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Friday Paperback – March 18, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; New edition edition (March 18, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801855926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801855924
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A fascinating, unusual novel... a remarkably heady French wine in the old English bottle... Tournier has attempted nothing less than an exploration of the soul of modern man.

(New York Times Book Review)

Friday is the latest and one of the best examples of the French genius for revisionism—for ringing original variations on a traditional theme. It is also unique in that enterprise because it is so moving, so touching in its elegance, so simple in its art.

(Richard Howard)

Like [Crusoe's island], Tournier's novel is unique, self-sufficient, imaginative, well worth exploring, and with a number of minor miracles to reveal.

(Time)

M. Tournier is a cultivated and disciplined writer, and his Robinson, the son of a Yorkshire draper, is most likable... [T]he castaway has that quaint and peculiarly English stolidity that seems to exist only in the imagination of the French.

(New Yorker)

Defoe's book is distinguished by an unawareness of the psychology of solitude; nothing happens. Michel Tournier, however, has placed his man in precisely the same situation of static impotence, and then proceeds to illustrate a personal development as passionate and variegated as anyone could wish.

(New Statesman)

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Haas on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rewriting Robinson Crusoe? Tournier tells an entirely different story, although the outward details are mostly the same as in Defoe's novel. The interest has shifted to what's going on inside Crusoe. And instead of the self-confident Christian who steadily builds up a colony, Tournier shows us a man of radical twists and turns. At first he even seems to have given up completely, letting himself sink into the mud. However, when he pulls himself together and starts colonizing the island, that turns out to be just a stage in his development, too.
This is a very witty and original novel, with many things to enjoy for those who are familiar with Defoe's book. At long last we find out that Crusoe did have some kind of sexuality after all...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
In this story, it is Friday who teaches, and Robinson who has everything to learn. The castaway's stay on a desert island turns into a journey of self-discovery and transformation. A mythical, poetic, and adventure-filled novel that will be hard to put down
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book for the first time many years ago. I loaned out my copy and never got it back. Bought another (finding it in a used book store) - same thing happened. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Etc. Descriptions of life on the island are lyrical. Process Robinson goes through is amazing. Resolution with Friday only possible ending. Beautifully written. One of my most favorite books ever.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Dykhuis VINE VOICE on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tournier uses his novel Friday to show a transition from environmental justification to one of self-justification. Tournier uses both Friday and Robinson to develop and contrast themes of environmental versus self-justification. It is obvious that the triumph of Friday's methods show Tournier's support of the self-justification model. Regardless of the conclusions drawn by the author the tools and mechanisms used to portray this conflict of life choices is effective. I do not believe that the conclusions are as important as the examination of the conflicting and mutually exclusive options. It should be noted that Tournier never uses the term environmental justification or self-justification.

These terms are my constructs and are used to more easily convey the concept entailed then otherwise would be possible. Tournier was more concerned with Colonialism but Colonialism and justification are tied closely together. Justification if merely the rational the individual uses in order to create and or react to the social constructs around him or her.

There are five stages in Tournier's examination of the two competing models of justification. The first stage is the period when Robinson is first on the island and he is lost and desolate. During this period Robinson is spiraling emotionally and has not direction or reason for any action of thought. The second stage is Robinson's discovery and usage of the environmental justification model. Robinson uses a set of strict rules to give himself justification. The third stage is the introduction of Friday and his self-justification model. In this stage Robinson and we are introduced to a person who subscribes to a diametrically opposed view of life then does Robinson.
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