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The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) (English Edition)
 
 

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Defoe
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This is one of the world's greatest and most popular novels of adventure. The story of a modest, never-say-die hero battling for survival on a desert island had captivated readers ever since its publication in 1719. This sensitive abridgement presents all the book's major incidents in Daniel Defoe's own words, thereby capturing the essence of this 18th-century classic for today's readers.

However, as you would expect being a Dorling Kindersley book, there is much more to this edition than an expert retelling of the story. The fascinating themes of Robinson Crusoe and its historical and geographical background are also explored, with insights into Defoe's extraordinary life and turbulent times. The innovative use of photography and illustration includes a unique, specially researched map of Crusoe's exotic, imaginary island which puts Crusoe's plight into perspective. The additional material also re-creates the hazardous life of the 17th-century sailor and explores the long-lasting impact this book has had on world culture. (Ages 8 to 12)

From Booklist

One of the first novels ever written, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), the classic adventure story of a man marooned on an island for nearly 30 years, is part of our culture. From Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960) to the recent movie Castaway, the elemental situation of the person suddenly alone, who must make a life in a dangerous environment, continues to enthrall all ages. Yet few adults, never mind young people, can wade through Defoe's lengthy tome with its convoluted eighteenth-century prose. So here's a shortened storybook version--retold by Timothy Meis in accessible style, yet true to the spirit of the original and the time when it was first published--in a large picture-book format with clear type, high-quality paper, and more than a dozen unforgettable narrative paintings by Wyeth, first published in 1920 and newly reproduced here in glowing color.

The story begins with the universal quest: the young man in Britain, torn between his safe home and his hunger for adventure, breaks away from his loving father and sails away into the unknown. After a series of harrowing escapes, he's shipwrecked on a desert island. His lively first-person account shows how his intelligence and education help him survive for many years, and how he uses technology, including guns and tools salvaged from the ship. He sets up home, reads the Bible, finds a parrot as a pet, and even devises a calendar to keep track of time. Then one day he finds a human footprint: "Was it someone who could save me and take me back to civilization? Or was it a savage who landed here?" When some "savages" arrive in several canoes, he uses his guns to get rid of them, and he rescues one of their captives, a handsome fellow with very dark skin. Delighted to have a companion at last, Crusoe names the newcomer Friday (since Crusoe found him on Friday). Crusoe teaches "my man Friday" to speak English, fire a gun, carve a canoe, and clothe his nakedness, and they live happily together. Later they rescue a white man and Friday's father from a group of "savages," and, eventually, they all return to their homes.

Defoe is said to have based his novel on the true adventures of Alexander Selkirk (who spent four or five years on an island in the South Pacific) and on accounts of other castaways of the time. The survival adventure is still enthralling. But what about the racism? This is clearly the classic colonialist story, but whose history is it? And how will young people read it today? Is it just boring, politically correct nitpicking to object to the use of the word "savages" throughout the book and even on the book flap? Yes, there are some bad guys among the whites, but even they are called "men"; the dark-skinned people are always known as "savages." How do we talk about this story today? The guns and tools make Crusoe boss, but wouldn't Friday have been able to teach the newcomer some survival skills? Does it never occur to Crusoe to learn Friday's own name and language? Who discovered whom? Wyeth's clear, action-packed illustrations are magnificent. But there's one shockingly jarring scene of Friday groveling in gratitude at Crusoe's feet. When the whites say thanks, they embrace each other.

So, no, the objections are not just P. C. sermonizing. The racism is highly offensive. But the fact that the story is so widely known and has such elemental appeal makes this an excellent book for discussion, especially in classes studying the history of exploration and discovery. Louise Erdrich addressed a similar problem [BKL Ap 1 99] when she commented that although she had loved the Little House books as a child, in rereading them as an adult, she was shocked to recognize that "not only was there no consciousness about the displaced people whose land the newcomers were taking, but also that there was a fair amount of racism." Still, she disagrees with censorship of any kind: "The best way is for good teachers and parents to install racism radar detectors so that kids can make their own judgments, because they're going to have to."

Robinson Crusoe is part of the fine Scribner Storybook Classic series that includes The Last of the Mohicans and Robin Hood, all of which bring readers to Wyeth's paintings. Treasure Island will be out later this year. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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4.5 von 5 Sternen
4.5 von 5 Sternen
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26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Taschenbuch
Ich habe mir das Buch bestellt, um mein Vokabular aufzufrischen und zu erweitern. Natürlich eignet sich dazu jedes englische Buch, aber schon nach wenigen Seiten nimmt es einen gefangen und lässt einen nicht mehr los, bis man es zuende gelesen hat. Die Story dürfte hinlänglich bekannt sein, doch mach sie noch einmal doppelt Spaß, wenn man sie im englischen original-Text liest, und dafür muss es auch keine wissenschaftliche Edition sein, die dann locker das 10fache kostet.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Survival by Thinking and Doing 16. März 2007
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Taschenbuch
Robinson Crusoe is best taken at two levels, the literal adventure story of survival on an isolated island and as a metaphor for finding one's way through life. I recommend that everyone read the book who is willing to look at both of those levels. If you only want the adventure story, you may not be totally satisfied. The language, circumstances, and attitudes may put you off so that you would prefer to be reading a Western or Space-based adventure story with a more modern perspective.

