Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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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: 9781593081690
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 1.13 (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 4
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

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(49)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2008

    Robinson Crusoe

    The Plot of this story was very good. It started out with a man named Robinson Crusoe. He was faced with a challenge when he went out to sea and was shipped wrecked off the coast of Trinidad in search of slaves from Africa. So he was against the element of being stranded on land without food and anything to use. So he had to find someone or a village to use as a resource. As doing so he was put up against cannibals. Robinson killed one man and injured a few but fought them off and was safe to live another day. He then later met a native man named Friday. Friday taught and showed him how to fish hunt and found them a cave to sleep in. In exchange Crusoe taught Friday some English so he could speak. They later then had a conflict with Friday wanting to leave and find his own people. So then Friday and Crusoe had a problem with the cannibals. So the fought and killed the cannibals saving three men which one of them was Fridays father. Then Friday felt obligated to help Crusoe get off the island. So he saw an approaching English ship and planned to take it over. The next day he did so and Robinson Crusoe¿s life was turned around and he went back to England. In this selection the author made it so the character really changed over the staory. In the beginning he was pretty quite and did what his dad said. But later in the story his dad wanted him to do something he didn¿t want to do and Crusoe wanted to be a sailor . Later he was a sailor and he was ship wrecked. He was scared and wondering. Then he met Friday and he began to become enlightened. He struggled a lot before he met Friday. Friday really liked him. He liked him so much he took over an English boat and captured it for Robinson Crusoe. This selection was third person. They used the people¿s proper names and him, him, her, her, them, and them. This makes the story sounds like it was written along time ago and it was. So the author made it just how he wanted to. This made the story very interesting. My personal view was great on this story this was one of the best books I have ever read. I read it twice because I enjoyed it so much and I really don¿t like reading. I liked how the author portrayed the characters. That made it fun to read. Also I recommend this book to anyone who loves action, and always something going on in a story.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Robinson Crusoe

    Finished Robinson Crusoe in just one week. Well written, well told, and hugely entertaining. Pick it up now!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    Amazing

    I would recomend this book for adventurous people! Do not read if you are under the age of 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??????????????????????

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    There's more to this book than I thought.

    This book is deeper than I first imagined. I was supposed to read this in school but I never took the time to do so. Now in my late 30's I decided to read it on my nook. I was surprised to find that this book is more about self discovery and how Crusoe discovers where he fits into God's plan. Key ideas involved in the book are of mastery, spirituality, & morality. Crusoe becomes a man one can truly respect.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Tap here

    Should i get it... oepke say rhat its got typis

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Whtcha say

    Wassup.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Fjd

    Hdh

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Robinson Crusoe

    There was a lot of adventure in this book. Survival in unforseen situations is intriguing to me so this book was great. How he was able to survive by himself for 28 years is beyond me. I do not think I would have the same courage. Wonderfully written!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Tiring

    Hello friends and family. This book is tiring and it sucks. Can anyone stay awake on such a boring book? If you can.......................................

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Teribble

    Kteribble

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Robinson Crusoe is a story of a man who wants to become a sailor

    Robinson Crusoe is a story of a man who wants to become a sailor, but his father doesn't want him to. He went on one voyage and it didn't turn out so well, so Robinson was sent home 
    by the captain, then he met another captain who offered to take him on a voyage. Robinson gets shipwrecked on an island and survives alone for seven years. This story is exciting and depressing. It's exciting because there are pirates. It's depressing because lots of people die.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Prettygirl25

    This is such a great classic!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly Reccommended

    A Lot of Readers don not associate this Book as being
    a Religious related Literature. In Reality It Dwells on the
    Relationship between GOD and Robinson Crusoe being a Cast away alone
    on the Island. Was it God's punishment for his disobeying his
    father and so called sinning.

    What would you do in this situation

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Truly A Classic

    Robinson finds himself in trouble immediately after setting sail without his parents knowledge. Although his father and mother warned Robinson for years against the many dangers of a life of adventure on the high seas, he unwisely departs on a ship heading to London with an acquaintance. Robinson does not heed the warning given to him by the master of the first ship he suffered misadventure on. The master of that ship told him that the awful storm the ship went through on Robinson's very first voyage should represent a warning that Robinson should not ever travel by sea. Journey after journey is met with peril at sea, but Robinson manages to escape death each time. Again and again Robinson forgets about the horrific sea journey mishaps after being on dry land for awhile. He even became a slave after one sea voyage he took ended with the ship going down just after the crew was rescued. When Crusoe finds himself on a deserted island after having survived yet another shipwreck, he is forced to adapt and becomes very creative at staying alive and even thriving in isolation. After many years pass, Crusoe seizes a chance to rescue a prisoner from cannibals and this is how we meet his man Friday. Only a few more years pass when Crusoe is presented with an opportunity to save prisoners from a ship whose crew has mutinied. Crusoe's quick thinking saves the day and he is able to leave the island and return to civilization, where more adventures await him.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    A good discussion-starter.

    It sure isn't your modern novel. The action ebbs and flows (& ocasionally stagnates). But it was the very first novel, I'm told; so in that light, it's a good start. There are weaknesses in the plot -- places where I ask, "oh, why didn't he just ______?!?" But those can be used as jumping-off places for discussion, in a class or even within your own thoughts. Things that make one think are not wasted. In a few places it gets a little preachy, but in others there is humor and even tenderness as the main character lets us into his thoughts and feelings. As a survival guide it's rather a poor choice; Crusoe made a few good choices, but many lousy ones; and he took way too long before he began to take responsibility for his actions, instead of having 'pity-parties'. The language is not as archaic as Shakespeare's, but is sufficiently 'old-style' to encourage the mind to slow down & think (or slow down and feel), instead of simply rushing quickly on to the next thing, as we tend to do in this age. Even granting this, the latter part of the book is labored, as if added later upon requirement. I found myself wishing the travels through European forests would "just END, already!".
    So, to sum up: enjoy the storyline, and when something irks you, examine it and learn from it, and then go and do better. Whether that's a stupid decision Crusoe makes, or a writing style that bugs you: learn from it. It's a classic for good reason.










    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Im not paying

    Not going to pay 2 dollors for a book i know nothing about. The author really couldn't put any information at all on here for peopple to read? Wow!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Should i try it

    Some people say its good others say its bad should i get it please answer thanks

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Shipwreck discoveries

    Some how made it this far in life without having read this book. I was surprised by how much I truly enjoyed it. The struggles Robison goes through in the book both before and after the isolation is truly fascinating. It was even better when he was able to reflect and realize some of the light decisions he had made in life brought him to the isolation he experienced for the majority of the book. I really enjoyed the level of detail in the authors descriptions of the island, how Robinson made do with what he could and he was able to come up with solutions with limited resources at his disposal. the book is great for life lessons and adventure with a thousand twists. Highly recommend. A

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Very nice for children

    The story in its original form (not Disney) as we should all know and love. The physical book is pleasant to handle, illustrations are good, the binding excellent. A good gift for a child.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    DON'T DO IT!

    I have been an unfortunate person who had to read this for school. It is the most awful, godforsaken, slow read ever. I would never recommed this book to anyone and wish the best of luck to those who embark on this man's journey of narcissism, stupidity.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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