Joceline Foley's Reviews > The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
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Jul 19, 12

Read in July, 2012

I feel a tiny bit terrible giving a classic novel only one star, but this book is a tiny bit terrible itself, so I think it all evens out.

This book lacks two integral elements of a novel: plot and characters. All six members of the family are apparently robots who exist only to shoot animals unnecessarily, do everything perfectly the first time, and speak like a bunch of old-fashioned Christian computers. Also, Mr. Robinson (did he have a first name? I never caught one) berates his children for the tiniest infractions and acts as though they're going to hell as a result. However, when they shoot flamingos without even seeing what they're looking at or hit a whole bunch of penguins with an oar, his only response is basically, "Eh, you probably shouldn't do that, but since you did...oh well."

Somehow, Mr. Robinson knows about every single plant and animal and its possible uses in a place he's never been before. Somehow, every risky venture goes perfectly the first time, including using dynamite to blow a hole in the side of a damaged ship. Somehow, every useful item on the ship isn't damaged and is brought to shore without a hitch. Somehow, European fruit trees flourish outside of their native climate. Somehow, not one family member ever says, "Oh shit. We're stuck on this island forever." They seem to accept their fate without a second thought. Somehow, I managed to make it through 280 pages of a horrible book.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Meghan (new)

Meghan And this review is a perfect example of why we're friends.


message 2: by Ephantus (new)

Ephantus Robinson was macgyver before it was cool....the book was written centuries ago so all that killing was pretty interesting for the audience of that time.


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