Reader reviews for Robinson Crusoe

Why did I wait so long to read Daniel Defoe's classic "Robinson Crusoe?" The book, which follows the story of Crusoe who is marooned on a tropical island for decades is well-paced and thoroughly engrossing. Not only does Defoe detail what it takes to survive on a lonely island, he includes plenty of musing about religion and the craving for companionship and "stuff." There is a reason this book is considered a classic.
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Move over Survivor and Castaway here is the original. I loved this book. Hearing about his years on the island and how he became self-sufficent was very interesting to me, which I would have thought listening to someone spending a quarter of a century alone on a deserted island would get old and teadious it did not. The book really slowed down for me when he finally got back to civilization.
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definately a book of it's time (white englishman is a higher moral ethical and valuable animal than both black men and the spanish/portuguese), but interesting to read nevertheless
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Though an old story, it still speaks to the imagination of readers all around the world.Widely regarded as the first English novel, Daniel Defoe’ s "Robinson Crusoe" is one of the most popular and influential adventure stories of all time. This classic tale of shipwreck and survival on an uninhabited island was an instant success when first published in 1719 and has inspired countless imitations. In his own words, Robinson Crusoe tells of the terrible storm that drowned all his shipmates and left him marooned on a deserted island. Forced to overcome despair, doubt, and self-pity, he struggles to create a life for himself in the wilderness. From practically nothing, Crusoe painstakingly learns how to make pottery, grow crops, domesticate livestock, and build a house. His many adventures are recounted in vivid detail, including a fierce battle with cannibals and his rescue of Friday, the man who becomes his trusted companion. Full of enchanting detail and daring heroics, "Robinson Crusoe" is a celebration of courage, patience, ingenuity, and hard work.
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First large persons' book I read, at the age of seven. Why are kids today not exposed to writing like this at an earlier age? I may not have grasped much of it at the time, but I do recall the story gripping me right the way through. Read it again at Uni, and it felt so comfortable.
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A brilliant book that set the standard for the Desert Island Genre. It's a classic, and a great read for both adults and children, much better than endless Enid Blyton I read at that age.
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For a book that's so famously about being shipwrecked; an awful lot of time is spent on other bits; Crusoe's being taken by pirates, sold as a slave, escaping and starting a plantation in Brazil, and being attacked by wolves on a trip across Europe are all vignettes that get quite a bit of attention. Perhaps it was my own preconceptions, but I really felt that the other parts were filler, and would have been edited out if the book was being published today.On the other hand, if it was being published today, you would really want to cut out a big slab of shipwreck time. Twenty-four years is an awfully long time to go without seeing another human being, and even if Robinson did have nothing better to do, I'm not sure that you can really buy into his ability to cast pottery, tame goats, plant farms, and build his pair of residences quite as efficiently as he did. One tends to wonder if he couldn't have simply built a foundry, cast engine parts, made a motor boat and sped happily off into the sunset. The long period of forced seclusion does provide a good background for Crusoe's religious conversion however, which is probably the raison d'etre for the book's existence. The occasional references to the Papist religion occasionally also are a jarring reminder as to how close on the heels of the Protestant reformation this book was really writen.Wading through the entire book is probably something best left for true reading aficionadoes, as it is quite the wade. It would be fun to see an abridged version for kids that covered the pirates and wolves as well as cannibals. Not sure if there is such a beast, but I bet kids would like it. Too bad Defoe never managed to work any ninjas in there though.
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Classic novels sometimes have the occasional racist references and usually it doesn’t bother me too much. I take it with a grain of salt and try to remember that it was written during a different time period and reflects an earlier belief system. I still don’t like it, but there’s nothing we can do about it at this point and it’s usually a minor point in the book. This one was different though. There’s something disturbing about the way Robinson mentions slavery so casually. He joins a ship on the condition that he’ll get a cut of the profits made from the slaves they transport. He also escapes being enslaved on an island with a young boy, only to sell the boy into slavery once they are rescued. Robinson spends more than 20 years on an island by himself before interacting with another living soul, (it reminded me a lot of Cast Away, which I’m sure took huge inspiration from this novel). When he finally gains a companion, the infamous Friday, he decides to treat him as a slave instead of an equal. The first thing he teaches him is how to call him Master. He also decides to name him Friday instead of attempting to find out his actual name. He continuously refers to Friday as an ignorant savage, all the while saying how he loves him dearly. When he discovers that Friday's people don't live too far away, his first concern is that Friday will forget that he is his slave and try to return to them. It's unbelievably selfish. Yes, Friday loves him and feels indebted to him, but I felt like Robinson took advantage of this in a horrible way. Robinson’s devotion to God and regret for his past behavior seems to come and go with each mood. He swings from thanking God for providing food and shelter for him, to lamenting the fact that he could have been living on a huge slave plantation if his boat hadn’t been shipwrecked. All of that being said; there are some things I liked about the book. Robinson is forced to get very creative to survive on the island and it’s interesting to see how he creates a new home for himself. Also, his solitude makes him reflective and he makes some wonderful observations as he examines his life. In the end, I’m glad I read it, but I think Robinson is a self-centered jerkface. A few great lines: “That all the good things in the world are of no farther good to us than for our use. And that whatever we may heap up to give others we enjoy only as much as we can use and no more.” Robinson felt this strongly after he killed more than he could eat or collected more wood than he needed. He watched it rot away when he didn’t use it and realized that it was useless to hoard extra food, etc. because it just went to waste. "How frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil, which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into is the most dreadful to us, is often times the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into." "Thus fear of danger is 10,000 times more terrifying than danger itself when apparent to the eyes. And we find the burden of anxiety greater by much than the evil which we were anxious about."
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This has a lot going for it: adventure, creativity, plus it's one of the first books of fiction in English. There is a downside though, in that the English can be a bit difficult to parse.
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while pursuing my MA in English Lit at the University of Central Florida in 1988-90, they told me the first novel was Pamela by Sterne, 1749. I beleive this 1724 book by DeFoe was the first novel.
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