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Robinson Crusoe (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – June 12, 2001
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 4-7. The latest title in the Classic Starts series simplifies Defoe's famous survival adventure story, one of the first novels ever written, reworking the tortuous prose into a relaxed, chatty style ("I felt awful") with short sentences that will be accessible to a grade-school audience. True to the 1719 original, the first-person narrative relates how Crusoe defies his parents, runs away to sea, has various adventures, and survives alone on a desert island until he finds a native man whom Robinson calls Friday. The big difference here is that the two men become friends, pals, and equals. There is not a racist word, nothing about Defoe's "savages." For contrast, to spark classroom discussion, pair this with Timothy Meis' retelling, discussed in Focus: "Survivor" (BKL Mr 1 03), which stays true to the prejudice in the original. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Let me just say that Robinson Crusoe is simply a great read. Do you need a story for the beach? This is it. Do you need a subject for you doctoral dissertation? This could also be it.
Everyone should find something of interest in this adventure story. I strongly recommend it.
As with the other Penguin Clothbound Classic editions, this too includes introductory material and appendices typical of other Penguin editions.
I hope Penguin continues to release titles in the Clothbound Classics series, and I wish it would release more titles per year in the series.
Those unfamiliar with the original text and context should also be aware that the racism of the times comes through very clearly in Crusoe's thoughts about and treatment of the "natives" he encounters.
Generally I'm a big fan of NOT abridging classic texts and I'm sure there's merit in this well-known classic but I found it hard, slow reading.
I came away with a greater appreciation for the problem solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, and physical strength that pre-modern humans had to draw on daily. As moderns, most of us plop ourselves in front of the computer screen or televsion and lead a comparatively easy life.
The inspiration in this story is Crusoe's ability to find the positive in any situation. He starts out grumbling about his isolation on the island, and his dim prospects for any rescue. He comes to see though, that he alone was saved from drowning in the shipwreck. So he comes to appreciate the very fact of life. He also comes to appreciate how he has been provided for, and that the simple things in life are most important. He comes to an increasingly deepening awareness of and faith in God. One of the only items salvaged from the ship was a Bible. Crusoe's thoughts on God and his interaction with the biblical text show how central religious faith was to the author, and the pride of place it held in most Europeans' lives at that time.
The adventures presented in this book are second-to-none, but what always capitvates me is the detail of Crusoe's habitations on the island. I have to admit, every time I read this book it makes me want to find a deserted isle and build myself a castle, a bower, and raise a flock of goats.
The only aspect of the book I don't really care for is Crusoe's religious monologues. I understand that it's his new-found faith and relationship with God that helps him make it through the ups and downs, but I find when these asides start it kills the momentum of the story. I'll usually end up skipping these passages to get back to the story. Other than this, this book is captivating and awe-inspiring.