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Gulliver's Travels (Clothbound Classics) Hardcover – 25 Nov 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141196645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141196640
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 3 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

[Coralie Bickford-Smith's] recent work for Penguin Classics is...nothing short of glorious (Anna Cole Co.)

Book Description

'Among the six indispensable books in world literature' George Orwell --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is not a children's book. Swift ensured that Gulliver's account is an easily readable piece of literature, but this is certainly not a book to be read on the surface. The depth of ideas and satire is unmatched by any other author. The first two chapters concentrate on the problems of our political systems and ridicule our customs. Gulliver is cleverly interposed in two worlds of opposites - in one he is a giant, in the next he is a dwarf. Swift uses this fact to show how everything is only relative to what you compare against. The final two chapters take a deep, long swipe at the failings of humanity - going right to the very bones. Again Swift uses the device of comparison and relatity to satirise his targets - the main one being humankind's lack of reason. DO NOT think that you have read this book if you have only watched it on TV, it is so much more than that. Read it if only to hear of the experiment to harvest sunbeams from cucumbers.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Its actual title is "Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World" as if by Lemuel Gulliver, but most people know it as "Gulliver's Travels" and the actual author is Jonathan Swift. The book works on numerous levels, it could be viewed as an adventure story for children, an early example of fantasy/science fiction, a general satire of humanity, or a more specific satire of events, society, and politics in which Swift lived. The latter was undoubtedly the way it was taken when first publish ed in 1726 and amended in 1735, but that is the most difficult way for the reader to view the book today. The Penguin Classics edition of "Gulliver's Travels" is of great assistance in helping the reader appreciate that aspect of the book, with a fine introduction by Robert Demaria, Jr., and detailed notes throughout the text to help explain many of the references.

Part I, "A Voyage to Lilliput" is the best known part of the book. This section has often been used in isolation of the other three parts of the book. This is the story where Gulliver is shipwrecked and washed up on a distant shore, only to find himself a captive of the Lilliputians, who are 1/12th the size of Gulliver. Swift is very detailed in discussing the minutia of Gulliver's experience, from how much he has to eat, to how he relieves himself. Swift satirizes the court of King George I, and of course travel books where the authors stretch the truth. Gulliver starts as a captive, becomes a loyal subject, but then is forced by his own morals to refuse the requests of the King of Lilliput which allows his enemies to work against him. As a result, Gulliver is forced to flee and as fortune would have it he makes it back to home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martha Selwood on 2 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
Everyone should read Gullivers Travels. Bought for my daughter to read. If your only experience of Gullivers Travels is the popular image of his visit to Lilliput ....or even worse the Jack Black film (aaaargh!!) ....then you must read this intelligent and thoroughly entertaining book. Cannot recommend enough. You will not be disappointed! And if you thought a yahoo was a search engine you should definitely get reading!!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
Gulliver's Travels is widely regarded as a children's book, when in fact it is a comic and yet strongly political view of English society from many different perspectives. The ludicrous places that Gulliver visits are all based on England, but with just one of 'our' features completely overemphasised, ie our love of science and reason, in order to parody it and to highlight faults in society. I love Gulliver's travels, because it is one of the few so-called 'classics' that are accessible to the modern reader; the fact that children can read it shows how clear Swift's writing is. In fact, it's like a reverse Harry Potter - the grown-up's book that kids love too!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Philip Spires on 23 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
It's a good read and probably every bit the masterpiece its reputation claims. The problem with satire, however, is that it doesn't stand alone. Parody, on the other hand, ought to make sense in itself, but obviously more sense if the object of the parody is understood and familiar. Satire only seems to make sense if you know the original.

The section in Lilliput describing the bloke with different sized heels on his shoes, for instance, is very funny, but only when the footnote has provided the context. He is described as having to negotiate a political line between the faction that likes high heels and the other that likes low ones. He makes awkward progress with both groups, since he can barely walk or stand up straight in a pair of shoes made up so he can have a foot in each camp. The reference is beautiful. It refers to High Church and Low Church in the Anglican tradition, and therefore to Whig and Tory, the opposing political parties of the time. To stay sweet with both, certain royals kept a foot in both camps, making their progress as ridiculous as the rough-shod Lilliputian.

In the books three sections, Gulliver is too big, then too small, then everyone is a horse except for the noxious Yahoos, of course. It was still a lot of fun and, probably, hard witting. The trouble, again, was knowing the targets. If today's Yahoos are considered... perhaps Swift might have googled his yahoos if he had been writing today.

One last observation is about well-known classics in general. The most famous scene from Gulliver's Travels, at least the one most depicted, is of Gulliver strapped to the ground by Lilliputian string and twine, while the little blighters run all over him.
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