Robinson Crusoe: The Complete Story of Robinson Crusoe

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Overview

For more than 270 years, readers everywhere have been fascinated by the young fool who ran away from wealth, security, and family for a rough life at sea -- and came to his senses too late, alone on a tropical island. Alone except for cannibals, that is, and God. Robinson Crusoe's adventure takes place on a remote island. Adjusting to the primitive conditions, he learns to make tools, shelters, bread, and clothes. More importantly, he becomes a Christian.

As the sole...

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Robinson Crusoe

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Overview

For more than 270 years, readers everywhere have been fascinated by the young fool who ran away from wealth, security, and family for a rough life at sea -- and came to his senses too late, alone on a tropical island. Alone except for cannibals, that is, and God. Robinson Crusoe's adventure takes place on a remote island. Adjusting to the primitive conditions, he learns to make tools, shelters, bread, and clothes. More importantly, he becomes a Christian.

As the sole survivor of a shipwreck, an Englishman lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880704380
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1991
  • Series: Young Reader's Library
  • Edition description: Abridged ed
  • Pages: 185
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an English novelist, pamphleteer, journalist and political agent. He is best known for his novels Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, and for his Journal of the Plague Year.
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Read an Excerpt

I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me.

I had two elder Brothers, one of which was Lieutenant Collonel to an English Regiment of Foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Coll. Lockhart, and was killed at the Battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards: What became of my second Brother I never knew any more than my Father or Mother did know what was become of me.

Being the third Son of the Family, and not bred to any Trade, my Head began to be fill’d very early with rambling Thoughts: My Father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent Share of Learning, as far as House-Education, and a Country Free-School generally goes, and design’d me for the Law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to Sea, and my Inclination to this led me so strongly against the Will, nay the Commands of my Father, and against all the Entreaties and Perswasions of my Mother and other Friends, that there seem’d to be something fatal in that Propension of Nature tending directly to the Life of Misery which was to be-fal me.

My Father, a wise and grave Man, gave me serious and excellent Counsel against what he foresaw was my Design. Hecall’d me one Morning into his Chamber, where he was confined by the Gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this Subject: He ask’d me what Reasons more than a meer wandring Inclination I had for leaving my Father’s House and my native Country, where I might be well introduced, and had a Prospect of raising my Fortunes by Application and Industry, with a Life of Ease and Pleasure. He told me it was for Men of desperate Fortunes on one Hand, or of aspiring, superior Fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon Adventures, to rise by Enterprize, and make themselves famous in Undertakings of a Nature out of the common Road; that these things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle State, or what might be called the upper Station of Low Life, which he had found by long Experience was the best State in the World, the most suited to human Happiness, not exposed to the Miseries and Hardships, the Labour and Sufferings of the mechanick Part of Mankind, and not embarass’d with the Pride, Luxury, Ambition and Envy of the upper Part of Mankind. He told me, I might judge of the Happiness of this State, by this one thing, viz. That this was the State of Life which all other People envied, that Kings have frequently lamented the miserable Consequences of being born to great things, and wish’d they had been placed in the Middle of the two Extremes, between the Mean and the Great; that the wise Man gave his Testimony to this as the just Standard of true Felicity, when he prayed to have neither Poverty or Riches.

He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the Calamities of Life were shared among the upper and lower Part of Mankind; but that the middle Station had the fewest Disasters, and was not expos’d to so many Vicissitudes as the higher or lower Part of Mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many Distempers and Uneasinesses either of Body or Mind, as those were who, by vi-cious Living, Luxury and Extravagancies on one Hand, or by hard Labour, Want of Necessaries, and mean or insufficient Diet on the other Hand, bring Distempers upon themselves by the natural Consequences of their Way of Living; That the middle Station of Life was calculated for all kind of Vertues and all kinds of Enjoyments; that Peace and Plenty were the Hand-maids of a middle Fortune; that Temperance, Moderation, Quietness, Health, Society, all agreeable Diversions, and all desirable Pleasures, were the Blessings attending the middle Station of Life; that this Way Men went silently and smoothly thro’ the World, and comfortably out of it, not embarass’d with the Labours of the Hands or of the Head, not sold to the Life of Slavery for daily Bread, or harrast with perplex’d Circumstances, which rob the Soul of Peace, and the Body of Rest; not enrag’d with the Passion of Envy, or secret burning Lust of Ambition for great things; but in easy Circumstances sliding gently thro the World, and sensibly tasting the Sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling that they are happy, and learning by every Day’s Experience to know it more sensibly.

