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Gulliver's Travels (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – November 2, 2001
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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 Kindle Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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".Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic based upon fantasy places which really don't exist but fun to contemplate. I found it interesting a major Internet company name is based upon characters in this book -... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Gary
Has some pretty profound insights on the human condition, but I think he goes a bit too far in the final chapters. Haven't read Swift before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
What a great book. Good Job. Minor code updates available.Beats many newer kind of books.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent book that touches upon the subjects of human society, with a touch of humour and plenty of adventure.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
It amazes me that a story written in the early 1700's is still pertinent today. I highly recommend reading or re-reading this book. Read morePublished 15 days ago by J. Coombs
Swift tells this excellent tale of a travelers journeys to distant lands, filled with misfortune and folly. Read morePublished 20 days ago