


Gulliver's Travels

Written by Jonathan Swift

Narrated by Neville Jason

ratings:
4/5 (80 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Jun 23, 1996
ISBN:
9789629545673
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Gulliver’s Travels is renowned as a playful and comic children’s classic. The book itself, rather than the bowdlerized versions that have been derived from it, is a savage, rude and brilliant satire, timeless in its appeal and unerringly accurate. The images of Gulliver among the miniature Lilliputians and the giants of Brobdingnag, the crazy scientists, and the rational horses create a series of novel delights and challenging insights.
Released:
Jun 23, 1996
ISBN:
9789629545673
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Born in 1667, Jonathan Swift was an Irish writer and cleric, best known for his works Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal, and A Journal to Stella, amongst many others. Educated at Trinity College in Dublin, Swift received his Doctor of Divinity in February 1702, and eventually became Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Publishing under the names of Lemeul Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, and M. B. Drapier, Swift was a prolific writer who, in addition to his prose works, composed poetry, essays, and political pamphlets for both the Whigs and the Tories, and is considered to be one of the foremost English-language satirists, mastering both the Horatian and Juvenalian styles. Swift died in 1745, leaving the bulk of his fortune to found St. Patrick’s Hospital for Imbeciles, a hospital for the mentally ill, which continues to operate as a psychiatric hospital today.


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What people think about Gulliver's Travels

3.8
80 ratings / 91 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Swift's ideas about human nature and government are timeless. Gulliver's Travels is a must read!
  • (3/5)
    Got around to read this classic. Book is essentially a collection of author's imaginations on what people will do and act in different strange societies. Author imagines well on social culture and actions based on people but doesn't think through a lot on social and technological environment. All socieities - small people, monsterous people, floating people, horse people - have pretty much that distinction but rest of world - animals, plants, things and inventions - are similar to rest of normal world. Transition from one society to another, through multiple sea voyages, is fast and not dwelt much upon. Lots of people found this work of Swift to be satire on modern world, and it kind of is, but very peripheral one. For instance religion and politicians can be arbitary and foolish and that's mentioned as such without really understanding depth of things. In the end, excitement of new world goes away from readers and long monologues of narrator's experiences and discourse within those society becomes boring. It's readable but forgettable book.
  • (2/5)
    Far more interesting than I'd hoped, given how old it is. I see both why it has historically been praised, and why I'm glad to say I've read it and now never pick it up again.
  • (3/5)
    Jonathan Swift must have been smoking opium when he wrote this because it is wackadoodle. It is also weird to have a female read the book when the main character is a man. I don't think I would have read the physical book.
  • (1/5)
    would not wish upon my worst enemy

