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Gulliver's Travels [Hardcover]

Jonathan Swift , Coralie Bickford-Smith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 26, 2011 0141196645 978-0141196640 Reprint
Be they shocking, ambitious, or simply brilliant, these novels continue to enthrall today as they did at the time they were written. Now, Penguin Classics is proud to present them in gorgeous clothbound editions-vibrant volumes sure to become as treasured to readers as the magnificent tales they tell.


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Jonathan Swift's satirical novel was first published in 1726, yet it is still valid today. Gulliver's Travels describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship's surgeon. Swift portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstance. His travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the tiny person in a land of giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values. The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses who rule the land. He also encounters Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who resemble humans. The story is read by British actor Martin Shaw with impeccable diction and clarity and great inflection. If broken into short listening segments, the tapes are an excellent tool for presenting an abridged version of Gulliver's Travels.-Jean Deck, Lambuth University, Jackson, TN

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

[Coralie Bickford-Smith's] recent work for Penguin Classics is...nothing short of glorious Anna Cole Co.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics Hardcover; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141196645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141196640
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No More Excuses - It's Time to Read Gulliver's Travels August 10, 2005
Format:Paperback
I am certain that nearly every person in the Western world (and some beyond it) is familiar with the quintessential scene of "Gulliver's Travels," that of a man tied down to the ground and surrounded by tiny humans. I am equally certain however, that only a very small percentage of these people have actually read Jonathan Swift's satirical novel, first published in 1726. If you consider yourself a serious reader, then "Gulliver's Travels" is essential reading, one of the many classic novels that you simply *have* to read before you die.

Divided into four parts, "Gulliver's Travels" is presented as the historical memoirs of Lemuel Gulliver who narrates his strange adventures in undiscovered countries. In doing so, Swift explores and satirises almost every conceivable issue important in both his time and in ours: politics, religion, gender, science, progress, government, family and our basic ideas of defining humanity. As well as this, the novel is full of wonder and humour (some of it bordering on the vulgar!) and Swift's exploration of imaginary societies and countries is satire at its peak - no one before or since has reached Swift's mastery of this style.

Some of the more direct parodies concern people and events that have long since passed away, and as such an index or extensive background is required in order to fully understand the allusions that Swift is making. However, a far larger portion of the text discusses issues that are still relevant to today's readers, especially in the responsibilities of power and the limits to technological/scientific progression.

Part One: "A Voyage to Lilliput" is the most famous segment of the novel, and the context of the afore-mentioned "hostage episode".
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids! June 23, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It's amazing how our perspective changes as we age. What we thought was important as children may now seem completely insignificant, replaced by entirely new priorities, priorities children wouldn't even understand. At the same time, things we used to take for granted, like having dinner on the table, being taken care of when we're ill, or getting toys fixed when they are broken, have become items on adult worry lists.

Your perspective on literature can change, too. Reading a story for a second time can give you a completely different view of it. "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, which I enjoyed as a sort of an adventure story when I was a kid, now reads as a harsh criticism of society in general and the institution of slavery in particular.

The same thing is true of "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. The first thing I realized upon opening the cover of this book as a college student was that I probably had never really read it before.

I knew the basic plot of Lemuel Gulliver's first two voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag, home of the tiny and giant people, respectively, but he had two other voyages of which I was not even aware: to a land of philosophers who are so lost in thought they can't see the simplest practical details, Laputa, and to a land ruled by wise and gentle horses or Houyhnhnms and peopled by wild, beastly human-like creatures called Yahoos.

While this book has become famous and even beloved by children, Jonathan Swift was certainly not trying to write a children's book.

Swift was well known for his sharp, biting wit, and his bitter criticism of 18th century England and all her ills.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Affordable Edition of this Classic Work January 8, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is classic work of satire and adventure that hardly needs my recommendation. Instead, let me comment on this edition published by Sterling. It's a nice hardcover with dustjacket and placeholder ribbon. There are a number of illustrations by Scott McKowen and an afterword by Arthur Pober. If you're looking for a inexpensive, but nice edition of Gulliver's Travels, this book would be a good choice.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I remembered. February 16, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All I remembered about Gulliver's Travels was the Golden Book or other children's versions of the story that I read when I was still a wee young thing. The real story is much more thought provoking, and the style is quite interesting. Swift writes about his travels to various countries where he encounters people and customs far different from what he is used to. Nevertheless, he writes from an objective viewpoint without discussing what is wrong or right about any of the cultures he visits.

The last place he visits is a country that is populated by extremely intelligent horses, who after hearing Gulliver's explanation of his own country and government, give their impressions of what is wrong with the English government and monarchy. Very tactful, but it makes the points he wants readers to understand. Many similar ideas to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" come out in the horses' discussions.

A bit long. I thought it might be a bit childish at first. But it was well worth reading from cultural, political and historical points of view.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest satirical novel ever December 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gulliver's Travels is an excellent book. In it Swift satirizes what he thought were the foibles of his time, in politics, religion, science, and society. In Part One Lemuel Gulliver is shipwrecked on Lilliput where the inhabitants are only 6 inches tall. The rivalry between Britain and France is there satirized. In Part Two he is marooned on the subcontinent of Brobdingnag where the inhabitants are giants. The insignificance of many of mankind's achievements are there satirized. Next in Part Three Gulliver is taken aboard the floating island of Laputa, where Swift takes the opportunity to satirize medicine and science altogether - incredibly Swift did not make up the crazy experiments he describes; all were sponsored at one time or another by the Royal Society. Finally in Part Four Gulliver is marooned by mutineers on the island of the Houyhnhynms, in which Swift takes his parting shot at human society - presenting them in degraded form as the Yahoos. Most people read no further in the book than Brobdingnag - I urge you to read the rest.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No Utopias, but No Dystopias, Either: Social and Moral Relativism in...
***This review may contain spoilers and is based on the Houghton Mifflin Company Riverside version edited by Louis A. Landa. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by John Panagopoulos
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A perfect voice for this hilarious book.
Published 21 hours ago by Aaron Margulies
3.0 out of 5 stars Travels across human nature
Gulliver's Travels is book #19 in 1001 books you must read before you die. Having read Swift's Tale of a Tub, from which it was difficult to glean the narrative, this book has a... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Julianne Quaine
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good children's book
Published 7 days ago by katie Buland
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
A great book that is free is the best. This book was great. Worth reading for nostalgia purposes. Why not?
Published 9 days ago by blapierre
5.0 out of 5 stars This was one of my favourite books as a teenager with a developing...
This was one of my favourite books as a teenager with a developing passion for satirical literature. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars this should be required reading for all 7th graders.
One of the most thought provoking books I have ever written none of the movies do it justice. And its easy to read today unlike a lot of other books written during that time.
Published 11 days ago by Caleb
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Cool book to read when your paying on the beach relaxing, if I was younger more stars would be granted
Published 13 days ago by jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Viewing humanity from a different direction.
The last part about the community of horses was thought-provoking.

Having the ability to touch and look up old words as they are encountered is a wonderful tool.
Published 20 days ago by Watercolorwilly
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat.
It was great to find this for Kindle. It's such a great comment on the political times of Swift, and some of the metaphors are pretty applicable today as well! Love Swift's humor!
Published 28 days ago by B. Ross
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