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Robinson Crusoe (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – June 10, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486404277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486404271
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Defoe's classic novel of shipwreck and survival, now nearly 300 years old, is abridged competently in this recording. The flavor of the 18th century language is retained, but the plot moves along at a pace more appealing to 21st century ears. The reader, Martin Shaw, has a pleasant voice, but unfortunately tends to trail off at the ends of sentences, losing whole words. As with all abridgements, large sections of the story and entire characters are omitted, but since most of the book tells of Crusoe's solitary sojourn on the island, this is not a major problem. This version is no substitute for the original, but it would be a supplemental purchase in libraries where abridgements are popular.
Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, Morgan Hill, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

(in full The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years, All Alone in an Un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having Been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Wherein All the Men Perished but Himself. With an Account how he was at last as Strangely Deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself.) Novel by Daniel Defoe, published in 1719. The book is a unique fictional blending of the traditions of Puritan spiritual autobiography with an insistent scrutiny of the nature of men and women as social creatures, and it reveals an extraordinary ability to invent a sustaining modern myth. The title character leaves his comfortable middle-class home in England to go to sea. Surviving shipwreck, he lives on an island for 28 years, alone for most of the time until he saves the life of a savage, whom he names Friday. The two men eventually leave the island for England. Defoe probably based part of Crusoe's tale on the real-life experiences of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who at his own request was put ashore on an uninhabited island in 1704 after a quarrel with his captain. He stayed there until 1709. The book was an immediate success in England and on the European continent, and Defoe wrote a sequel (The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe) that was also published in 1719. Many stage and film adaptations have been made of Robinson Crusoe's life, and the book has spawned many imitations, including Johann Wyss's Swiss Family Robinson. --< /${0}">The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

He has cats, but drowns the kittens.
Brian P. McDonnell
Even though this book is sometimes difficult to read because of the language, with words like "victualled"(Page 105), I enjoyed the story.
Sam
I recommend that everyone read the book who is willing to look at both of those levels.
Donald Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Q on January 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Defoe helped to define the modern fictional novel when he wrote about the tales of Robinson Crusoe. The book has a strong religious theme, as was Defoe's intention. However, this version of the text censors out some of the language against what Defoe called the Papist Church (or the Roman Catholic Church) as well as some items which would be considered racially insensitive today (but leaving in much of it as well). I don't understand why this version leaves out some of those parts, as they completely change the story that Defoe intended. I'm not sure that Amazon knows these texts are censored (not the original) as there is no allusion to it in the book's description.

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808)
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, is generally credited with being one of the first novel writers in the English language. The book is surely an influential one-- spawning countless imitations, derivations, and (in our era) reality-based television shows.

It is billed, quite fairly, as an adventure story. However, it is a very different kind of adventure than the modern action-sequence laden book which readers today may expect. It is an adventure story, but one which centers primarily on mastery and morality.

The morality is placed centrally in the book when Crusoe rejects the advice of his father to accept the happiness of the middle class life to which he was born. Against the wishes of his family, he runs off to sea to find adventure. It is not until Crusoe literally recreates a primitive approximation of that middle class life for himself on his island that he is freed.

Crusoe is also a story about the ability of mankind to master his surroundings through hard work, patience, and Christianity. The combination of these three supports are what allow him to escape captivity in Africa, overcome the deadly obstacles on the island, and finally leave the island itself. His physical prowess and combat skills are significantly less important to his journey than the message of trust and persistance that the decades he spends on the island convey. While this message might need tempering for the modern reader, it is also inspirational and important to read.

If the potential reader is not used to the diction of the time, the book itself may take some patience and persistance. It pays off, in the end, and should be an excellent book for the young teenager (or the not-so-young grown-up) interested in stories of adventure.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By B.C. Scribe on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading Glyn Williams' trenchant 'The Prize Of All The Oceans' I had an overwhelming desire to read this classic once again. I first read it when I was a mere 10 year old and it completely mesmerized me; I find that it still held the same power over me thirty years later. It is difficult to put this tale down once the title character becomes a castaway on the "island of despair" (as Crusoe refers to it) and he begins the battle against the odds to survive. Facing extreme tropical heat, torrential storms, a dreadful loneliness and the struggle to master some of the simplest of skills we take for granted Crusoe wages his one-man crusade for survival. Beginning his desolate existence steeped in woeful self-pity he slowly realizes through a series of trying circumstances, devotional reading of the Bible and finally relief from his isolated state that the experience proves to be one of reverie. In the process Crusoe becomes quite possibly the most inspirational figure to spring forth from the pages of literature.
Though it is annually listed by literature scholars as one of the 100 finest works of fiction, today primarily adolescents read Defoe's enduring tale as part of their required reading for school; very few others rarely bother with this nearly three century old tale. 'Robinson Crusoe' it seems is a classic awaiting a renaissance of rediscovery by adults who regularly read for either leisure or as a part of continuing education. While the novel's approach to morality may seem a bit old fashioned by today's contemporary standards, the character's awakening to wisdom, inner strength and faith will inspire any reader of any age.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Robinson Crusoe is best taken at two levels, the literal adventure story of survival on an isolated island and as a metaphor for finding one's way through life. I recommend that everyone read the book who is willing to look at both of those levels. If you only want the adventure story, you may not be totally satisfied. The language, circumstances, and attitudes may put you off so that you would prefer to be reading a Western or Space-based adventure story with a more modern perspective.
Few books require anyone to rethink the availability and nature of the fundamentals of life: Water, food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. Then having become solitary in our own minds as a reader, Defoe adds the extraordinary complication of providing a companion who is totally different from Crusoe. This provides the important opportunity to see Crusoe's civilized limitations compared to Friday's more natural ones. The comparisons will make for thought-provoking reading for those who are able to overcome the stalled thinking that the educated, civilized route is always the best.
One of the things that I specially liked about the book is the Crusoe is an ordinary person in many ways, making lots of mistakes, and having lots of setbacks. Put a modern Superhero (from either the comic books, adventure or spy novels, or the movies) into this situation, and it would all be solved in a few minutes with devices from the heel of one's shoe. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I liked the trial-and-error explorations. They seemed just like everyday life, and made the book's many lessons come home to me in a more fundamental way.
Have a good solitary trip through this book!
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