Rachel Terry's Reviews > The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
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's review
Oct 30, 09

bookshelves: classics, juvie
Read in October, 2009

Now I understand why there are so many abridged editions of this book. It is repetitive and tedious and is held by such a tenuous thread of a plot that you barely care what's going to happen next.

I have come up with some other titles for this book, just in case marketers would like to advertise from a different angle:

How To:

101 Ways to Skin a Mammal

How to Use Deserted Islands to Make Men of Your Boys

Memoir:

Apes I Have Destroyed

Master's Thesis:

A History of the Magnificent Inventions of One Swiss Gentlemen and their Applications to Civilized Life on an Island, Once Wild, But Now Tamed by the Influence of Cultivated Europeans and Copious Amounts of Gunpowder


The kids and I read this one together, and although there were a few complaints ("Do we have to keep reading this? They're so mean. They just kill everything."), it was a good chance to talk about cultural differences. It was good to point out that in the early 19th century, while many areas of the world were being colonized, trophy hunting and calling people "savages" were not frowned upon. Also, people didn't frown on the outward practice of religion. There are some very religious sentiments in this book, which I found refreshing. Then it was nice to show the contrasts to our day. We don't call people savages or kill animals so we can attach their heads to the fronts of our canoes, but people are much more suspicious of religion.

Now we're going to watch the Disney movie. I suspect that it will be less gory since it's Rated G.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Krisette Spangler We love this movie. The little boy who plays Francis is so funny.


Rachel Terry Yeah, the kids loved it. I think the boy who plays Earnest is in The Shaggy Dog. I kept picturing him with fur on his face.


message 3: by Ephantus (new)

Ephantus Survivor and MacGyver all onto one.


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