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Gullivers travels into several remote nations of the world (Collection of British authors) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1844

4.2 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jan 1844
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Bernh. Tauchnitz Jun (1844)
  • ASIN: B0000EAESN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)

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Review

"Irresistible for children learning to read" - Child Education Plus; "The Usborne Young Reading Program has a lovely selection of classic tales adapted for younger readers. Graded in seven levels, these have just enough stretch in them and yet are not too overwhelming." - The Irish Sunday Independent; "Crack reading and make confident and enthusiastic readers with this fantastic reading programme" - Julia Eccleshare --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'Among the six indispensable books in world literature' George Orwell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By A Customer on 24 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By SBno1 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been aware of the name of this book, but had no real idea as to what the content was about. So, I set about to broaden my horizons, and I am glad that I did. Compared to other classics, the language is a lot easier to read, which is surprising given the age of the book.

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.
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Format: Paperback
It's a good read and probably every bit the masterpiece its reputation claims. The problem with satire, however, is that it doesn't stand alone. Parody, on the other hand, ought to make sense in itself, but obviously more sense if the object of the parody is understood and familiar. Satire only seems to make sense if you know the original.

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.
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