Leslie's Reviews > The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
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Aug 02, 12

Read in July, 2012

I had so much fun reading this book. That said, I don't know that I'd be in a hurry to re-read it. It's quite an investment of time (at least it was for me). I just marveled page after page at the ingenuity of this family. The knowledge that they had that allowed them to basically build their own colony is a far, far cry from the kind of intelligence that is common or even valued today. If my family and I were ever shipwrecked on a deserted island, we would last probably 8.2 seconds. This family lasted 10 years and kept on going! I loved the descriptions of all the inventions and the creative methods of performing necessary tasks that we constantly take for granted, and I loved the relationship between the father and his sons--especially the way he always asked for their input and valued their opinions. And I LOVED the themes about family relationships and the importance of hard work, summed up in these two excerpts: "The more there was to do the better. I never ceased contriving fresh improvements, being fully aware of the importance of constant employment as a means of strengthening and maintaining the health of mind and body. This, indeed, with a consciousness of continual progress toward a desirable end, is found to constitute the main element of happiness"; and "My great wish is that young people who read this record of our lives and adventures should learn from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious, and pious life of a cheerful, united family to the formation of strong, pure, and manly [or womanly] behavior." AMEN on both accounts.
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