After this, he press’d me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the young Man, not to precipitate my self into Miseries which Nature and the Station of Life I was born in, seem’d to have provided against; that I was under no Necessity of seeking my Bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the Station of Life which he had been just recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in the World, it must be my meer Fate or Fault that must hinder it, and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharg’d his Duty in warning me against Measures which he knew would be to my Hurt: In a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at Home as he directed, so he would not have so much Hand in my Misfortunes, as to give me any Encouragement to go away: And to close all, he told me I had my elder Brother for an Example, to whom he had used the same earnest Perswasions to keep him from going into the Low Country Wars, but could not prevail, his young Desires prompting him to run into the Army where he was kill’d; and tho’ he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish Step, God would not bless me, and I would have Leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his Counsel when there might be none to assist in my Recovery.

I observed in this last Part of his Discourse, which was truly Prophetick, tho’ I suppose my Father did not know it to be so himself; I say, I observed the Tears run down his Face very plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my Brother who was kill’d; and that when he spoke of my having Leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so mov’d, that he broke off the Discourse, and told me, his Heart was so full he could say no more to me.

I was sincerely affected with this Discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise; and I resolv’d not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my Father’s Desire. But alas! a few Days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my Father’s farther Importunities, in a few Weeks after, I resolv’d to run quite away from him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my first Heat of Resolution prompted, but I took my Mother, at a time when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my Thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the World, that I should never settle to any thing with Resolution enough to go through with it, and my Father had better give me his Consent than force me to go without it; that I was now Eighteen Years old, which was too late to go Apprentice to a Trade, or Clerk to an Attorney; that I was sure if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my Master before my Time was out, and go to Sea; and if she would speak to my Father to let me go but one Voyage abroad, if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double Diligence to recover that Time I had lost.


From the Paperback edition.

Copyright 2001 by Daniel Defoe
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Table of Contents

1. The Family Left Behind 7
2. First Adventures at Sea 11
3. In and Out of Slavery 17
4. From Brazil to a Shipwreck 23
5. Looting the Wrecked Ship 31
6. Making a Home 39
7. Getting Organized 43
8. Diary of a Castaway 47
9. A Turning Point 57
10. Finding Comfort 63
11. Exploring the Island 75
12. A New Pet 79
13. Baking Bread 85
14. Great Improvements 91
15. Ocean Danger 99
16. A Dairy Farm 105
17. The Footprint 111
18. Cannibals 117
19. A Secret Cave 121
20. Another Shipwreck 125
21. Wonderful Dream 129
22. Finding Friday 137
23. Friendship 145
24. Arrival of Savages 151
25. Rescuing Captives 157
26. The Mutineers 167
27. Heading Home 177
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Reading Group Guide

1. Robinson Crusoe is regarded as one of the first English novels. What were the qualities that defined the English novel? How has the meaning of the word "novel" changed? Do we use the term more loosely now or has it evolved into something entirely different?

2. Defoe's novel is also thought to be one of the earliest examples of the use of psychological realism. Defoe posits himself as "editor" and Crusoe as the author. How does his use of voice and point of view differ from that of his contemporaries? How much of his fiction might be influenced by his background in journalism and nonfiction?

3. How much of Robinson Crusoe is supposed to be "real" and journalistic and how much is intended to be allegorical? How does Defoe use Crusoe to espouse certain values? In what sense is the book a morality story?

4. Examine Crusoe's relationships with Xury and Friday. Critics have seen Robinson Crusoe as representative of British colonialism and imperialism, glorifying the subjugation of other cultures. How does Defoe seem to comment on the institution of slavery and issues of race?

5. How do Robinson Crusoe's experiences on the island comment on the society from which he has been separated?

6. How does what we now call the Protestant work ethic pervade Defoe's novel? Robinson seems to channel all of his energy into the pursuit of manual labor; the story is a series of daily routines and a tribute to work. To what end? Is his newfound work ethic accompanied by a spiritual awakening?

7. How is value established on Crusoe's island? How does the language of economics inform the text?

8. What is the nature of RobinsonCrusoe's relationship with his environment? Does he regard his surroundings as hostile? Does he seek to re-create the landscape?

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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 185 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 18 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 14 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.

    10 out of 12 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 25 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.

    6 out of 8 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.

    6 out of 16 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 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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