Robinson Crusoe / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Not Available on BN.com
 

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is nothing archaic about Vance's miraculous reading of this classic tale.... This stellar audiobook brings out all the elements of this original castaway tale." —-Booklist Starred Audio Review
Maximillian E. Novak University of California
"Evan Davis has done an excellent job of bringing together many of the strands of thought that Defoe put into The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe—his interests in travel, economics, religion, and the experience of solitude—and putting them into an attractive format. Professor Davis supplies examples of texts on related topics such as solitude, cannibalism, and castaway narratives, along with a group of wonderful illustrations, including a large number of Crusoe and Friday, showing everything from the sympathetic and helpful Crusoe to Crusoe the colonialist and exploiter. These are well chosen to make points about the ways in which Crusoe fits into the interests of post-colonial criticism. Professor Davis is also very good in his introduction on the ambiguity with which Crusoe treats Friday. Is he a friend, a servant, or a slave? Or all three? This will be a useful and indeed an exciting text for students at all levels."
Oscar Kenshur Indiana University
"This edition greatly enriches the reader's appreciation of Robinson Crusoe both as a classic that transcends its historical origins and as a text that reflects a specific historical context. In each role, the novel can be viewed from many perspectives, ranging from those embodied in other writings by Defoe and his contemporaries to later ideas about psychology, economics, religion, and post-colonialism, and the introduction and appendices give the reader access to an extraordinarily copious array of these perspectives. The introduction, moreover, goes well beyond compiling viewpoints: while elegantly marshaling information, Evan R. Davis also contests received opinion and offers fresh insights. This is an extremely useful edition for students, general readers, and even those already well-acquainted with Defoe."
Kirkus Reviews

A labored retelling of the classic survival tale in graphic format, heavily glossed and capped with multiple value-added mini-essays.

Along with capturing neither the original's melodrama nor the stranded Crusoe's MacGyver-esque ingenuity in making do, Graham's version quickly waxes tedious thanks to forced inclusion of minor details and paraphrased rather than directly quoted dialogue in an artificially antiquated style ("You Friday. Me Master"). Frequent superscript numbers lead to often-superfluous footnotes: "Crusoe, a European, assumes that he is superior to other races. This attitude was usual at the time when the story was written." Shoehorned into monotonous rows of small panels, the art battles for real estate with both dialogue balloons and boxed present-tense descriptions of what's going on (the pictures themselves being rarely self-explanatory). Seven pages of closing matter cover topics from Defoe's checkered career to stage and film versions of his masterpiece—and even feature an index for the convenience of assignment-driven readers.

At best, a poor substitute for Cliffs Notes and like slacker fare.(Graphic novel. 11-14)

From Barnes & Noble
Based on a real-life incident, Robinson Crusoe tells the story of a young man who yearns to escape the mundane world and set sail for a life of adventure in faraway places. Defying his father's wishes he leaves on board a ship, then finds himself marooned on a tropical island where he wrestles with his fate and ponders the nature of God and man. The world has gotten smaller since Defoe penned his novel, but the human imagination still looms large. So even in today's world of space exploration, this story of an ordinary man struggling to survive has not lost its appeal for modern readers.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Daniel Defoe (1659–1661) was an English writer and journalist most widely known for his novel Robinson Crusoe, originally published in 1719. His work varied from political pamphlets to poetry, and included other novels such as Religious Courtship and The Political History of the Devil. He lived in London, England.

N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945) began his artistic career as a young adult. Born in Needham, Massachusetts, Wyeth traveled the American West extensively and drew what he saw. His prolific career includes three thousand works and more than one hundred book illustrations, including those for a majority of the Scribner Illustrated Classics series.

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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 4
( 34 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2010

    Very Abridged Version.

    This is not the full version of the story. It is fine for children or if you're looking for a 2 hour read. The English has been modernized making it very easy to read, but it lost its original linguistic flavor. Other than the simplification it is the same Robinson Crusoe.

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