Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
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Robinson Crusoe

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Overview

Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Widely regarded as the first English novel, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is one of the most popular and influential adventure stories of all time. This classic tale of shipwreck and survival on an uninhabited island was an instant success when first published in 1719 and has inspired countless imitations.

In his own words, Robinson Crusoe tells of the terrible storm that drowned all his shipmates and left him marooned on a deserted island. Forced to overcome despair, doubt, and self-pity, he struggles to create a life for himself in the wilderness. From practically nothing, Crusoe painstakingly learns how to make pottery, grow crops, domesticate livestock, and build a house. His many adventures are recounted in vivid detail, including a fierce battle with cannibals and his rescue of Friday, the man who becomes his trusted companion.

Full of enchanting detail and daring heroics, Robinson Crusoe is a celebration of courage, patience, ingenuity, and hard work.

L. J. Swingle is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Kentucky, where his primary field of study is the intellectual contexts of British Romanticism as reflected in the works of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poets and novelists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593080112
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 113,837
  • Product dimensions: 4.13 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

L. J. Swingle is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Kentucky, where his primary field of study is the intellectual contexts of British Romanticism as reflected in the works of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poets and novelists.

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Read an Excerpt

From L. J. Swingle's Introduction to Robinson Crusoe

People who have never actually read Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe often think of it as a children's book. It is a tale, so they suppose, that belongs on the shelf upstairs in the playroom alongside Lassie, the Hardy Boys books, and Charlotte's Web. But to discover the fallacy of this notion we need only sit down with a child and start trying to read the book. Reading Robinson Crusoe to a child usually turns out to be a different, somewhat less amiable adventure than telling the child about Robinson Crusoe in our own words. The child can eagerly attend to our retelling of the Crusoe story, relatively inept storytellers though we may be. The experiences of a man shipwrecked alone on a desert island-his initial fears, his efforts to escape, his struggle to secure food and shelter, his discovery of a footprint in the sand-all these things take powerful hold on a child's imagination. But if plunged into Defoe's original narrative of Crusoe's experiences, a child immediately senses that the waters of storytelling have suddenly gotten uncomfortably deep, that the exciting shallows of the story as Mom or Dad would tell it at bedtime have been left behind, that many things going on around the margins of the adventure story in Defoe's book are not attractively adventurous. How can a person possibly wade through this strange book that pretends to be Robinson Crusoe? Some sort of incomprehensible adult trickery must be going on here.

Published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is a novel for grown-up minds that has been kidnapped for, though obviously not by, the kids. In this respect it's interestingly akin to another supposed children's book that would be published midway into the next century, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Like Crusoe, Alice presents us with the story of a person transported from our own familiar world into foreign territory that offers opportunity for exciting adventure, obviously, but also for an encounter with some complex intellectual issues. A child, responding eagerly to the adventure but brought up short by the intellectual issues, is likely to sense immediately that neither Crusoe nor Alice is a book for the playroom. Both belong in the library downstairs, where adults retreat to contemplate the shadowy mysteries of their own minds and experience.

Once we adults rescue Robinson Crusoe from the playroom and begin thinking about its significance for ourselves, it is helpful to consider some things we might expect to find in the novel that either do not appear there at all or that appear in unfamiliar forms. Writing Robinson Crusoe in the early years of the eighteenth century, Defoe reveals himself to be in several important respects not quite of our mind. True, he's an intellectual precursor of the modern mind and, as such, some aspects of his basic interests and values are relatively close to our own. Rudiments of the Crusoe story exert considerable contemporary popular appeal, and not just to small children. Many movie adaptations have been made of the story. In the last few years alone, for example, we've had Aidan Quinn play Crusoe in a 1988 film of that name; we've had Pierce Brosnan, of James Bond fame, play Crusoe in the 1996 Robinson Crusoe; we've had Tom Hanks play a rather interesting loose translation of Crusoe as a plane-wrecked Federal Express man in the 2000 film Cast Away. The name "Robinson Crusoe" itself has entered the public domain; like "Gatsby," "Tarzan," "Superman," and "Mickey Mouse," it has become a useful shorthand term in contemporary popular thought, meaningful to people who have never encountered the literary source.

But if we go back to the novel Robinson Crusoe and see what Defoe made of the story in 1719, we run into some intriguing basic differences from common inclinations of thought in more recent centuries. These differences constitute an important part of what makes Robinson Crusoe not simply entertaining-occasionally almost more puzzling, or even more irritating than entertaining-but thereby greatly worth reading for the mind's sake.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 211 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 205 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    Excellent book, a must read for anyone

    Robinson Crusoe was an excellent read. Entertaining and eductional. I used it as a read-aloud to my kids. They were a little skiddish at the graphic depiction of the cannibalization (who could blame them), but they thoroughly enjoyed the book. The introduction in the B&N Classics Series is worth a read too. It gives interesting insight into Defoe's life and motivation for writing the novel. The endnotes are essentially nonexistent, which is too bad. The B&N Classics often (but not always) have very good endnotes to better describe what the author was intending to convey. Not in this book.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2011

    I loved this book and I was only 8!

