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Gulliver's Travels (Penguin Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]

Jonathan Swift , Robert DeMaria
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Aug 2001 0140437347 978-0140437348 New edition
Combining travel narrative and powerful satire, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS was an immediate success when it was published in 1726. As soon as Lemuel Gulliver is shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput, Swift's distortion of reality begins and man is seen as a diminished, magnified, abstracted, and finally bestial species. Whether expurgated and adapted for children, or read as a biting and incisive satire on humanity, the novel continues to appeal to readers on a variety of levels.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140437347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140437348
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,505,509 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 the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 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 33 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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7 of 7 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satire at its best. 9 Jun 2010
Jonathon Swift is considered to be one of the greatest Writers within the satire genre. His use of satire is particularly compelling, and he isn't afraid of mocking mankind, and in particular himself. In Gulliver's Travels Swift asks us to look at ourselves and to question our importance within the world. Swift uses the character of Lemuel Gulliver to highlight his own society's ineptitude. Gulliver travels around the seas visiting four completely different islands; the first island , Lilliput, is populated with tiny people, here Gulliver is treated as a superior being; conversely, on the second island, Brobdingnag, it is populated by giant people and Gulliver is treated by the inhabitants as inferior; understanding these people is crucial to defining what Swift is trying to say. On Brobdingnag Gulliver notices, due to their larger faces, how ugly these people are in comparison are towards the Lilliputians, but it is this which Swift uses to highlight his disdain towards humans. The third island Gulliver visits is an island known as, Laputa where the residents are similar to that of Gulliver, it is, however a dysfunctional society where the inhabitants lose all senses of reality in their fruitless quest in finding the answer to life's mysteries. The final island Gulliver visits backs up Swift's indictment towards human-governed societies, the island is controlled by horse like creatures known as, Houyhnms; the society is peaceful, happy, and unlike the islands of Liliput and Brobdingnag, is not governed by physical confrontations. However, there is an inferior race of people known as Yahoos, these people resemble that of humans and are trated with derision by the Houyhnms. Using these four islands, Swift is able to convey the major flaws in Human-run societies and more importantly, asks us as the reader to question our self-worth and position in the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Language problems
The story itself is very good and quite weird. I have never seen the films that were made and think they would be quite fun to watch. Read more
Published 6 days ago by L. Hurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 8 days ago by Country Music Fan
1.0 out of 5 stars not for me
I would not recommend this book to those of you that do not necessarily have an interest in classic novels
Published 10 days ago by customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great
it is what it says on the box. why do i have to wright an esay about every thing i do not no.
Published 12 days ago by stephen bray
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely
very interesting sharp and creative I like books like this I hope you publish more this books are what I really want
Published 15 days ago by belinda gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Gullivers travels
When I got my kindle I went all out for the free books.
Very quick download and an enjoyable read.
Don't see much of my kindle now.......daughter has put a claim on it!
Published 15 days ago by P. Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars Gulliver travels
Lovely book.would recommend this to school we are working on Mexico so it's good reading this book.
Really amazing.wanna get it of Amazon . Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kristian Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars what a nutter! used for lit assignment
good book, fast delivery, good price. what an absolute nutter mr. swift is ey? same as gulliver lol. used for a level literary studies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by carole orchard
1.0 out of 5 stars Nobody likes a Smart-Alec
Any wordsmith wizadry Jonathan Swift applies to this "classic" was totally and utterly lost (ironically, like Gulliver himself) because of my dislike for the title... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. J. Emblen
4.0 out of 5 stars good
again this is a story I only know of because of the movies. I read this book and loved it. to all people who own a kindle in any of it forms please do what I am doing by down... Read more
Published 2 months ago by david brown
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