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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh…
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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (original 1922; edition 1988)

by Hugh Lofting

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1,660276,283 (3.88)52
Member:peacegoodwill
Title:The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Authors:Hugh Lofting
Info:Yearling (1988), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (1922)

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The story is told from the perspective of little Tommy Stubbins the doctors new assistant and apprentice. Tommy accompanies the marvelous naturalist Dr. Doolittle on one of his voyages. The voyage is full of danger, animals, twists, and humorous escapades as the travel to Spider Monkey near South America in search of Long Arrow. They rescue Long Arrow and the Doctor creates peace on the Island. The people of the Island love the doctor so much so they make him king (against his will). After quite sometime the doctor and his companions escape under the shell of a giant snail all the way back to England.
  Jahnavee | Jun 11, 2018 |
Elementary
  SteppLibrary | Aug 23, 2017 |
Okay, so here's the thing. This book was written back in the day when it was perfectly acceptable to think that native peoples were slow and incapable and that the white man was the savior of the world and would come take care of everything because everyone else was incapable of anything. If you can't pick up a book written in the 20's, for people living in the 20's, and accept the fact that that was the way many thought at the time, then this book is not one you should have. Put it down and move along. There is an edited version of this story that changes things slightly, but I didn't see evidence of that in this copy, so I expect that it was the unedited version.

The point is, this is a classic adventure story. It isn't a modern one. If you are wanting a book deserving of the Newbery Medal, then you should pick this book up, recognize it for the work of history that it is, and just enjoy it in that context. The words are bigger than you are used to for children these days, but that is not unfitting. The story is rather simple, but it is still enjoyable in a fantastic sort of way. As a reader, I would make certain my child read this book for its historic and classic value. I also enjoyed the silly nature of it, even as an adult. ( )
  mirrani | Mar 9, 2016 |
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was the 1923 Newbery winner. I read the unedited version, which starts with an introduction explaining how the book is a product of its times, and yes, there are some racist elements, but Hugh Lofting and his character, Doctor Dolittle, have no real racist intentions. So I should have known what I was getting into. The main plot of the book is about Doctor Dolittle going to an island off the coast of Brazil. He is accompanied by his apprentice (the narrator of the story), a number of animals, and Bumpo, an African prince. When they arrive on the island, Doctor Dolittle immediately sees the native islanders as a people in need of saving. He quickly rescues them from their ignorant ways, and the instantly beloved doctor is crowned king.

Yes, this was written in 1923, when imperialism was still widely accepted and along with it the white savior mentality. Still, it was impossible for me to like Doctor Dolittle’s character at all. The way the islanders were constantly described as childlike and ignorant, and Doctor Dolittle’s condescending attitude towards them was just too much. The descriptions of the Africans and islanders often made me cringe.

On top of that, I don’t really like animal stories or animals that much, so I did not find Doctor Dolittle’s love for animals to be much of a redeeming quality.
( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
For Christmas, I ordered an mp3 player (Library of Classics) that was pre-loaded with 100 works of classic literature in an audio format. Each work is in the public domain and is read by amateurs, so the quality of the presentation is hit or miss.

Doctor Dolittle is a famous children’s story that features a British naturalist who “can talk to the animals”. It was made into a movie starring Rex Harrison. The story was penned in 1922 and therein lies the problem from the standpoint of recommending it to current generations: It is irredeemably politically incorrect.

It is far too juvenile for anything but a very young audience, yet utilizes language and presents native populations in ways that would be viewed as completely unacceptable today. I’m sure it was a sensation in the early 20th century, but cannot imagine recommending it now. ( )
  santhony | Jun 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
As an adult, I particularly liked the description of the Doctor's garden (in the chapter appropriately titled 'The Garden of Dreams'), probably because it really is my dream garden...

I got increasingly uncomfortable at the way the Indians on Spider Monkey Island are portrayed. Long Arrow is a great naturalist, but his people - the Popsipetel - are so backwards they don't even know how to use fire, or cook their food.
 
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Dedication
To Colin and Elizabeth
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All that I have written so far about Doctor Dolittle I heard long after it happened from those who had known him - indeed a great deal of it took place before I was born.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/details/voyagesofd...

Also available at Project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1154
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440400023, Paperback)

Doctor Dolittle heads for the high seas in perhaps the most amazing adventure ever experienced by man or animal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:07 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 19 descriptions

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