    also made me feel really uncomfortable about horses
  • (5/5)
    Swift's ideas about human nature and government are timeless. Gulliver's Travels is a must read!
  • (4/5)
    Meesterlijk in zijn passages met kritiek op algemeenmenselijke toestanden. Frisse satire, al is het verhaal van de reus in Lilliputtersland intussen wat afgezaagd, dat wordt ruimschoots gecompenseerd vooral door het laatste verhaal.
  • (4/5)
    Absolutely fun read. first time to read the book since college....40 years ago! Bought the book in Myanmar, but read it in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, finishing it on the Thai train up the Malay Peninsula to Bangkok. Had forgotten that Gulliver's islands seem to be in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. For a traveller, this is a necessary and a fun read....
  • (3/5)
    Well, to make it short: I was disappointed. Somehow I expected some kind of "great literature". But it's definitively not. The writing style is much too simple, when the story starts to get "deeper" it mostly says something like "I don't want to talk about this anymore, because the reader could be bored". What the...? I'm not enjoying this one. 2,5 stars just because the story itself is interesting - but could be better written.I know it's world literature, but I really don't know why. Maybe this is because of my edition (or translation).
  • (5/5)
    Remarkable.
  • (4/5)
    Meesterlijk in zijn passages met kritiek op algemeenmenselijke toestanden. Frisse satire, al is het verhaal van de reus in Lilliputtersland intussen wat afgezaagd, dat wordt ruimschoots gecompenseerd vooral door het laatste verhaal.
  • (3/5)
    Written nearly 300 years ago, at it's time it must have been a groundbreaking satire. To be fair it is still current in many ways especially regarding the justiciary, the establishment and western mankind in general. However, I found it very dull to read. He goes away, has an adventure and comes back. He does this four times. Heaven knows he wasn't much of a family man and we don't hear much of what his wife thought of it all. I found it quite boring and this was heading for two stars until the final episode with the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos. The former representing a superior being which mankind may believe he is and the latter being a mirror to how Swift believes they really are. This part was both insightful and humorous and rescued this book for me.
  • (4/5)
    The last book of the four, about the utopian society of the horses I liked the best by far. In the first two the author is obsessed with the sizes of all things, these being extremely small (Lilliput) or extremely large (land of the giants). The third book is a bit chaotic with all the different countries visited by Gulliver. The last book is a real and complete satirical story with a melancholy undertone.
  • (3/5)
    I was extremely surprised by the story told in this book mainly because of the presupposition that I had because of a very old movie that I had seen. Yes, there were the little people and the giants but then the story goes on to further travels. The "adventures" show mankind in a very poor way with the satirical exposures of bad governments and prejudices that we would find nonsensical today. However, I wonder if 300 years from now if mankind would feel the same about our prejudices.Maybe we can still learn from the past.
  • (4/5)
    I should read this again. I loved this when I read it. You can analyse the book or just simply read it for fun.
  • (3/5)
    This book turned out to be completely different than I expected. And I'm not sure that's good.

    Gulliver's Travels are considered a classic adventure novel and are among novels for children and teenagers. And that's what I expected. And here it turned out that this is more a moralizing critique and an essay on the state of government. Fairy-tale elements help Swift only to, at times very venomously, comment on human characters, British politics etc. I don't know how these issues would be of interest to the child. This is clearly an adult book. I also understand now why it is sometimes considered a utopian novel.

    This book was interesting and boring for me at the same time. I expected an adventure in the style of Robinson Crusoe, which this book is completely not. Some of the things created by Swift are interesting to me, but the long passages about bad governance and human meanness were boring to me at times. And I have a degree in political science and I'm generally interested in such things.

    What surprised me was the blatant satire of British politics that spares no one. I am more used to the books written in previous centuries that are usually more moderate in such views. And here the criticism is really harsh. Thinking about it now, it seems to me that this book was sometimes placed on the list of banned books. Now I fully understand why. In addition to radical criticism of government, there is also a bit of obscenity. Nothing huge but probably more than in other books from that era.

    I also thought it would be one story and these are basically four separate stories put together. Of course, there are obvious similarities between them, especially between the first two. It also seems to me that the author's comments are becoming more and more vicious with each story.

