Robinson Crusoe (by Daniel Defoe) c. 1719

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
c. 1719
[Adult Fiction]
[Juvenile Fiction]
[Juvenile Audiobook]
[Electronic Resource (MyMediaMall eAudiobook)]
[Electronic Resource (MyMediaMall eBook)]

 Beset by a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on a deserted island somewhere in the Caribbean. With the rest of his crew dead or missing, Crusoe must find a way to survive in a harsh environment with whatever tools he can find or make for himself and without the pleasure of human society and company. His time on the island causes him to deeply reflect on spirituality and the human condition.

 I read this book for a class on the development of the novel and found that my classmates’ opinions of the novel ranged from great appreciation of Crusoe’s internal dialogues to an almost vitriolic dislike of everything associated with the book. I belonged to the latter group, as I had a difficult time reconciling Crusoe’s preachy narrative with his inherent moral hypocrisy. The dryness of the narrative was also rather difficult for me to enjoy. Readers who can appreciate the more philosophical points of the novel and the more straightforward nature of the text will enjoy the adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

 If you would like to read about more contemporary castaways, I would recommend Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi, Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. I found these books to be more satisfying and more developed than Robinson Crusoe.

If you’re looking for AV material on the same theme, I would also highly recommend ABC’s Lost. The Lake Bluff Library owns all six seasons.

Pros: A well-loved classic novel and one of the first novels ever written. Robinson Crusoe also keeps a pet goat at one point, which is admittedly pretty cool. 

Cons: Robinson Crusoe is not the most developed or  likable character ever written.

Review by Martha


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