Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Robinson Crusoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.9 158
by Daniel Defoe

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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:…  See more details below


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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Barnes & Noble
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Barnes & Noble Classics Series
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5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)

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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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Robinson Crusoe (Collins Classics) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Charlito More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.  
ClassicColin More than 1 year ago
Finished Robinson Crusoe in just one week. Well written, well told, and hugely entertaining. Pick it up now!
Robert Delaat More than 1 year ago
I would recomend this book for adventurous people! Do not read if you are under the age of 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??????????????????????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It should be noted that this book did in fact have chapters and this rendition did not have such. It made reading for my classes far more difficult as we had different versions of the same story. Aside from that, I can't say that I much cared for the story. It was among the most dry piece literature I have read to date and because of the smallness of the print, very difficult to reread passages I did not quite understand or had gotten lost in completely. If it meant having to read a thicker book, I would have welcomed a larger font.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Fredrick More than 1 year ago
This book is radical! I will admit that having seen the movie I was sure it was going to suck really bad, but this book out passed all my expectations and is my favorite book.
HeyJude More than 1 year ago
This is a story of survival. Most of us, in Robinson Crusoe's circumstances, would not survive. He makes it because of determination and resourcefulness. I was bothered by a couple of loose ends in the story; e.g., what ultimately happens to Friday?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be exciting and captivating, and was definately worth putting the time into reding it. Robinson Crusoe was beautifully written and interestingly thought-out. I can't wait to read something else by Daniel Defoe
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This book honestly was one of the best boiks i have ever read
Anonymous 8 months ago
"Hey Lust. Or Crystal...whatever. How did your fun time go with Striking?" Pride meowed to his sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"You may." He meowed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Playe with a leaf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nevermind rhen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont ver succumb to the darkness and boringness and religious morals that is this book. I am warning you it may seems exciting at first but kid it has misconception It is heartffully dull andsritten sttrangely and the sentences are all run on. Jut dont.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago