FROM THE PUBLISHER
Who has not dreamed of life on an exotic isle, far away from civilization? Here is the novel which has inspired countless imitations by lesser writers, none of which equal the power and originality of Defoe's famous book. Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being. First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe has been praised by such writers as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Johnson as one of the greatest novels in the English language.
This delightful rewrite of the classic story makes the marvelous tale of Robinson Crusoe more understandable for today's children. Anne De Graaf does a brilliant job of preserving the original story, and my children and I have enjoyed reading this book together.
Not the original, but a Dorling Kindersley retelling with many annotations, lavishly illustrated, for reluctant readers or those who keep asking "but what does THAT mean?" or "but how did they do that in those days?"
This book is amazing. I read it in eighth grade with a friend, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed every chapter, every page, and every line. It is a classic novel, and should be read by all... I LOVED this book and DEF suggest you read it!!!
"Apple Classics" Scholastic He is all alone or is he? He is stranded on an uninhabited tropical island in the middle of the ocean. Many years he lives along and then he sees a footprint - someone else is there on his island.
Susan reviewed Robinson Crusoe (Dover Thrift Editions) on
This is a fascinating tale of creative survival. The period prose is thick, however. Unless you are very patient, you may end up several times screaming "Get to the point, please!!" I suggest listening to this book to make sure you get through it all. It is in the public domain, and is therefore a free listen or download from LibriVox.org.
Before survivalism was "in" Robinson Crusoe was already on the shelves. A story of survival, humanity and sheer will is the classic of the man vs. world novel. There's action, adventure and humility wrapped into one book.
A swashbuckling tale of survival, courage and brotherhood. Robinson Crusoe follows a British seaman who, as sole survivor of a shipwreck, finds himself stranded on a remote island. Battling both nature and extreme isolation, Crusoe fights to keep himself from slipping into madness. When Crusoe rescues a native islander, Friday, from a tribe of cannibals, the seaman's fate dramatically changes.
Crusoe's desperate need for companionship forces him to confront a deeply rooted prejudice and enables him to forge a bond of friendship deeper than any he has ever known.
Pros: Often considered the first English novel... Okay. I'm out of pros.
So, here's the thing. I get that this novel has historical importance, but don't kid yourself into thinking it's a good book just because of that. The con list is longer than I could list in a review of reasonable length. Crusoe is a racist of epic proportions--blame it on the culture of the time all you like, this isn't a "politically correct" statement. Crusoe himself becomes a slave, escapes, and then enslaves the man he escapes so he can sell him back into slavery (with the encouragement to force him into a Christianity). I don't care what time period you live in, that's an ass move. Even if you are enough of a historical elitist/slavery-in-literature apologist to look past that move, he spends the rest of the novel killing or enslaving everyone who steps on his island: South American cannibals, Spanish explorers, and English sailors alike. And, I won't even get into the obsessive religious subtext that pops up at odd moments in the story.
Still interested in the book? Let's talk about the flaws in the writing. The entire book is essentially a series of repeated scenes and lists. Crusoe isn't in just one shipwreck that leads to the story of his living on an island. This man is the opposite of a good luck charm--let him on your boat and it'll be a submarine before he finishes the voyage. The final journey before being trapped on the island leaves him as the only survivor, but the ship he was on miraculously survives with little damage, and he has years worth of supplies to get through. That's right, Defoe invented the novel and the deus ex machina. Want to know what's on the boat? Don't worry. He'll tell you in lists that last over a hundred pages, repeating his lists more than once. He'll ensure you know every detail of how difficult it is to survive on a island with every modern convenience--bread that last five years, crops that accidentally grow from the scraps in an old bag, gunpowder that doesn't run out for 29 years, and a saber he fails to mention until it becomes convenient. Yet, Crusoe will somehow achieve miraculous feats, and Defoe seems to think it best to gloss over how--digging through the base of a hill in less than a year without tools, chopping down a massive tree without an ax, planting a magical tree-fence that grows epically before an attack. Of course, Crusoe says it was God that gave it to him, so... whatever.
In short, the book isn't worth reading. Get the classics illustrated or listen to an audio if you absolute must. Candelight Stories does the whole thing unedited. It may be the only way to get through the repetitive lists with your sanity.