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Robinson Crusoe [Audio CD]

Defoe; Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: CD (1 Aug 2006)
  • ASIN: B000034DFM
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 12.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,742,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First, Lost, But Not Least! 25 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

Almost three centuries have passed since `Robinson Crusoe' was first published in 1719. In that time, the novel has arguably become a victim of its own success. So many times has the tale been told and re-told, that we all seem to assume that we know the story* and therefore neglect the original novel itself. In short, `Robinson Crusoe' has become immortalised by being condensed into a simplistic plot summary: "The book about the man who gets stranded on a desert island." This over-simplification has been intensified by the countless other `classic' novels which have been heavily influenced by `Robinson Crusoe'. These include, Johan Weiss's `Swiss Family Robinson' (1812), R. M. Ballantyne's `The Coral Island' (1857), Jules Verne's `The Mysterious Island' (1874), and R. L. Stevenson's `Treasure Island' (1883) to name but a few. In more recent years, the film `Castaway' and television's `LOST' have dealt with the book's central theme. Even the great Laurel & Hardy got in on the act in 1951 with their final film, `Atoll K', which was released under various titles including 'Robinson Crusoe Land'. In fact, so familiar have we become with the premise of `Robinson Crusoe', that we risk losing sight of what a truly great and relevant book it is.

* For the purposes of this review, I have deliberately avoided telling the story where possible.

In his 2011 BBC Television series devoted to seminal fictional characters, Sebastian Faulks chose to begin with none other than RC. Perhaps the greatest appeal of the character is his humility (The story is narrated in the first-person and Crusoe's tone throughout is highly self-critical.) and resourcefulness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story between pages 60 and 200 20 Feb 2012
I read what I thought was Robinson Crusoe as a child (and loved it) but that first version left out half the story (which turns out wasn't a bad thing). The story isn't really about a man being marooned on an island (though of course he is marooned for decades). It's really about one man's internal journey and how his view of life and himself change because he's forced by his solitary state to think about his past actions and the consequences of them. To me the interesting story starts about page 60 and ends soon after 200 while he's still alone on the island, before Friday the rather annoying saved cannibal-servant appears on the scene or the fantastical rescue.

After reading about the real man who inspired the story, Alexander Selkirk, I can't help wishing that Defoe had interviewed the man and then wrote the man's real story. It would have been equally bizarre, but more believable (particularly the real man's inability to settle back into Society - he lived in a cave for a while, married twice, but could only bear the married state for a very short time before running off...eventually back to sea where he died probably hoping to return to the island where he was happy with his goats and cats).

If you enjoy the history of words or getting into the head of an early 18th century man this can be an interesting book. If you like a story that flows smoothly and makes sense and has a sensible might want to watch a movie version.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read 17 May 2005
What a wonderfully entertaining story. And so refreshingly politically incorrect. We all know the gist of the story - some poor fellow marooned on an uninhabited island - but until just now I'd never read the original work. I didn't know how Crusoe came to be there or how he was eventually "delivered" and what became of him. I loved it.

Admittedly there were tiresome interludes - so many of them - when Crusoe turns to God, prays to God, questions God, loses faith, regains faith and preaches to the reader, but even these were quite profound in a self-help manual kind of way. Then there was Crusoe's post-Friday obnoxious, imperious behaviour. I almost laughed out loud when the first words Crusoe taught Friday were to call him "Master". Having said this he does learn to love Friday, albeit as a man loves his dog. He always called him a "savage" too. Also his famous slave-trading, kitten-drowning and bear-baiting escapades hardly endear him to the reader. What a guy! But I shouldn't really judge him (and he's fictional, though based on a Mr Selkirk) by today's standards.

A few points of interest I noted: I thought it very strange how lenient Crusoe was to the mutineers who landed on his shore with their prisoner, their deposed captain, whose name, incidentally, we never learn. He not only taught them all he had learnt as regards how to survive, but gave them supplies from the captain's ship and promised to send a ship to relieve them later! This he later did, bringing more slaves (presumably) and supplies. He also left them all his money. He also left the Spaniards on the mainland in the lurch and to the mercy of the now gun-toting mutineers. Why didn't he wait a while? Oh, and he hardly mentions God again as soon as he's safely away from the island.
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I was really pleasently surprised with this book. I didn't know much more about it than man lands on island and has to survive... The book is broken up into four sections (though unfortunately not through the use of chapters, which would have been nice): Pre-island, Island pre-Friday, Island post-Friday and then after Island. The first three sections are amazing, especially the second part. I thought his attitude of 'I need something, I'm going to learn how to do it and then perfect it' was really inspirational and was a fascinating read.

The mood changes when he discovers a foot print on the otherside of the Island and his paranoia builds and builds - there's a real sense that the relatively free-living he had enjoyed before is over. The third section in which he saves Friday and then defeats the Savages is pretty exciting stuff and despite his initial attitude towards Friday it is enjoyable that the savage (as Crusoe continually calls him) is so much more open minded and willing to learn new things rather than fear them.

Once Crusoe does eventually get off the Island the book loses much of what made it exciting and so the end feels a bit dull by comparison, though it's nice to see he visits the Island again. I'm not sure whether I missed something but I felt a bit let down not to get an update on the whereabouts or some obvious mention of what happened to Friday after they made it back to England.

I enjoyed it mostly for the adventure and inventiveness of the character but it got a bit frustrating at times as was fairly repetative in places and there were certain sections which felt a bit like being hit in the face with a massive bible. Crusoe's character isn't really the most likeable of fellows (especially by today's standards) but I quite like that in the books I read.

Oh and look at the price! Best thing I can remember buying for under £2.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 27 days ago by miss tk pike
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
Good edition for a good price. Robinson Crusoe is a book I read when I was younger and a non-Christian, but now that I'm a Christian, I found his contemplations about the meaning... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. K. E. Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is a present for my grand son, I hope he enjoys it
Published 2 months ago by Sue Millbourn
4.0 out of 5 stars One man who is not alone!
I first heard about Robinson Crusoe through elementary economics textbooks - it was used as a byword for an economic model of autarchy. That was many many years ago. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Penguin
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Fantastic read and not too heavy. It's easy to get lost within the book I read it in a day couldn't put it down.
Published 6 months ago by Gemma-marie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book is good for persons studying at university or further education as there are helpful notes in the back of the book.
Would recommend to a friend
Published 6 months ago by S Noak
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't like this book
This book is too long and the words are all way to complicated. I didn't enjoy this book at all.
Published 6 months ago by Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars an adventure, but also a spiritual journey
I have been meaning to read this book for years, fascinated as I have been with the various film versions. Read more
Published 7 months ago by rob crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure.
My eight yr old granddaughter just read "Gullivers Travels" and I know that she will love this book too! Great!
Published 9 months ago by A. A. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe
I love that a book that's 300 yrs old can still be a great read. It's tough going sometimes because of the old writing style but well worth it! Read more
Published 10 months ago by benjamin james christmas
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