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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 (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: 9781593083601
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 34,782
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.76 (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
( 158 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(14)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 158 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.

    17 out of 19 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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.

    4 out of 5 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Tap here

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

    2 out of 7 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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  • 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Whtcha say

    Wassup.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Fjd

    Hdh

    1 out of 3 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 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Teribble

    Kteribble

    1 out of 6 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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