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Robinson Crusoe (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260452
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

Thomas Keymer provides a splendid introduction and richly explanatory endnotes (co-written with James Kelly (Adam Potkay, Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

First published in 1719, 'Robinson Crusoe' is the story of an adventurous young man who ignores the sound and sensible advice of his father and sets off to see the world. However, Crusoe's ship founders in a storm, and he is the only survivor. Washed ashore on a desert island, he is faced with the challenge of providing food and shelter for himself, and is forced to invent afresh many things that he had previously taken for granted. Long years of hardship and struggle follow, but eventually Crusoe becomes contented with his lot, proud of the kingdom that he has created for himself. Then, one day, he discovers that he is not alone on the island.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cari Hislop on 20 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
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 ending...you might want to watch a movie version.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barty Literati on 25 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A REVIEW OF `ROBINSON CRUSOE' BY DANIEL DEFOE

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 By Adam Clarke on 19 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
I expected Robinson Crusoe to be mostly the long philosophical reflections of an isolated man and was very surprised by how much happens. There are pirates, cannibals, plantations and bears. Robinson spends only around half the book on his famous island and even then we read about his adventures at farming, hunting, pottery etc.

The book is not simply an adventure story however and Robinson's thoughts on life and the divine are dotted throughout. I found these musings to be succinct and interesting giving the book weight.

Perhaps the thing that surprised me most is how clear and readable the language is. I understand that it might be the first English novel but I found it to be more modern than many books written later.

I only read it a couple of months ago and I am eager to read it again already.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SAP VINE VOICE on 17 May 2005
Format: Paperback
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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