Friday, July 15, 2011

19. Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift
1726

Ugh, Jonathan "The Ultimate Armchair Analyst" Swift.  That smarmy son of a bitch. Another book that is known by almost everyone since childhood.  When you reread it as an adulthood, however, you see that there is a powerful politic message!  The message is complete bullshit and is not interesting in the slightest, but hey: it is there.

This book is about a man who travels around the world because he has an insatiable need to go to sea (that is said in almost the exact same phrasing as it was in Sinbad the Sailer; really, Swift?).  In his most famous adventure, he is big and everyone else is small.  He also goes to a place where the reverse is true.

Swift had many messages that he wanted his book to convey (you can just picture his smirk).  First off, he was making fun of the success of Robinson Crusoe. This is why I hate Swift so much.  You can feel the punch but afterwards you are like: what was that for?  He was probably just jealous that it was more success than Tale of a Tub (cannot imagine why).  Swift also mocks religion and power and human nature.  After reading it though, I didn't feel like I had read a clever way of looking at things.  I was just kind of wondering what his point was.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

I read this book on my trip after a particularly mean French waiter started doing nasty imitations of us to the other waiters.  Maybe that is why I hate this book so much.

New adaptation starring Jack Black came out in 2010:

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