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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROBINSON CRUSOE CLOTHBOUND CLASSICS
Never read this before, so being included in the Clothbound Classics series bought it. And what an amazing book it is as well! If you can get over the confused punctuation, strange spelling and no chapters, give it a go. To me, all that only added to the charm and uniqueness of this fascinating book; as well as the structure and use of language from the early...
Published 19 months ago by dan

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic tale of one man's survival
Robinson Crusoe: the timelessly romanticised story that exists in our minds of the man marooned on the desert island, and the inventiveness and ingenuity with which he manages to exist there for "eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days".

Story wise: When Crusoe is newly marooned and salvages all manner of goods from the shipwrecked vessel, and the...
Published on 2 Sept. 2010 by LittleMoon


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROBINSON CRUSOE CLOTHBOUND CLASSICS, 12 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Clothbound Classics) (Hardcover)
Never read this before, so being included in the Clothbound Classics series bought it. And what an amazing book it is as well! If you can get over the confused punctuation, strange spelling and no chapters, give it a go. To me, all that only added to the charm and uniqueness of this fascinating book; as well as the structure and use of language from the early eighteenth century. The author biography and analysis of the novel was also very informative: what an interesting life he led!

These Clothbound Classic novels are a real book lovers treat. The design on the cover of this one is particularly striking and apt. Another worthwhile inclusion in the series, are facsimiles of the title page of the first editions. My only gripe, and a minor one, is the foil stamped in to the design has a tendency to wear off where you hold it, spoiling the look. All things being equal though, they are a wholly welcome addition to the Penguin Pantheon.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival by Thinking and Doing, 26 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Robinson Crusoe is best taken at two levels, the literal adventure story of survival on an isolated island and as a metaphor for finding one's way through life. I recommend that everyone read the book who is willing to look at both of those levels. If you only want the adventure story, you may not be totally satisfied. The language, circumstances, and attitudes may put you off so that you would prefer to be reading a Western or Space-based adventure story with a more modern perspective.
Few books require anyone to rethink the availability and nature of the fundamentals of life: Water, food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. Then having become solitary in our own minds as a reader, Defoe adds the extraordinary complication of providing a companion who is totally different from Crusoe. This provides the important opportunity to see Crusoe's civilized limitations compared to Friday's more natural ones. The comparisons will make for thought-provoking reading for those who are able to overcome the stalled thinking that the educated, civilized route is always the best.
One of the things that I specially liked about the book is the Crusoe is an ordinary person in many ways, making lots of mistakes, and having lots of setbacks. Put a modern Superhero (from either the comic books, adventure or spy novels, or the movies) into this situation, and it would all be solved in a few minutes with devices from the heel of one's shoe. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I liked the trial-and-error explorations. They seemed just like everyday life, and made the book's many lessons come home to me in a more fundamental way.
Have a good solitary trip through this book!
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect an all out adventure!, 9 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
Robinson crusoe must be one of the most instantly recogniseable and well known characters ever portrayed in fiction. The basics of the story - Crusoes desertion on a desert island, battle for survival and eventual triumph over adversity, appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds. Yet the archaic writing style can detract from the classic adventure story, as can the lack of real action. Instead the book comes across as a story of human resiliance and spirit, the fact that it is apparently based on the real life experiences of a stranded sailor make the story all the more remarkable. Thought to be the first "novel" ever published it is understandable that the writing does not flow in the same way as contemporary fiction, but the overall sophistication of Defoe's ideas is pleasantly surprising in the context that he HAD no contemporaries to influence him or compare to.
It is the romance of the story line that holds him in our collective consciousness and draws new readers to this book in their droves, but to read it as an adventure story of the "Treasure Island" mould is to miss the point, and will inevitably dissappoint. However, read it as a commentary on humanity and it is immensely valuable and enjoyable.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your eyes., 14 Oct. 2006
By 
P. J. Muldoon (U.K) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Just a quickie. Some of the above reviews remind us of how slow and boring this book can be and how repetitive. Well, guys, that's the point. How exciting do you suppose being stranded alone on an Island can be? What would you do to pass the time? Defoe takes us back to a time before T.V etc. Your day would be boring, although eventually menial tasks save ones sanity. Time does pass slowly as it looses relavance. It's not a classic for nothing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars smart looking book, 3 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Robinson Crusoe (Clothbound Classics) (Hardcover)
An all time classic in a quality modern binding. A tactile cover with interesting art work, perfect for a collector and bibliophile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe (Penguin Popular Classics) Daniel Defoe, 25 Nov. 2013
By 
Chris Brown "C J M Brown" (Mount Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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I last read this about 50 years ago and saw an adaptation of it on TV a couple years ago and felt I would like to read the novel again and I think I enjoyed it even more than when I read it all that time ago.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic tale of one man's survival, 2 Sept. 2010
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Robinson Crusoe: the timelessly romanticised story that exists in our minds of the man marooned on the desert island, and the inventiveness and ingenuity with which he manages to exist there for "eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days".

