Daisyjess's Reviews > Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
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's review
Feb 13, 12

bookshelves: satire, 1st-year-uni-reading-list, english-literature, extra-reading-1st-year, fiction, novels
Recommended for: people interested in satire
Read from February 01 to 13, 2012 — I own a copy

Very clever and sometimes funny, but not really my cup of tea. I didn't know enough about the historical issues to understand any of it without flicking backwards and forwards to the notes. As the notes are 99 pages to the novel's 278, it was a bit of an arduous task - although I will admit I know a lot more about the historical context now!

As a satire, Gulliver's Travels is impressive. As an adventure story, however, it's rather slow-paced and not really attention-grabbing. At every point that I wanted more details about a place, a culture or some other sub-plot, Gulliver says 'well, I'm not going to tell you that because it's not relevant' - presumably because it wouldn't serve the satirical purpose of the novel, but still an irritating literary equivalent of 'ner ner ner NER ner!'

I think I'd have enjoyed reading the novel a lot more if the capitalisation of nouns had been modernised. I know it's standard editorial practice to retain the original formatting as much as possible, but I found it made for a frustrating Read because I'm unused to seeing every Noun capitalised - it was much harder to find my Place on the Page, as Capitals didn't just signify a new Sentence or a Proper Noun. It doesn't look too bad in one or two sentences, but after the first few pages it's a bit headache-inducing. However, I'd still recommend an edition with detailed explanatory notes and capital letters over an edition without capital letters or notes, because the majority of people will need the notes to understand the subjects of satire and the allusions to other works.

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Reading Progress

02/02/2012 page 11
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