    I loved this book and I am only 8! I read it in third grade and I wanna read it again on my NOOK now that I am 11. THANK YOU DANIEL DEFOE for making this AWESOME book.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    Robinson Crusoe is an exciting tale full of many fascinating adventures that delve into the cleverness human psyche.

    Ever since Robinson Crusoe left his father against his blessing things haven't really gone well for him. After many voyages, and becoming a slave, freeing himself from said slavery, he ends up on a deserted island where he is the only man to survive the voyage. His resolve to live proves to be a strong force and he is determined to live the best he can on the island, and this is where the story truly begins¿<BR/><BR/> The book war originally published in 1719, but the impact of the brilliant writing still shows today. Daniel Defoe always provides awesome description that makes the reader feel like he is right their next to Robinson Crusoe experiencing the events alongside him. Crusoe himself is a very lively character as well. It seems that almost everything he does ends with a negative consequence. These events truly impact Crusoe, later in the story he starts thanking god, and taking truly believing in the almighty. The Robinson Crusoe in the beginning of the story is not the same Robison Crusoe at the end of the story.<BR/><BR/> Robinson Crusoe is journey that you will want to embark on. Every chapter holds excitement, adventure, and a touch of wit. If you haven¿t read this story I highly recommend it as it goes above and beyond the quality required to make this a truly acceptable story.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2006

    Two thumbs down

    I felt Robinson crusoe was one of the more boring books I have read in my life. Also the story was so disconnected I felt as if I was reading five different books. I must say if you have the choice pass this book up without hesitation. After finishing the book i realized I care nothing for the protagonists well being. Two thumbs down.

    7 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    This copy sucks.

    The page breaks come in the bottom third of every page, and long strings of nonsense are present throughout. Don't waste your time with this copy.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2005

    Robinsob Crusoe: postcolonial critique

    its aweful to read thiswork asthe first English novel! It was written for leisure but a close reading will prove otherwise.The novel teaches the superiority of man and above all a white man {Christian}.The man has natural instincts to rule the junior. So,Providence gives him chance and he rules his 'man Friday'.Surprisingly enough,he has no inclination to show respect for his 'man Friday'. His very language and then his attitude, fears and apprehwnsions regarding him aresufficient to report that he is representing his fellow English colonizers.The journey provides him with a new baptized life and shows thateverything carries the black and whiteshades and that both can beutilized for good purposes. Another remarkable issue here is the man's self sufficiency without afemale relative by his side, and his own utter negligence towards this aspect of his life.

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Anonymous

    Daniel Defoe is great writer. To those of you who complain about the book being slow and overly descriptive, the narrator's voice in Robinson Crusoe is slow and descriptive on purpose. It makes the story drag and feel long and you grow tired of it, just like Robinson Crusoe would have felt being stranded on an island, away from family and friends, having to work extremely hard just to survive. It makes you feel his pain. With the description, you see everything vividly, almost as if you were there. To those of you who complained that it needs to be rewritten in words you can understand, may I suggest changing your perspective. Perhaps all that is needed is for you to expand your vocabulary instead of dumbing down beatiful literature because you don't understand a few words. Back then children had bigger vocabularies than adults do today. Challenge your mind. Not all good books are page turners.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    Boring

    Do not read because its boring...watch the movie instead... too long. If i read this book for an hour i end up reading like 4 pages because I ak so bored with this book

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Stylus

    Great book and a good challege,I definitly recomend

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Very Good, Not Boring

    I find it very annoying to see other kids my age and older saying this piece to be boring. I think they are being a little immature and need to get over it. This book was required in my 6th Grade Gifted Comm. Arts curriculum. I found it very hard in the beginning. I was not used to that old English type of writing at all, and I usually sticked to books with colorful themes and lots of characters, like the Harry Potter series or Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy, and always books of fantasy. This book was of isolation and reality. There were many lessons to be learnt and hardships to be had. I think this book will be wonderful and a good experience for generations to come.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    great book

    the book has a good price and you can read it when you dont have any thing else to read

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    AMAZING

    this book was the best ive ever read with so.many twists and turns

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A good Clasic

    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is about a man named Robinson Crusoe who decides to go out to sea and gets stuck on an island with very little to survive with. It really made me think about what I would do if I was in his situation. I would probably be hopeless in his situation and not last nearly as long as he did. In fact I would probably go insane If I was stuck on an island with no civilization and none of the things I use now.
    It was interesting how his parents were actually right when they told him not to go out to sea. In a lot of books I read the child usually is right and the parents are holding them back but in this one the child was wrong. His decision was probably a good one since he was doing what he wanted to do but It would have been better if he had done something else that didn't involve something so dangerous. I feel bad for Robinson though because what happened was so random and he didn't do much to deserve it.
    He also learned very fast and adapted to his environment quite quickly. Kind of like the first settlers in America he didn't have to much but he conquered the environment. For example he intermediately started thinking about where to stay when he landed on the beach, and how he made a canoe out of a tree. It was a bit boring at the beginning but all it was a good book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2010