Story wise: When Crusoe is newly marooned and salvages all manner of goods from the shipwrecked vessel, and the first years when the narrative is concerned with how he provides himself with food and shelter and a semblance of normal life, are for me the most interesting parts of the novel. The appearance of the cannibals and Friday add excitement, just as the story might otherwise be expected to flag. Finally, a quelled mutiny maintains the pace almost to the end. I admit to a great impatience at the opening chapters that detail Crusoe's early adventures at sea, and the final chapters that tie up the loose ends.

Literature wise: First published in 1719 when Defoe was 60 years old, Robinson Crusoe is considered to be one of the first novels written in the English language, which makes it worth reading for any devotee of literature. The novel also finds Crusoe wrestling with religion, cultural relativism, colonialism etc.

Problem wise: The novel is dry, devoid of much in the way of emotion, particularly from Crusoe. Contemporary readers will cringe at the title of the chapter - "I call him Friday" - and much of the interaction between "master" and "slave"; post colonialist theorists have a field-day with the novel in this respect. James Joyce sums up much of the novel itself in his description of Robinson Crusoe, the man, as embodying the "British colonist", and exhibiting: "... manly independence, ... unconscious cruelty, ... persistence, ... slow yet efficient intelligence, ... sexual apathy, ... calculating taciturnity".

The Penguin Popular Classics edition lacks an introduction, and notes, which makes it OK as a cheap read, but not particularly helpful, though it does contain a little biography of the author.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An island paradise, 19 Aug. 2008
By 
Melmoth (London, England) - See all my reviews
We all know about Robinson Crusoe, or at least we think we do. We know about the shipwreck and the years alone on the island and the footprint in the sand and "Man Friday".

Reading the book for the first time, after years of receiving it via the TV and the cinema, in heavily abridged or heavily revised versions, I was amazed to discover how much more there is to find.

The first joy is Defoe's prose, written with all the urgency and precision of a lifelong pamphleteer. Defoe never leaves any doubt as to what his character is trying to say or why he is trying to say it.
The second joy is the pacing. In the brief sections before and after his time on the island, Crusoe undergoes multiple shipwrecks, capture by pirates, escape from slavery, the life of a Brazilian plantation owner, the putting down of a mutiny and even an attack by wolves. Any one of these events could serve quite happily as the climax of another story. As it is, the only time the pace slows is during Crusoe's sojourn on the island and that is only appropriate to his condition.

The greatest joy of the book, though, is Crusoe himself. This is a very real character with very real failings. He is frequently arrogant, unthinking or even plain stupid but wins us over with the good grace with which he admits his faults. One minute he is praising the quality of his newly baked pots, the next laughing at himself for spending months on building a canoe too large and too far from shore for him ever to be able to drag it to the sea. All the while he struggles to give some meaning to his isolation, a meaning he chooses to find in his own vision of God (a God that, by remarkable coincidence, exactly mirrors Defoe's own, nonconformist vision of his Almighty). It's not an endeavour of which Richard Dawkins - or indeed I - would necessarily approve but it's certainly one appropriate to Crusoe's time and personality.

Robinson Crusoe has been analysed as a prototypical text of British imperialism, a moral text, a religious text and even a Marxist text. It has drawn the attention of Rousseau, Wilkie Collins, Coetzee and Joyce among thousands of others. Having read it, one suddenly sees why. The only thing it lacks is the wonderful theme music from the 1960s TV series.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Traditional and factual. Hard to complete comapared to modern novels, 23 Jun. 2007
By 
Robinson Crusoe is claimed to be one of the first novel's written in English (1719) and is a fictional autobiography of a man who is from a very average family in England at that time. The story moves from the main characters moving out of his family home and travelling the seas to his eventual shipwreck off the American coast.

I read this book over an extended period of time due to exams in School but also because they book is very laborious with a completely different style of writing to contemporary writers. At times it is written very factually that reminded me of a non-fiction book such as the treatment of certain animals and how to tame them.

For looking into how literature started and an abstract insight into general life in these times, the first part of the book, the story can be of relevance and provide enough stimulation to finish. Also as many reviewers have mentioned before the novel is also allegorical with the classic shipwrecked story on one level and the deep insight into humanity and how humans behave on the other. Despite some believing that this second level of thought provides more entertainment to the story and makes the book worth reading I personally did not find that stimulating.

However despite its downfalls I still believe Robinson Crusoe to be worth reading for its literature value (as in what the book did for literature, moving it along etc), but it also captures the practical issues with being stuck on a desert island very well. If looking for a page-turner I wouldn't advise this book but the storyline is still appealing.

Other links: Defoe went on to write a lesser known sequel: The further adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Film: Castaway
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded but interesting from a humanitarian viewpoint, 23 Nov. 2000
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I found this book really dragged. Crusoe never really has any exciting adventures until way into the book. For the first two or three hundred pages it's mostly an account of goat husbandry and the difficulties of making ink and paper etc. It hots up when he rescues Man Friday from some cannibals and their relationship is interesting and compelling. Crusoe is forced to be open minded because he has noone else around except his parrot. He is able to understand the dignity of the "savage" and look upon him eventually as an equal in some ways although still a servant. I liked the fact that it questions our relationship with those we feel are beneath us in whatever way.
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Robinson Crusoe (Clothbound Classics)
Robinson Crusoe (Clothbound Classics) by Daniel Defoe (Hardcover - 28 Nov. 2013)
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