Jason Koivu's Reviews > Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Aug 14, 13

bookshelves: fiction, most-hated, food
Read in January, 2008

I understand it's an early novel and should be respected as a pioneer of the craft, but dang it, this is the most boring pioneer ever! Reading Robinson Crusoe is like reading a grocery list scribbled in the margins of a postcard from Fiji: "Weather's fine! Wish you could be here! Need fruit, veg, meat...". It goes on way too long considering the great big nothing that occurs through out. Defoe's a good writer and all, but I don't know, perhaps the climax hadn't been invented yet.

PS: I am learning not to like books with the name Robinson in the title... http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
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Comments (showing 1-28 of 28) (28 new)

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message 1: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe I think plot was just harder to mine and rarer. That's why Shakespeare had to steal all of his.


Nataliya My thoughts exactly. However, if I ever get stranded on a tropical island, I would love to have this book with me as a reference.


Jason Koivu Kaethe wrote: "I think plot was just harder to mine and rarer. That's why Shakespeare had to steal all of his."

Y'all better watch out for Will, 'cuz them's fightin' words!


Jason Koivu Nataliya wrote: "My thoughts exactly. However, if I ever get stranded on a tropical island, I would love to have this book with me as a reference."

If I was stranded on an island with this book, I would use its girth to bludgeon myself to death.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways No need for such painful antics. Just remind yourself that this is the only thing to read on the island. You will lose the will to live in no time.


Jason Koivu Richard wrote: "No need for such painful antics. Just remind yourself that this is the only thing to read on the island. You will lose the will to live in no time."

Too true.


Nataliya Jason wrote: "If I was stranded on an island with this book, I would use its girth to bludgeon myself to death. "

Richard wrote: "No need for such painful antics. Just remind yourself that this is the only thing to read on the island. You will lose the will to live in no time."

Please, gentlemen. Deserted Island Survival 101. Use this book as handy kindling for the fire you'll have to build - not that would usually condone book burning, but (in my best Rocky Balboa voice) you gotta do what you gotta do.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Burning this book isn't the crime of the century under those circs, Nataliya, and survival even in barely sub-Arctic climes could be possible with this much fuel.

But I reiterate: Only reading material on island. Why live?


Jason Koivu The most you can really hope for from this book is that it gives you a fatally deep papercut to the neck. "Cut me Mick! Cut me!" I would be shouting.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Jason wrote: "The most you can really hope for from this book is that it gives you a fatally deep papercut to the neck. "Cut me Mick! Cut me!" I would be shouting."

LOL


message 11: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe Funniest thread ever.


Jean-marcel I didn't like Moll Flanders much, either. I think I finished Crusoe way back...but it was so long ago and not an experience I really want to repeat.


message 13: by Jason (last edited Jan 23, 2013 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Jean-marcel wrote: "I didn't like Moll Flanders much, either. I think I finished Crusoe way back...but it was so long ago and not an experience I really want to repeat."

I've been trying to read all the classics that I haven't gotten around to yet, but I'm really dragging my feet on Moll Flanders.


message 14: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe Moll Flanders isn't the best book ever, but it was reasonably entertaining. At least, there are many events, and things happen.


Jean-marcel True, true, things do happen! I'm not big on the whole "I was a bad person but then I found god and repented!" angle. At least in The Adventures of Simplex Simplicius or whatever it's called, the journey was pretty entertaining and the whole thing is delivered with this kind of smug almost post-modern sense of irony (ok, maybe I'm reading too much into a really old German novel there) right up until the end.


James Page This was the first novel written and I struggle to understand how anyone could not like this book? It reads with beautiful 18th century dialogue

You need to read between the lines. This was Defoe's way of expressing his desperation to escape the incarceration of his political crimes.

Think of the book in three parts:
Part one exploration of expression
Part two reality of expression
Part three dealing with reality of change

Ever wondered why Robinson always had what he needed... This is Dafoe staring out of his cell window thinking "if I was to escape this incarceration what would I need... How would I use it?"

"by the time I escape things will be different; within a free world that bears no remembrance of blame or remorse. Where I will be guilty of nothing"

I've read this many times and each is truly magical!


message 17: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu James wrote: "This was the first novel written and I struggle to understand how anyone could not like this book? It reads with beautiful 18th century dialogue

You need to read between the lines. This was D..."