    I am glad that I read this book even if it turned out to be completely different than I expected.
  • (4/5)
    I read the Illustrated Classics version as a kid and when I was in my mid-teens, I read the full version. To this day, I am still enjoying both versions; which one I read depends on my mood and how I feel.The author uses great metaphors, like storms, to transition between different islands. Each change in setting teaches many important lessons without the reader really realizing it. How the author does this is a mystery and keeps the reader hooked,, wanting to know what will happen next snd if the characters will ever retturn home. You also wonder how things will change for thr main character if their journey does end and what the long lasting effects will be. Not just on that person, but those around them and where they live.This is an interesting, intriguing, edge of your seat book that you don't want to miss!
  • (5/5)
    The writing is beautiful, the riffs on law, politics and general intellectual attitudes are hilarious, and the structure was great. The third part's a bit tough to get in to, but otherwise, first class. Easy to read, too.
  • (3/5)
    For those of you who be all, like, "What? You never read Gulliver's Travels?", the answer is yes, and that's exactly why I've embarked on reading the 1,001 Books I Need to Read Before I die. It will help me catch up on much of what was not mandatory on my poor educational track. Besides, I get to experience so much with fresh eyes, that I actually feel I prefer it, in a way. I found the book thoroughly interesting, and it appealed to my peripatetic nature and my natural curiosity for differences and similarities between cultures. As for what exactly Swift was satirizing, I have no idea. I don't know the politics of his time and region. The book was good enough without pondering all that.
  • (2/5)
    Read this in college. Obviously, extremely over-discussed. Not really my kind of read.
  • (3/5)
    I am doing work on masculinity with this book, but even with that interest in mind I did not particularly enjoy Gulliver.
  • (1/5)
    Aargh. Really tedious. The tale of being in Lilliput was fairly humorous, but the rest were just tedious to the point of beating a dead horse (or a Honyhnhnm, as the case may be).The Lilliput saga worked as a story, but none of the others did and I didn't think any of it worked as allegory either. Instead of learning from the civilizations he encountered, he became an unhappy shell of a person who couldn't even stand being in the same room with his wife and children. If there was no hope for the human race, why didn't he just off himself and put the reader out of his/her misery?!
  • (3/5)
    I am doing work on masculinity with this book, but even with that interest in mind I did not particularly enjoy Gulliver.
  • (5/5)
    Written in 1727, a critique of our industrial policy in 2014: In these colleges the professors contrive new... tools for all trades and manufactures; whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten; a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last for ever without repairing. .... The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection; and in the mean time, the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair.
  • (3/5)
    A local librarian told me this wasn't like reading a modern fictional novel. I know older books can be difficult, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be and was quite funny in parts!
  • (3/5)
    Summary provided by Amazon.com:Shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver's encounters with the petty, diminutive Lilliputians, the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the abstracted scientists of Laputa, the philosophical Houyhnhnms, and the brutish Yahoos give him new, bitter insights into human behavior. Swift's fantastic and subversive book remains supremely relevant in our own age of distortion, hypocrisy, and irony.My response:often intrigued with the small stature of the Lilliputians, and who is not intrigued by giants? However, I don’t think we’ve ever made it to the talking horses. One thing that is definite about Swift is that he has a sense of humor and an impressive imagination.I believe that Swift was angry with social ills. Honestly, I would say that most people, then and now are still just as angered by social ills as he was. How can we even compare his novel where he is describing the Yahoos as greedy savages (in a place where they have no advancement of the society he was in), to political books that are currently released and point out directly how our country is failing? Rush Limbaugh, for example, spouts daily on the radio that he doesn’t believe our leader will do any good for a nation. Our society has basically bankrupted itself based off of greed. What is fairly funny is that there are a few rich people that could basically bail out major companies without any help from the government, and yet they are coming to the government to help them out.The Yahoos are described as beings that are obsessed with treasures, fight amongst one another continuously, become lazy unless forced to work, covet each other with no regards to others around them, and are overrun with greed, avarice, lust, etc. It’s impossible not to see the similarities. I just think we conclude that it is human nature.
  • (4/5)
    Published in 1725, six years after Defoe?s Robinson Crusoe, and interesting as a counterpoint to that book. Both are of course travel adventures, but while Crusoe has only Friday for company on his island, Gulliver runs into civilizations on the ones he reaches in his four voyages, starting with the diminutive Lilliputians who so famously tie him down. And while both authors use their stories as vehicles to explore human nature, Defoe is generally optimistic, but Swift is not. I can?t say I?m a huge fan of Swift?s world view, since he was an enemy of the enlightenment, disdained reason as well as challenges to established religion, such as Deism, and was presenting a pessimistic view of humanity. However, I have to say his novel works, and on several levels. It is a biting satire of man and all his follies, vices, and stupidities. Swift has particular disdain for politicians, lawyers, and clergymen. It?s also filled with comic moments, some naughty, some juvenile involving bodily functions, but entertaining nonetheless. And, for the computer-minded, it?s of course the origin of the Big and Little Endians, as well as the Yahoos. :)Gulliver?s misadventures worsen as the novel progresses, and his attitude is progressively hardened by the experiences of being abandoned and attacked. Perhaps a danger for us all. If I had to recommend one of the many essays that are included in this Norton Critical Edition, it would be Samuel Holt Monk?s ?The Pride of Lemuel Gulliver? from 1955, insightful and with an interesting reference to the Red Scare going on in Washington D.C. at the time. The edition was published in 1961 which was a little limiting; it