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Robinson Crusoe (1719)

by Daniel Defoe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1)

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23,221310137 (3.57)589
During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600's an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.
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» See also 589 mentions

English (276)  Spanish (13)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Swedish (4)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Slovak (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
  Snowplum85 | May 31, 2023 |
  archivomorero | May 21, 2023 |
While on a 17th-century voyage from Brazil to Africa, Robinson Crusoe's ship is severely damaged in a storm. He discovers upon gathering his wits on the shore of a Caribbean island that he is the sole survivor from the wreck and lucky to be alive. He also learns to his surprise that the ship and all its supplies is still in sight, foundering a tantalizingly reachable distance from shore. This is the eponymous story of Crusoe's nearly three decades surviving on the island, most of it in utter solitude.

In terms of engagement, it took a concerning few chapters for the story to get interesting, so I was relieved when it finally picked up steam. My first thought was that these were the most fortunate circumstances of any shipwreck I've ever heard of — Crusoe was able to salvage just about everything from the ship but the kitchen sink, to the point where the amount of supplies he started with was almost laughable. His detailed descriptions of his explorations and the things he built, created and cobbled together to further his survival were the most interesting parts of the narrative, although I couldn't believe it took him 11 years to start a herd of goats. The book's biggest shortcomings are when he goes off on lengthy theological tangents regarding what his plight might symbolize in the eyes of God and other pointless musings to the detriment of the plot. My eyes glazed over when the proselytizing got to be a bit much, and so I wanted to high-five Friday when he challenged Crusoe with the question, "If God is more powerful than the Devil, why doesn't he destroy evil once and for all?" (Friday, this is a question skeptics have been asking for centuries.) Crusoe was overall an interesting but occasionally unreliable narrator, at one point suggesting that he had no way to defend himself from "beasts," while having all variety of firearms, bladed weapons and barrelsful of gunpowder in his arsenal. Though he comes to the realization that the life he's living now is a better and a happier one than any he had lived previously, he doggedly continues to look for means to escape the island (one can suppose that what he really misses is social interaction). A few aspects that are particularly cringey to a 21st-century reader include the rampant racism (Crusoe takes no action against "savages" cannibalizing victims until a victim is shown to be European — we can't have that!), the portrayal of Friday's broken English, and animal cruelty. For a 300-year-old book this classic wasn't bad, and the language is still very readable/accessible. It's worth a read, with the added bonus of literary/pop culture awareness. One star removed for, after all we'd been through, an anticlimactic ending. ( )
  ryner | May 16, 2023 |
This is an amazing book. More than three hundred years after it was written it's still worth reading. Yes it's full of practices we no longer consider acceptable. Yes it does not condemn things everyone today condemns. If it had nothing to offer we would clearly have written it off years ago, but it does. Yes in some sense it's pandering to a mindset that thankfully is long gone. Yes it's not realistic. If you need those things this is not the book for you.

This is the ultimate white man's fantasy. It's the story of overcoming, even triumphing, over the worst things life can throw at you. Even when deprived of life's necessities such as clothes, food, shelter, companionship, support, Crusoe overcomes all. Even if immediately overwhelmed he still manages to think things through and come up with increasingly sophisticated responses to the needs and situations he initially thought unsurmountable. While he is able to obtain a few essentials from shipwrecks, he needs to make do with what he can make from his surroundings. He needs shovels and spades so he finds hard wood trees and carves the shapes he needs. Modern day survivalists have lessons to learn here. Crusoe is clearly a man's man. He even discovers gold and silver on a shipwreck. He has little use for it in his current situation.

