Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings School & Library Binding – 1 Jan 1960
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|School & Library Binding, 1 Jan 1960||
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"Swift's world-famous satire was an instant bestseller...his vision is dark, often verging on the obscene" (Robert McCrum Guardian)
"It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery" (John Gay (author of The Beggar's Opera))
"It has entered the iconography of western culture as perhaps no other single novel, giving words to the English language and inspiring remarkably diverse acts of homage... A political comedy, an existentialist meditation, a bleak thriller about an outsider caught between worlds...at the heart of Swift's masterwork is an ennobling sadness, a lament for a world gone mad" (Joseph O'Connor Guardian)
"Among the six indispensable books in world literature" (George Orwell)
"Everyone standing for political office . . . should have a compulsory examination in Gulliver's Travels" (Michael Foot) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'Among the six indispensable books in world literature' George Orwell --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Broken down into 4 parts, most people would be familiar with Liliput in part 1. I was under the misconception that the book was about that and nothing else. The following 3 parts I had no idea existed. Part 2 sees Gulliver as the small person as opposed to the giant in Part 1. Part 3 involves a flying island and Part 4 the Houyhnhnms, that I still struggle to pronounce.
There is a lot of satire to this book, which was often lost on me, but as a book it is a good read and as it is free, you have nothing to lose.
The section in Lilliput describing the bloke with different sized heels on his shoes, for instance, is very funny, but only when the footnote has provided the context. He is described as having to negotiate a political line between the faction that likes high heels and the other that likes low ones. He makes awkward progress with both groups, since he can barely walk or stand up straight in a pair of shoes made up so he can have a foot in each camp. The reference is beautiful. It refers to High Church and Low Church in the Anglican tradition, and therefore to Whig and Tory, the opposing political parties of the time. To stay sweet with both, certain royals kept a foot in both camps, making their progress as ridiculous as the rough-shod Lilliputian.
In the books three sections, Gulliver is too big, then too small, then everyone is a horse except for the noxious Yahoos, of course. It was still a lot of fun and, probably, hard witting. The trouble, again, was knowing the targets. If today's Yahoos are considered... perhaps Swift might have googled his yahoos if he had been writing today.
One last observation is about well-known classics in general. The most famous scene from Gulliver's Travels, at least the one most depicted, is of Gulliver strapped to the ground by Lilliputian string and twine, while the little blighters run all over him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be very, very clear, this is not a review of the novel but a review of the paperback Amazon printing of it - the green cover one with the title in a black circle and a dove at... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Jason Eckersley
I guess you need to cut this some slack as anything that's 300 years old and still getting read has got to have something going for it, but in my journey through reading the '100... Read morePublished 24 days ago by R. S. Stanier
A book I should have read years agao, but am glad that all I knew about it was his adventures in Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jules
I liked lilliput but haven't managed to immerse myself in the rest yet. But I will then the headline will undoubtedly change. Well written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by teresa
Best book ever, I have read it when I was a child now my daughter will be readingPublished 2 months ago by Fausta
Print and presentation easy to read, plus illustrations a delight. A fascinating classic which I never read in my youth. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Maureen Al-Kishtaini