would have been nice to have some more recent commentary.Quotes:On Children:?...the Lilliputians will needs have it, that men and women are joined together like other animals, by the motives of concupiscence; and that their tenderness towards their young, proceedeth from the like natural principle: for which reason they will never allow, that a child is under any obligation to his father for begetting him, or to his mother for bringing him into the world; which, considering the miseries of human life, was neither a benefit in itself, nor intended so by his parents, whose thoughts in their love-encounters were otherwise employed.?On the good and evil in man:?When I thought of my family, my friends, my countrymen, or human race in general, I considered them as they really were, yahoos in shape and disposition, perhaps a little more civilized, and qualified with the gift of speech; but making no other use of reason, than to improve and multiply those vices, whereof their brethren in this country had only the share that nature allotted them.?On guns:?The King was struck with horror at the description I had given of those terrible engines, and the proposal I had made. He was amazed how so impotent and groveling an insect as I (these were his expressions) could entertain such inhuman ideas, and in so familiar a manner as to appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation, which I had painted as the common effects of those destructive machines; whereof, he said, some evil genius, enemy to mankind, must have been the first contriver.?On history:?He was perfectly astonished with the historical account I gave him of our affairs during the last century; protesting it was only a heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments; the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, and ambition could produce.?On immortality:?...he observed long life to be the universal desire and wish of mankind. That, whoever had one foot in the grave, was sure to hold back the other as strongly as he could. That the oldest still had hopes of living one day longer, and looked on death as the greatest evil, from which nature always prompted him to retreat; only in this Island of Luggnagg, the appetite for living was not so eager, from the continual example of the Struldbruggs before their eyes.That the system of living contrived by me was unreasonable and unjust, because it supposed a perpetuity of youth, health, and vigor, which no man could be so foolish to hope, however extravagant he might be in his wishes. That, the question therefore was not whether a man would choose to be always in the prime of youth, attended with prosperity and health; but how he would pass a perpetual life under all the usual disadvantages which old age brings along with it.?On lawyers:?I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves. ...It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of directing accordingly. ...It is likewise to be observed, that this society hath a peculiar cant and jargon of their own, that no other mortal can understand, and wherein all their laws are written, which they take special care to multiply; whereby they have wholly confounded the very essence of truth and falsehood, of right and wrong; so that it will take thirty years to decide whether the field, left me by my ancestors for six generations, belongs to me, or to a stranger three hundred miles off.?On man?s inhumanity:?A crew of pirates are driven by a storm they know not whither; at length a boy discovers land from the top-mast; they go on shore to rob and plunder; they see a harmless people, are entertained with kindness, they give the country a new name, they take formal possession of it for the King, they set up rotten plank or stone for a memorial, they murder two or three dozen of the natives, bring away a couple more by force for a sample, return home, and get their pardon. Here commences a new dominion acquired with a title by Divine Right. Ships are sent with their first opportunity; the natives driven out or destroyed, their princes tortured to discover their gold; a free license given to all acts of inhumanity and lust; the earth reeking with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable crew of butchers employed in so pious an expedition, is a modern colony sent to convert and civilize an idolatrous and barbarous people.?On politics:?And, he gave it for his opinion; that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before; would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.?On the poor:?...the Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than that people, in subservience to their own appetites, should bring children into the world, and leave the burden of supporting them on the public.?On war:?Sometimes the quarrel between two princes is to decide which of them shall dispossess a third of his dominions, where neither of them pretend to any right. ...For these reasons, the trade of a soldier is held the most honorable of all others: because a soldier is a yahoo hired to kill in cold blood as many of his own species, who have never offended him, as possibly he can. ...I gave him a description of cannons, culverins, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, battles, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea-fights; ship sunk with a thousand men; twenty thousand killed on each side; dying groans, limbs flying in the air: smoke, noise, confusion, trampling to death under horses feet: flight, pursuit, victory; fields strewed with carcasses left for food to dogs, and wolves, and birds of prey; plundering, stripping, ravishing, burning and destroying. ...Although he hated the yahoos of this country, yet he no more blamed them for their odious qualities, than he did a Gnnayh (a bird of prey) for its cruelty, or a sharp stone for cutting his hoof. But, when a creature pretending to reason, could be capable of such enormities, he dreaded lest the corruption of that faculty might be worse than brutality itself. He seemed therefore confident, that instead of reason, we were only possessed of some quality fitted to increase our natural vices...?On the younger generation:?As every person called up [from the dead] made exactly the same appearance he had done in the world, it gave me melancholy reflections to observe how much the race of human kind was degenerate among us, within these hundred years past. How the pox under all its consequences and denominations had altered every lineament of an English countenance; shortened the size of bodies, unbraced the nerves, relaxed the sinews and muscles, introduced a sallow complexion, and rendered the flesh loose and rancid.?
  • (3/5)
    "Thus, gentle Reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have not been so studious of Ornament as of Truth. I could perhaps like others have astonished thee with strange improbably Tales; but I rather chose to relate plain Matter of Fact in the simplest Manner and Style; because my principal Design was to inform, and not to amuse thee."

