Sunday, May 29, 2011

15. Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe

Well, I learned three things from this novel:
1. If someone is not Christian they are savage and can be treated like tamed animals.
2. If you are watching someone be killed you should not intervene.  It is none of your business because they are not hurting you and the murderers will be punished by a "higher power."
3. If you save anyone's life, they are your slave for life.
I loved how this novel started out.  After Robinson Crusoe gets shipwrecked on a desert island (if that spoiled anything for you I do not know where you have been for the last three centuries), it is really interesting to see how he survives.  He does all sorts of interesting things to built an abode on the island.  He even tames wild animals.  However, when Crusoe starts training people, that is where I draw the line.  Crusoe has some sort of weird complex where he believes that he is king of the island and anyone else he comes across is his servant.  This is particularly sickening when he meets Friday (a name he bestows on the man) and starts to not only make the man his slave but also starts to shove religious jargon down the guy's throat.
After all this though, I must say that this was one of the most engaging books on the list so far.  I mean, I know it was disgusting (at some points my whole body tensed) but it was really interesting which cannot be said for most of the novels so far (I am looking at you, Euphues).

RATING: ***-- (----- for the message)

Interesting Facts:

This novel has been adapted a countless amount of times from Swiss Family Robinson to one of my favorite movies Castaway.

This book marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a genre.

Often thought to be the first English novel but we list-lovers know that that was Oroonoko.

This is a trailer for the 1997 film Robinson Crusoe.  It has Pierce Brosnan in it and who doesn't love him?


  1. I liked Swiss Family Robinson better when I was a child. Never really liked this one, though I do like an adventure. Am all about Pierce Brosnan though but I don't even remember this movie coming out!

  2. Do you think Pierce Brosnan would like an insurance agent from Northville MI? Oh wait, is that off topic?

  3. I started to watch the trailer and was thinking it couldn't be as offensive as the book (because the movie came out in 1997). Then halfway through I saw a black man kneeling down to Pierce (oh, yeah, I'm on a first name basis). Sigh.

  4. I enjoyed it too. This is my review:

    1. Thank you! I just read your review and it is so much better than mine haha. I recommend it to my readers. Honestly, my early reviews are just terrible.

  5. These old stories are very often offensive to a modern reader, but I actually found this less so than I expected. Robinson Crusoe does show more respect and less arogance toward the natives than I had thought, which probably says more about my expectations...

    I love Castaway too and I watched it again again just last week. So interesting to compare it to the book. Compared to Crusoe Tom Hanks did not get particularly far in four years except in the skill of catching fish and cave painting.