Perhaps I haven't given it a fair shake. But as of now my opinion stands, I found it boring on almost every level. However, I'll look into the backstory and read it again with a closer eye someday. With any luck I'll appreciate it then.


sckenda I remember being in the 3rd or 4th grade trying to read this book, and I was totally lost. Publishers in the 70's convinced gullible parents to buy classic "children's books." It consisted of the regular adult text with a cover that appealed to kids. I eventually read it as an adult and had to fight my way through it, though there were parts I liked.


message 19: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Steve aka Sckenda wrote: "I remember being in the 3rd or 4th grade trying to read this book, and I was totally lost. Publishers in the 70's convinced gullible parents to buy classic "children's books." It consisted of the ..."

Holy crap, I can't even imagine trying to force my way through this thing in 3rd or 4th grade. That's nuts!


sckenda Jason wrote: "Steve aka Sckenda wrote: "I remember being in the 3rd or 4th grade trying to read this book, and I was totally lost. Publishers in the 70's convinced gullible parents to buy classic "children's bo..."

Yeah, I also tried and failed Moby Dick also in the same edition around the same time. That indeed seems nuts.


message 21: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Steve aka Sckenda wrote: "Jason wrote: "Steve aka Sckenda wrote: "I remember being in the 3rd or 4th grade trying to read this book, and I was totally lost. Publishers in the 70's convinced gullible parents to buy classic ..."

I read Moby Dick in 4th grade...the version that fit in your pocket and had an illustration on every other page. It just may have been abridged.


message 22: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Davis I think you guys miss the point here. This is actually the first novel in English, according to the theoreticians. It came AFTER Shakespeare. It is more of a history lesson about the Reformation, and reading it in that context, it is valuable and interesting.


message 23: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Kim wrote: "I think you guys miss the point here. This is actually the first novel in English, according to the theoreticians. It came AFTER Shakespeare. It is more of a history lesson about the Reformation, a..."

I've approached as a survival/nature buff, I've come at it as a university graduate of English literature, but nothing seems to make it more interesting to me. I wish I could enjoy it on any level, in any context. If you like it, Kim, then I'm happy for you.


Traveller He he. China Mièville said it well in Railsea : (Just substitute ship with train)

"Sham made it at last to the ruin of some once-grand cargo train, stripped it of fittings. He dug into the ground & hauled out debris.

Dangerous work, but he got on with it. He dumped his finds on the shore. Gathered junk. A few more trips out to the wreck & Sham had a yard-load of nu-salvage. As night fell he began to cobble it together. When the sun came up he was standing, proudly, in a hut.

He made it into the old train’s hold where he discovered that, by happy chance, it had been carrying seeds. These he planted. He continued building until he had made a small township of corrugated iron. His crop grew. Sham collected rainwater & wove flax. He tamed local animals & got more stuff from the train. Sham made bread.

In the second year he got a bit lonely & then luckily he found the footprints of another human being on the island. He followed them & met a native, who was astonished but impressed by him & became his happy servant. Together they continued building, & after a few more years Sham managed to build an actual train, & he left the new country that he had founded with the handy discards of his old, & he set out on a journey back to Streggeye, the wind in his hair.
That didn’t happen.

Sham sat, cold, frightened, starving, on the beach. Staring at nothing. His fantasy hadn’t made him feel any better. It hadn’t been convincing at all.



message 25: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Traveller wrote: "He he. China Mièville said it well in Railsea : (Just substitute ship with train)

"Sham made it at last to the ruin of some once-grand cargo train, stripped it of fittings. He dug into the ground ..."


Haha, nice! I've got to read me some Mieville.


Traveller This specific Mieville is a riff on Moby Dick, but he sneaks in a few of these "boy's adventure" novels as well.


message 27: by Tara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tara (T. T. Kesley) Ha ha! I read the first few pages of the Swiss Family Robinson and couldn't bear anymore. Oh, Robinsons!


message 28: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Koivu Tara wrote: "Ha ha! I read the first few pages of the Swiss Family Robinson and couldn't bear anymore. Oh, Robinsons!"

They really are the worst, aren't they!


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