Few books require anyone to rethink the availability and nature of the fundamentals of life: Water, food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. Then having become solitary in our own minds as a reader, Defoe adds the extraordinary complication of providing a companion who is totally different from Crusoe. This provides the important opportunity to see Crusoe's civilized limitations compared to Friday's more natural ones. The comparisons will make for thought-provoking reading for those who are able to overcome the stalled thinking that the educated, civilized route is always the best.

One of the things that I specially liked about the book is the Crusoe is an ordinary person in many ways, making lots of mistakes, and having lots of setbacks. Put a modern Superhero (from either the comic books, adventure or spy novels, or the movies) into this situation, and it would all be solved in a few minutes with devices from the heel of one's shoe. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I liked the trial-and-error explorations. They seemed just like everyday life, and made the book's many lessons come home to me in a more fundamental way.

Have a good solitary trip through this book!
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Taschenbuch
This is devided into two parts. The first being the recension of the story "Robinson Crusoe" itself and the second being a short review on the "Oxford World's Classic" edition.

PART I:
Somewhere and somehow in our life we do come across the title of Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe". A book published in April 1719, which is still very much known to us almost three centuries later. But is it still recommendable or do people only read it because it's a classic and that is what you do with classics?

I have to admit, I did not read the book until I had to and when I started reading I did it with a certain reluctance. It's not like I do not enjoy a good classic book from time to time, like reading Shakespeare or novels by Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. Yet, this book was a hard nut to crack for me. Of course you needed a pair of pages before you got used to the style of language but all in all "Robinson Crusoe" is written in a fairly modern way of the English language. So what was it, that took me about a week until I finally was able to read more than just 5 pages without falling asleep?

The story of Crusoe's landing on a deserted isle needs a long time to actually come to pass. The plotline feels like being stretched out as long as possible in order to fill the pages with words. If you want to read "Robinson Crusoe" and expect a highly interesting account of an adventure, you might be a bit disappointed. What was fairly adventurous in 1719 is not necessarily so in 2010. Nonetheless, if you look at the story from a different point of view, namely his coping with the basics of life, being stranded on a deserted island and his hard labouring in order to survive is a quiet interesting story.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen even if you think you already know it 4. April 2003
Format:Taschenbuch
Because Robinson Crusoe is one of the most known stories in English literature, a lot of people don't consider it worth reading. Even though one knows the major proceedings taking place, Daniel Defoe manages to keep readers' interest by a cunning way of telling details. It's also fun trying to observe the little logical mistakes in the book, like a naked man filling his pockets, as a a result of the short time Defoe had to write it.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Survival by Thinking and Doing 16. März 2007
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Taschenbuch
Robinson Crusoe is best taken at two levels, the literal adventure story of survival on an isolated island and as a metaphor for finding one's way through life. I recommend that everyone read the book who is willing to look at both of those levels. If you only want the adventure story, you may not be totally satisfied. The language, circumstances, and attitudes may put you off so that you would prefer to be reading a Western or Space-based adventure story with a more modern perspective.

Few books require anyone to rethink the availability and nature of the fundamentals of life: Water, food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. Then having become solitary in our own minds as a reader, Defoe adds the extraordinary complication of providing a companion who is totally different from Crusoe. This provides the important opportunity to see Crusoe's civilized limitations compared to Friday's more natural ones. The comparisons will make for thought-provoking reading for those who are able to overcome the stalled thinking that the educated, civilized route is always the best.

One of the things that I specially liked about the book is the Crusoe is an ordinary person in many ways, making lots of mistakes, and having lots of setbacks. Put a modern Superhero (from either the comic books, adventure or spy novels, or the movies) into this situation, and it would all be solved in a few minutes with devices from the heel of one's shoe. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I liked the trial-and-error explorations. They seemed just like everyday life, and made the book's many lessons come home to me in a more fundamental way.

Have a good solitary trip through this book!
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen gehört einfach zu den besten Büchern überhaupt...
Habe mir das Buch nur deswegen gekauft, weil ein solch wichtiger Klassiker in keiner Bibliothek fehlen sollte... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 17 Tagen von H. Erwin veröffentlicht
2.0 von 5 Sternen Langweilig
Ich wollte Robinson Crusoe für die Schule lesen und muss sagen es ist das erste Buch, das ich nicht vollständig gelesen habe. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 2 Monaten von maLcom veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen ein wahrer klassiker
robinson crusoe habe ich als kleines kind immer wieder gelesen, da mich die geschichte vom alten mann mit seinen urtümlichen "gadgets" fasziniert hat. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 7 Monaten von Denisa Alexandrescu veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Schöner Klassiker
Super, stabiles Taschenbuch, das auch mehrfach gelesen werden kann ohne zu zerfläddern. Die Geschichte dürfte bekannt sein, wenn nicht lesen.
Vor 10 Monaten von Katta veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A true English classic
There is absolutely no doubt that this is one of the most influential English novels of all times. Not only newer versions of "Robinson Crusoe" were written in great numbers and... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 12 Monaten von Ghostwriter veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Survival by Thinking and Doing
Robinson Crusoe is best taken at two levels, the literal adventure story of survival on an isolated island and as a metaphor for finding one's way through life. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2007 von Donald Mitchell
4.0 von 5 Sternen Ein klassisches Werk, das jeder gelesen haben sollte
Dieses Buch, das schon vielen Verfilmungen als Grundlage gedient hat, lohnt sich trotz allem zu lesen. Denn Film ist ja bekanntlich nicht gleich Buch. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 7. November 2001 von M_o_m_o70@hotmail.com
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