    This book took me a long time to read. I couldn't figure out why it was taking me so long until I started quoting sections to my sister and my spouse and on my blog and realized just how much translation English from this era requires. So, I let myself off the hook a little bit and just tried to enjoy my leisurely reading pace. I'm glad to have read this book, but I'll also be glad to move onto to something written in more contemporary language.

    I admit, I think a fair amount of this book was lost on me. Throughout it I was unsure about whether the opinions Gulliver expressed were meant to be his alone or if they reflected Swift's opinions as well. For example, there's the very funny section in which Gulliver goes off about lawyers and judges. I found it absolutely hilarious and read it aloud to my sister (the attorney) over the phone one night. In retrospect, it may have been a little rude to read it to her. As an attorney, she's well aware of the variety of lawyer jokes out there; it was probably unnecessary to bring to her attention eighteenth-century lawyer jokes.

    In addition, since I'm not intimately acquainted with the history of England during this (or, really, any) period, I couldn't really tell when he was making fun of the culture or political structure of the time and when he was just telling the story. I mean, in the first section, he goes into great detail about where and how he excretes among the diminutive Lilliputians and how astonished they are at his prodigious passage of urine. Are these scatological asides meant to tell the reader about Gulliver's character (like when he notes that his personal habits of cleanliness have often come into question and he's interested in setting the record straight), or are these descriptions themselves part of the satire? Are they spoofs of travel writing of the time? Being unfamiliar with either the culture or the travel-writing genre of eighteenth-century England, I couldn't say. Same thing with the rather sexual nature of some of his experiences among the giants of Brobdingnag.

    However, even amid my confusion several bits struck me as quite funny. As a homeschooler I quite appreciated Gulliver's observation that, in Lilliput, "Parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the Education of their own Children." Even more amusing was the Lilliputians' reasoning for why parents are unqualified to educate their children: that a child's parents likely were fairly unintentional about bringing that child into being as their "Thoughts in the their Love-encounters were otherwise employed."

    There are several sections that seem like a criticism of contemporary Western culture, including one of my favorite sections of Part III. Gulliver travels to the city of Lagado on the island of Balnibarbi where the people have embraced a thoroughly intellectual manner of problem-solving. New innovations will improve building, manufacture, agriculture, and every pursuit in which the city might engage. Among the benefits promised: ?one Man shall do the Work of Ten; a Palace may be built in a Week?all the Fruits of the Earth shall come to Maturity at whatever Season we think fit to chuse, and increase an Hundred Fold more than they do at present.? Trouble is, these methods haven?t been perfected, and the people are suffering for it, going without adequate food and safe shelter as they wait for the innovations to catch up with their needs.