    Ribinson Crusoe

    A fun read but did find poor facts about attacks by Wolves which do not attack men. The story also gives credit to god rather than the work of man.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    great adventure book

    Great classic novel! Anyone who loves a good adventure should read this! It is never boring, each page reveals something new. And Defoe's writing style is amazing! Some of the classic novelists are tough to follow but Defoe writes in a way that is so easy to follow and engaging.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe lives a life of wealth and luxury. Against his parents wishes he sets out on a sea faring adventure. From the beginning he was bound for bad luck. He had seven encounters with pirates and then he is shipwrecked. He awakens to find out he has been washed up on the shore of a deserted island off the coast of South America. Robinson Crusoe lives on an island for 27 seven years. He learns how to survive for more than 20 years there until one day he finds a human foot print which is not his and he is scared to death by the discovery: he knows he is surrounded by cannibal barbarians living on the opposite shore of the island. I did not like the book as much as I thought I would. It is very moralistic and in the beginning he is going on about how these bad things would not have happened if he had been a dutiful son and listened to his father and about how much he regrets the folly of his ways and it was a bit boring. Once he is on the island it does improve but it was still not as exciting as I had imagined it would be. There are good bits the details about how he builds his camp and manages to survive are good and the bits with the cannibals are a bit scary but cool. Another thing that I did not like was the slavery. This was written in a time when black people were not treated well and his attitude to the islander Friday is offensive now a days. It makes you disgusted with Robinson Crusoe the way he enjoys Friday almost worshipping him and the way he immediately gives so much of the work to Friday and tries to force him to do all his work. Friday tells his master of the region where he used to live there were white bearded people like Robinson himself that remains abandoned after another shipwreck. Yet another event unfolds when another ship victim of a mutiny arrives in the island. Crusoe and Friday help the Captain and the prisoners to retrieve the ship finally escaping from the island with the help of these men. Back in London again Crusoe learns of the new life and the new civilization that has evolved since he was left ashore in an island 27 years ago.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2007

    Classic Crusoe!

    Read this novel for the first time last week and decided to share my thoughts on it with y'all. What are we in 2007 to make of this tale of a shipwrecked survivor, written a century before Queen Victoria was born? Many of us today seem to like the idea of escaping from it all, and, indeed, many reality TV shows of recent years have taken such a theme. However, would the reality prove remotely like the fantasy? I see Crusoe as a precursor to science fiction, although I am being careful not to read into the novel my viewpoint of three centuries' hindsight. Nonetheless, many of the themes of sci fi are present, in that, through unforeseen circumstances, a man finds himself in an environment which is alien to him and learns to begin afresh, almost as a new Adam. He encounters people from cultures very different to his own, and contends with the elements and the limitations imposed on him by fate, along with his own conscience as a result of his moral choices and his belief in God's providence. Of course, many of these themes are far, far older than Defoe's time, drawing heavily on the Biblical books of Genesis, Job and Jonah. But heavy stuff aside, Crusoe is also a rollicking good read, a classic island adventure story, and on which I would heartily recommend to everyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    This was suprisingly good.

    For the past two years I've been trying to read Robinson Crusoe and I just couldn't sit and read the 'olde english' or mabye I just was to young, I don't know. I decided to try again for the third time and by page 30 I fell in love with this book. Not only does Defoe show the enterprising Crusoe before being castawayed, but he shows a psychological battle between man and the wild, I at frist thought that Crusoe was 'cheating' by taking ALL that stuff from the ship, but it evens out after being there for 28 years! I really enjoyed the action sequences and couldn't help notice a spiritual journey going on through-out this book and really made me think about my faith. Over all I loved this book and now I can survive on a desert isle, Sadnap eht evas osla. 'read backwards'

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    Alright book

    I expected a little more from the awe-inspiring Robinson Crusoe, but it really wasn't as good as everyone thinks it is. I felt there were some parts that Defoe skipped in the book that really needed to be written, for example he tells nothing of Crusoe's voyage back to England after being saved. But I must say, the plot line was clever and I liked how Crusoe was able to solve each and every one of his problems, maybe even some he shouldn't have been able to...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    Very Good Read!!!

    Standing in front of all the B&N classics I picked this book. I found that the book was at somepoints a little slow when he was going into how he found God and connected with him. I however, then realized how important his thoughts and notes on his connections with God were for the book after finishing it. The book overall was great! I loved the vivid and great detail on the island and his different places he made home. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure, and books that deal with survival.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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