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It is the first time I have read the full version of all his travels. I am still amazed that in the mid 17th century such a talented aurthor should be able to put into words so much material that is still relevant today. His imagination captures the reader from many aspects. In the later travels the variety of societies he encounters and the discussions put forward really just go to show that much is the same today..
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on 21 August 2013
Written almost like travel diary entries ,the style is quite functional and basic.
This fortunately helps serve the narrative of a seafaring doctor chronicling his strange adventures on unexplored islands.
There are usually no grandiose diatribes or useless flowery descriptions that distract from the catalogue of events and conversations detailed within the book.It certainly helps with suspension of disbelief later on with some of the more fanciful places the narrator ends up.
The attraction of the stories is of course that the places and situations serve as a metaphor for the human race.
It dark and warlike nature,its selfishness,vanity and general inhumanity to his fellow man.The Lilliputians warring over eggs?? ,the savage and brutal yahoos embodying every single undesirable trait of human kind etc.

I cannot recommend this book enough

It is a joyously cynical experience
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on 17 June 2014
Though we all think we know Gullivers travels, mainly from the Lilliput highlight, the remainder of Defoe's (imaginary?) travels are absolutely fascinating. Social commentary at it's best, irrespective of the age of the viewpoint. There are so many parallels with our world now, we should be ashamed of ourselves for our pomposity. This should be required reading for all children, teenagers & (especially) the movers & shakers in the political world.
Politicians should have to answer questions on the FULL book before they are allowed to enter their murky dens
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on 3 August 2016
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 greatest novels of the world' , this has been the least enjoyable so far. The third of the four sections is a chore, in particular.
Still a captivating idea and brilliant imagery, which is why it gets filmed/ stuck in children's version so often, but dull at times, I fear.
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on 16 May 2016
I found Gulliver's Travels very Imaginative. A book I had long ago wanted to
Jonathan Swift has a fine imagination and the impression I came away with
was that of people and tolerance. His character's are fun, witty but at times cruel.
I think Swift was hoping to make an impact in the way of showing how prejudice,
judgement and intolerance of people can have a deep effect on society.
An enjoyable read.


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on 15 December 2010
The work itself fully deserves five stars. Swift combines a jaunty and engrossing fantasy novel with biting satire and parody. Sure, some things may at first go over the modern reader's head (the 1660 Act of Indemnity anyone...?) but much of the book's description of human nature remains unsettlingly relevant. Whether approached as a storybook or as a piece of socio-political commentary, this is a rewarding read. Unfortunately, if you intend to delve into this latter aspect of the book this (Wordsworth Classics) edition lets it down. The notes, while adequate, are at the back, requiring you to constantly flick distractedly between pages. I was also disappointed by the introduction, which gives only a very brief account of the political context, no account of the book's aftermath, and introduces a plethora of sophisticated readings while giving them only the most superficial explanation.

Buy the book, just not this edition!
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on 5 September 2013
Recently, I've been tempted by the chaep (free?) and easy access to classic books on Kindle to re-read a number of those I read/studied at school and university. Gulliver's Travels is the one that's really stood out as better than I remembered from childhood (prose too difficult) and university (so much cross-checking of historical and political references). This time I've read purely for pleasure and it's been a real treat. The only thing that's sad is how little human behaviour, especially in politics and religion, has changed in 300 years - the satire is just as pertinent today as it was in Swift's time.
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on 16 July 2014
I'm not really sure why this is often thought to be a children's book, I think it would have confused and (in parts) terrified me as a child. It was funny (a mix of satire and crude jokes), debate-provoking, and in an interesting style of mock travel guide. The narrator irritated me but there was enough other positives to make up for this.

I read it as part of a university class looking a literature dealing with Utopian ideas and while I don't really know what I expected when I started reading it, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
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on 30 June 2016
A book I should have read years agao, but am glad that all I knew about it was his adventures in Lilliput and Brobdingnag.

A curious two other voyages are covered in the book which evolves into a rather caustic satire on life in Swift's England.

Interesting, but for me a little dated and, towards the end, decidedly odd.
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on 22 May 2015
I had never read 'Gulliver's travels' before and felt the time had come to do so. I am sure that at the time it was the great Political satire it was meant to be but times change and I'm afraid I feel and know I missed a lot of nuances and points. I am finding that more and more of the Classic books written within the last two centuries are practically unreadable for me as the social ethos has changed so much that the meanings and actions in them are beyond my understanding.
Sorry Mr. Swift!
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