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Gulliver's Travels (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Jonathan Swift , Claude Rawson , Ian Higgins
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 Jun 2008 Oxford World's Classics
'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.' In these words Gulliver represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just set down; but how far can we rely on a narrator whose identity is elusive and whoses inventiveness is self-evident? Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and describes Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. A consummately skilful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift plays tricks on us, and delivers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition. This new edition includes the changing frontispiece portraits of Gulliver that appeared in successive early editions. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Gulliver's Travels (Oxford World's Classics) + Robinson Crusoe (Wordsworth Classics) + Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reprint edition (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536849
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


[Coralie Bickford-Smith's] recent work for Penguin Classics is...nothing short of glorious (Anna Cole Co.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

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

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relatively Great 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer
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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless In More Than One Way 5 Jun 2010
By Dave_42
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true classic 1 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Gulliver's Travels" is one of those books that is instantly recognisable by name. Unfortunately, of those relatively few people that have read it, many are only aware of the first section of the book (the visit to Lilliput), and even then they miss the bitingly accurate social commentary that is woven into the tale.

Swift was making some extremely harsh comments about the society in which he lived; and I would suggest that much of his satirical writing could be seen to be as accurate today as it was at the time of Queen Anne. Certainly I suspect that he would recognise a similar corruption in modern politics, the law, medicine and social behaviour that he knew and despised some 3 centuries ago.

The book is fairly easy to read; for best understanding, it would be worth doing so in short bursts and probably by re-reading sections. Some of the satire is easy to miss, such as the concept of the "low" and "high" heel parties, and the man who wears a pair of shoes that have one high and one low heel; he finds it difficult to walk the line between the two political views. In other cases, it is a belligerent statement of contempt, such as the behaviour of the "Yahoos" in the land of the "Houyhnhmm" (pronounced Winnim") and the comparison to human society.

The story could be read as a childrens tale of fantastical adventures and nothing more; but re-reading it later in life can reveal an amusing, albeit harsh reflection of human foibles.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic piece of English satire 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the more famous chapters about the hero being the prisoner and later the guest of miniature people, and then later being the pet and exhibit of giants. I also enjoyed the sections where he lands up at a country where horses are in charge and yahoos (uncivilized and savage humans) provide the power and transport.
However, I was conscious of not knowing enough about late Stuart politics and philosophy to understand a lot of the satire.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The notes of an insane asylum patient. So much ...
The notes of an insane asylum patient.
So much for my diary, JS covers a lot in a tractable way, well done.
Published 2 days ago by ijape
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Frank Reilly
4.0 out of 5 stars a clever take on humanity
A very clever insight into human nature which is maybe more evident today in most western 'democracies'. Read more
Published 7 days ago by SMc
3.0 out of 5 stars Begins well, soon loses charm
As an 18 year old reading this book for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it. I'm going off study English Literature and wanted to read some classics, including... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Chloe Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Gullivers Travel
If you have the time and day to read this it is a bit long winded. Its okay as a first book if you are doing any assignment. Not something that I would read again. Read more
Published 15 days ago by juliet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 15 days ago by Hans
4.0 out of 5 stars A scalpel through humanity
Gulliver's first journey, to Lilliput, is the most well known and colourful, but perhaps the least reflective. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jason Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
Though we all think we know Gullivers travels, mainly from the Lilliput highlight, the remainder of Defoe's (imaginary?) travels are absolutely fascinating. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Kev Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!!
Great packaging, fast delivery & a great price!! Really happy!!
Bought as part of our wedding decoration!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss S Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure book!!!
The plot is genious, entertaining and superbly written. If you are into adventure this book is for you. I would recommend it
Published 1 month ago by Mi
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