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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 August 2016
As a literary pioneer Daniel Defoe was one of those people who actually helped to create a form of writing, the novel to grow and become more popular in this country, and so with him and those early others we do owe him a debt of gratitude. Of course this was not the only thing that Defoe helped to create and contribute to but the fact that he was so very influential in the novel form means that he also helped to start the process of what we expect a modern novel to look like and read like.

I personally always enjoy reading this particular novel, although I would never get on a boat if the name Robinson Crusoe was to appear on the passenger or crew lists. If you wonder why because you have not read this before, then I think in the first few chapters you will get some idea, because although the most famous part of the story is his adventures as a castaway, he also before then gets taken as a slave and has ships that he sails on floundering into trouble.

On first publication this was certainly well received, and it is quite realistic. Written in the first person we read of how Crusoe grew up and wanted a bit of adventure, and even later in the story when we can see that he can clearly settle and take up life running his plantation he does not do so, still craving other experiences.

Although nowadays most people think there is only one influence on this book being written, that of the tale of Alexander Selkirk, if you actually look at the period you will find that there were many tales of very real castaways, along with other sources that were just as likely to be major influences on this tale. Although we read of the trials and tribulations of living what is at the start a very isolated existence there is also a strong undercurrent that runs through this that takes in both religious and philosophical elements. After all as Crusoe points out himself, he has money with him on the island, but of what use is it, as there is no one to buy things from? Such things are raised, which gives this a much greater depth than probably most people realise.

Some have seen in this story the attitude of the Colonists that left these shores to live in for instance America, but on a larger scale than that you can also see how us living in the Western World changed from hunting, to add agriculture and then settling and having to organise more complex matters, after all Crusoe has to divide his time in the right way, with the correct amount of time exerted on different issues, such as growing food as well as hunting for it, and building and maintaining shelter and other such items.

In all this is a well written book that has definitely stood the test of time, and at the basic level we have not altered from when this was first written, thus this still calls to us all, giving us a powerful and thoughtful read.
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on 14 May 2017
Its of course a classic and an amazing read,timeless....for me...
Bought for my kid,just starting high school and ....they cant relate to it in any way,which i expected,and worse they cant understand it.
It seems that the language is too complicated,not David Walliams i guess...
I remember reading this book when in primary myself,as back in the 70ies this was children's classic literature.
These days however its a different story it seems.
Language has been seriously simplified....
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on 5 August 2017
Not quite sure what's going on here. As another reviewer says, above, the text just cuts off halfway through the story. It's clearly a very cheap re-print with no page numbering and a strange front cover depicting a boat with an outboard motor! Please buy this wonderful story reproduced by a publishing house you recognise. I just wanted to re-read something I had read years ago and didn't want to buy a more expensive version, but I did at least expect Amazon to have reprinted the whole story! Oh well...
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on 8 April 2017
I hated this book with a passion. This was my very first set book in English Lit. in secondary school in the '50s ( aged 11 ) and the very first homework was to read the first 100 pages for a test the following week. Having been brought up on a diet of Enid Blyton, Malcolm Saville, Arthur Ransome, Frank Richards, and some RLS etc, I struggled with the archaic style, long sentences, and so on, and failed miserably. I vowed never to touch the book again.

Fast forward sixty years and I thought I should give it another try. I now find it very readable, interesting and even enjoyable. So never say never! The version I bought is from the hard cover, Collectors' Library edition. These books are a handy pocket size and smart looking with gilt edged pages, a page saver ribbon, and a durable spine. On the down side, the print is necessarily small and some may have difficulty with this size font. Maybe a touch expensive at £8.99, when you can get a paperback copy for £2.00 or less, but okay if you intend to keep it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 November 2012
I first read this many decades ago after watching the excellent BBC serial on children's television that I think was a French production. Coming back to it all these years later I'm struck, once again, by how, although appearing slightly `overblown' for some modern tastes, engaging the writing is and how the story of this young man's gruelling coming of age still resonates down the centuries. Thus, one understands why the book quickly attained classic status and remained a favourite for more than 300 years.

According to Colin Wilson (in A Criminal History of Mankind) Defoe based the story on the adventures of a Scottish pirate named Alexander Selkirk who, following a quarrel with his pirate captain, asked to be marooned on what was then, one of the uninhabited islands of the Juan Fernandez group about 600 km off the coast of Chile in the South Pacific. After five years Selkirk return to England and became an overnight `celebrity' and Defoe (who began life, in 1660, as Daniel Foe) went to see him in Bristol in 1713 and probably paid for his written reminiscences. The interesting point to note is that Defoe was an agent provocateur and spy, a kind of forerunner to those more recently employed by MI5, and built up a network of spies as well as spending time `inside' and in the pillory!

Why it's interesting, at least to this reader, is that this seems to indicate a certain type of person; i.e. not particularly pious, unlike his fictional creation Robinson Crusoe, who, during his long solitary sojourn on his fictional island, develops, possibly, quite understandably under the circumstances, a distinct religious sensibility and frequently and at length thanks God for providing for him so bounteously. Crusoe reflects on this many times during the book and this is just one example of a degree of repetition that a good editor would surely have remedied.

Nevertheless, this book is a classic for a good reason and provides hours of enjoyment for the patient reader in addition to a great deal of food for thought!
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on 20 September 2017
It's easy to forget quite how boring the unabridged Robinson Crusoe really is.

Imagine audio documenting all the happenstance of your average day - swept carpet, washed dishes, went to toilet, etc, etc.

And repeating that for chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter ....

Occasionally adding in a reading from a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet that had come through the door.

That would be equivalent to much of what this offering comprises.

And Tom Casaletto may well be an estimable voice actor in his own milieu, but as a purveyor of an "English" accent and style of reading he is toe-curling.
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on 14 December 2016
As a child I remember being left spellbound following a 1970's tv series depicting the life and times of Robinson Crusoe. After many years I picked up the book and read it and was immediately transported back in time (the book was much better!). The book really is a gem and although I thought it was going to be a tough read, it really wasn't. The book deals with a man who although did not have much luck as a sailor (he had two mishaps, the latter landed him on the island - perhaps he really should have listened to his father!) did have an eventful life as a businessman in Brazil, he was a former slave and later a slave owner and lastly a castaway. The book, although fiction, closely follows the true story of Alexander Selkirk who, like Robinson Crusoe, also found himself marooned on a desert island. All in all a great British classic that has stood the test of time and a must for any serious reader of fiction.
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on 25 September 2017
I couldn't read this. The style of writing with sentences a paragraph long (no doubt perfectly acceptable at the time it was written) just defeated me. I wanted to read for pleasure, this would have been a chore.
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on 7 April 2017
I'm absolutely fuming, I wish I could give this zero stars. Printed with no page numbers, what kind of crap is that??? Never in my life have I seen a book with no page numbers. And it cuts off randomly, meaning clearly the last few pages haven't been printed. They're just missing!? DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. I've attached a photo of the last page, clearly cuts off prematurely.
review image
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on 20 October 2017
Arrived quickly. Sadly, this paperback was larger than anticipated, making it unwieldy to read in bed or whilst lying on a sofa! Otherwise, a good, comforting tale known from boyhood.
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