    Rather than changing course, the people of Lagado persist: ?Instead of being discouraged, they are Fifty Times more violently bent upon prosecuting their Schemes, driven equally on by Hope and Despair.?

    I found it interesting that after both his visit to the giants in Brobdingnag and his visit to the rational Houyhnhnms, Gulliver ends up feeling an aversion to his own image in a mirror. In the first situation, the giants have developed a worldview in which a creature's worth is directly proportional to its size, so when Gulliver looks in the mirror, he's reminded of his own insignificance. In the second, he has developed such a positive opinion of the moral and honest Houyhnhnms (rational Horses) and so internalized their revulsion towards the Yahoos (the feral humans on that island) that he cannot stand to see the reminder that he is, in fact, a Yahoo and not a Houyhnhm. It's like Gulliver experiences a kind of Stockholm syndrome in every place he visits. I wonder if this is a comment on how people who are exposed to pretentious views can adopt them as their own and then do all they can to class themselves with their "betters" and distance themselves from their true nature.

    Oh, and if you read Gulliver's Travels, I highly recommend going back after you're done and re-reading, "A Letter From Capt. Gulliver to His Cousin Simpson" that's at the beginning of the book. His comments about Yahoos and Houyhnhnms make a lot more sense---and are a lot more amusing---now that I've read the whole book.
  • (3/5)
    I must admit that this book wasn’t on my ‘radar’ and I don’t suppose I’d have read it if it wasn’t for reading T H White’s Mistress Masham’s Repose, which features the Lilliputians. This book has been popular from the time it was first published. I think that originally it was considered to be a children’s book but like Mistress Masham’s Repose, I can’t see it appealing to huge numbers of today’s children, but of course, I could be wrong.

    I enjoyed the first two sections but for me the book went downhill after then. I wouldn’t say I hated the last two sections but I was rather glad to get to the end of the book! I was amused that there was quite a lot of ‘toilet humour’ in the book, considering when it was first published. Overall quite an enjoyable read but it didn’t really live up to expectations.
  • (4/5)
    Most people have at least heard of Gulliver’s Travels and it’s hard not to have a few preconceived notions pop into your head for a book like that. I knew the general idea before I read it, but I was surprised by the specific observations Gulliver shares about each race he visits. A shipwreck strands Gulliver with the Lilliputs and a series of adventures follow. Originally published as a satire, the book is now read by all ages. He travels all over and meets the strangest people. He makes observations about their ways of life and in doing so often tells more about himself and his prejudices than he means to. Each new group teaches him something about the way he sees the world. The Lilliputs are a tiny people, so small they can fit in his hand. They have to make 100 meals just to feed him. The very next group he discovers are giants and he is now the tiny figure that can fit in their hand. His observations of both of these groups were not always what you would expect. Sometimes he remarks on the texture of their skin. He even makes some hilarious comments about watching one of the giants nurse and being terrified by her enormous breast. The woman who takes care of him in the giants’ land sews him shirts lets him to use items from her dollhouse. There’s a lot of humor worked into the stories. At one point he gets in a fight with the queen’s dwarf and is dropped into a giant bowl of cream and then stuck into a marrow bone. There are houseflies that constantly plague him because they're the size of birds. He can see when the flies lay eggs in the giants’ food because they look so large to him. Gulliver also discovers the Houyhnhnms, a race of horses that are superior to all the other races he describes. The thing I loved about it was that it made you look at your own world a little differently. It makes you notice things that you normally take for granted. The whole book is a fascinating exercise in how our situation and surroundings affect the way we see the world. Swift manages to do this in a humorous way, never taking himself too seriously. It broke my heart a little that Gulliver kept leaving his family to travel and then when he finally returns he never quite gets over leaving the Houyhnhnms.BOTTOM LINE: At times clever, at others dry, this classic gives the reader a lot to think about when they view their own society. It’s a reminder that so much of what we believe is based on what we already know. The more we learn about other cultures, the more we can understand them and appreciate their strengths.