But he also conquers the more subjective world. He admits the flaws in his life that he committed in his non-reflective past. He turns to the Bible and sees he's been redeemed. Life is good. He just needs to put more faith in Jesus. He becomes a happy man. He's no longer afraid of the cannibals he's observed coming to his island paradise. After 25 years he discovers cannibals have brought a prisoner who they intend to eat. He frees the prisoner who becomes his devoted man Friday. He teaches Fridays to become a Christian. Once again his faith in his Provider has been rewarded. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | May 2, 2023 |
A wonderfully entertaining story. Much darker and adult than modern Hollywood and politically correct society would have us think. This is a great story and sadly one that is rarely seen in school libraries anymore. It seems to have fallen into that “offensive to some” niche. Loneliness, doubt, self-discovery and the desire to understand why our stars align the way they do and in what manner we should…or should not accept their formation. Defoe comes across with insight and brilliance to tell us the story of Mr. Robinson Crusoe, a young man who appears to have more bad luck than good. Stranded on an island for nearly three decades our protagonist suffers, lives and learns and still has the uncanny ability to be human. ( )
  Joe73 | Apr 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
“Robinson Crusoe,” though, remains something truly special: It belongs in that small category of classics — others are “The Odyssey” and “Don Quixote” — that we feel we’ve read even if we haven’t. Retellings for children and illustrations, like those by N.C. Wyeth, have made its key scenes universally recognizable.... A classic is a book that generations have found worth returning to and arguing with. Vividly written, replete with paradoxes and troubling cultural attitudes, revealing a deep strain of supernaturalism beneath its realist surface, “Robinson Crusoe” is just such a classic and far more than a simple adventure story for kids.
A friend of mine, a Welsh blacksmith, was twenty-five years old and could neither read nor write, when he heard a chapter of Robinson read aloud in a farm kitchen. Up to that moment he had sat content, huddled in his ignorance, but he left that farm another man. There were day-dreams, it appeared, divine day-dreams, written and printed and bound, and to be bought for money and enjoyed at pleasure. Down he sat that day, painfully learned to read Welsh, and returned to borrow the book. It had been lost, nor could he find another copy but one that was in English. Down he sat once more, learned English, and at length, and with entire delight, read Robinson... It was the scene of Crusoe at the wreck, if I remember rightly, that so bewitched my blacksmith. Nor is the fact surprising. Every single article the castaway recovers from the hulk is “a joy for ever” to the man who reads of them. They are the things that should be found, and the bare enumeration stirs the blood.
added by SnootyBaronet | editCornhill Magazine, Robert Louis Stevenson
Crusoe has been called a kind of Protestant monk, and it is true that he turns the chance of his isolation into an anchorite’s career. The story is one of spiritual realization — almost half a lifetime spent on contemplation works profound changes, whatever the subject’s religion. We can watch Crusoe become, year by year, a better, wiser man... Robinson Crusoe may still be the greatest English novel. Surely it is written with a mastery that has never been surpassed. It is not only as convincing as real life. It is as deep and as superficial as direct experience itself.
added by SnootyBaronet | editSaturday Review of Literature, Kenneth Rexroth

» Add other authors (587 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Defoe, Danielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, Elenore PlaistedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anthony, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
AviForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bown, DerickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', CeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casaletto, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cortázar, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crowley, Joseph DonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dell'Acqua, EdgardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duvoisin, RogerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eguía, Marta SusanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falké, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finnemore, J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandville, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hadden, J. CuthbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herder, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodges, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelly, James Williamsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loerakker, CoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Norbertsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, WalterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pocock, Guy N.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richetti, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, WMEngraversecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowlands, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swados, HarveyAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vincent, OdetteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wehnert, Edward HenryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, MiloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, VirginiaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, N.C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwiers, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: he got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves, and write our name Crusoe, and so my companions always called me.
[FOREWORD] Ever since that day in April early in the eighteenth century when Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was first published, the book has been continuously in print.

-- Kathleen Lines in
Sir Francis Meynell's series of Nonesuch Cygnets (1968)
and Everyman's Library of Children's Classics (1993)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600's an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.

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Book description
Robinson Crusoe, the highly acclaimed novel by Daniel Defoe, is a literary classic which is enjoyed by readers of all ages. The story deals with the life of a middle-class Englishman who forsakes convention to pursue his ambition to go to sea. After surviving capture by Turkish pirates and escaping from enslavement, he embarks on his pivotal voyage. The young Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island and for twenty-four years is a solitary castaway. Emerging from the background of a romantic adventure story is Defoe's exposition on isolation, self-reliance and companionship. Since 1719 this book has enticed an audience who, like Crusoe, long to be free from the constrictions of society.
Robinson Crusoe was interested in adventures and he wanted to spend his life on the adventure. One day one of his friends asked him if he wants to be sail...and then his story will begin.
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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439823, 0140367225, 014119510X, 0141199067

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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