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Gulliver's Travels / A Modest Proposal

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,066 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Enduring Literature Illuminated by Practical Scholarship

By turns a children's fantasy and a social satire for adults, Gulliver's Travels is one of the most popular adventure tales of all time. "A Modest Proposal," also an imaginative, enduring work, is political lampoonery at its finest.

This Enriched Classic Edition includes:

A concise introduction that gives readers

Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Simon Schuster (first published July 26th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,066 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swift is a fan-freaking-tastic satirical writer. A Modest Proposal was hilarious, so long as you understand it is indeed a satire. Gulliver's Travels is also satirical, and I found it fun tying the satire back to what was going on in politics when Swift wrote this. Even if you don't understand how the piece is satirical, you can still gather the themes and lessons throughout. Worth a read for sure!
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Just couldn't get into it
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really had to read this about three times to get the whole political underscore and social commentary. When you're 8 years old, it just seems like a fun fairytale, but reading it multiple times in high school and college, it struck different chords each time. It's actually a pretty smart critique on life dressed up in an interesting bunch of journeys to different lands.

A Modest Proposal, was hilarious, in my opinion. Reading it once as-is and then again keeping in mind the satirical nature of
در یوم بیست و پنش شهر نوامبر سنهٔ دو هزار و پانزده، قرائتیده شد، ریویو تا ساعاتی بلکم هم ایامی دگر
و من اللح طوفیغ
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is SO much more than Lilliput. I'm glad I read the entire book, rather than relying on Disney's version.
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
Eh...I picked up Gulliver's Travels because I brought back from Christmas holiday (my parents' home and residence for many of my books) with the intention of diving right into it in January. Obviously, the intention has gone stale as it is now July.

Gulliver's travels reminds me of Twain's Innocents Abroad. Both are travel narratives and not really "novels" in the traditional sense--if at all. Swift and Twain's works are also united by their satirical intentions, though I must admit that much of
Aug 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Gulliver's Travels is purported to be a classic and a children's tale. I read this to find out about both and to remove the Disney version from my head. Gulliver travels to Lilliput (The small), Brobdingnag (giants), Laputa (thinkers) and Houyhnhnm (horses). The small and large are contrasted to show that might makes the rules. The thinkers are characterized an nonsensical, useless, layabout tyrants and the horse society with its attendant Yahoos (feral humans) as the ideal. The ideal which has ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought this, being a classic, would be better. It was exciting at first to read about his experiences in a strange land, but after awhile, all I could think was, "Geez guy, just stay home with your wife and kids. Every time you leave on a ship you inevitably are shipwrecked or thrown overboard or mutineered. LEARN YOUR LESSON!" But he doesn't. Maybe it's just that the stack of books on my nightstand seem WAY more interesting that Gulliver's Travels. But it wasn't engaging for me. :( Sadly, I ...more
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Swift had a political agenda when he wrote Gulliver's Travels, and I find it fascinating how he could weave a plot around his opinions, to create an analogy that anyone can understand (and find humor in). As a result, he created not just an avenue for his social opinions, but a new literary culture (ie - the original source for our term "yahoo").

If you have never read "A Modest Proposal" I highly recommend it. Swift mocks some of his contemporaries and their methods for solving social problems,
Theophilus (Theo)
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This wasn't the edition I read as a teenager, but it has my two favorite Swift pieces. The original Gulliver's Travels is nothing like the animated feature film or the later movie versions. I remember it as being quite 'naughty' when I first read it. "A Modest Proposal" is hilarious. For amture teens (as I was) and adults, an enjoyable adventure story and perhaps, in another dimension or some dystopian society, a solution to hunger. Don't know what i am talking about. Beat it to your local libra ...more
Kathy Manus
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I really like the Voyage to Lilliput, but after that Swift's sense of humor grows old. This is the second time I have taught this and I enjoyed teaching it more the second time around. Unfortunately, like most teachers, I have run out of time and didn't get to cover the novel in depth the way I would have liked. I do think the students appreciated the satire, although I'm not sure they entirely understood all of the references, I did make a good effort to explain them. I will be teaching it agai ...more
Jul 08, 2015 added it
*trumpets sound and angels sing*

I'm done!

I stayed up until 11:37pm last night, finishing it, so I wouldn't have to endure such misery any longer.

Basically: The book is terrible. It was a good idea, I could see the potential, but the author ruined it with all the crudeness and unpleasant descriptions of some things. And also the part in which he basically goes insane.

Maybe a retelling is in order.

In a slightly more modern, or slightly more ancient setting. Possibly with time traveling. And dr
Ayne Ray
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Swift is one of history’s premier satirists, and his works transcend time and place. My favorite of these two works is the 1729 essay “A Modest Proposal” in which the author purports to solve the problem of poverty and hunger in Ireland by eating young children (“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled…”). It take ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
Akin to an 18th century version of Monty Python, Gulliver's Travels uses satire to examine the trends and beliefs of its day. Unfortunately, as someone else noted, only historians are likely to understand the satire in the first two books. The third book, however, is easily understood by a modern reader, and provided a number of laughs. The fourth book, while clear to a modern reader, is the least interesting of the four.

A Modest Proposal, like the third book of Gulliver's Travels, also stands t
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I had to read these for my British Literature class. Gulliver's Travel's was intriguing and interesting. A little bit of fun and fantasy was refreshing to read. A little adventurous, and a new learning experience for a traveller. I much enjoyed reading A Modest Proposal so much more! The satire is hilarious. It's written so matter of fact, yet with undertones of humour and hilarity. Jonathan Swift is a great satirist.
Brenda Cregor
Jul 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Jonathan Swift took some literary swings at humanity.

What I learned from this book can be summed up in this quote:

"...For they have no conception how a rational creature can be compelled, but only advised, or exhorted; because no person can disobey reason, without giving up his claim to be a rational creature."

The beautiful and noble Houyhnhnms were, of course, my favorite characters.

Samantha (Nicky's Mom)
Dec 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book seemed to be nothing more than the drunken rantings of an Irish man. It was a good book, but it was very strange and weird. "A Modest Proposal" was by far the funniest thing I have ever read though. It is dripping with satire and just absolutely hilarious. Anyone who takes it seriously is seriously an idiot, because there's no way it could even be considered as a real proposal.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A wonderful collection of fantasy worlds and adventures on the surface with deeply satirical observations about human nature below. There is a reason people are reading this after all this time. I also enjoyed "A Modest Proposal", but warn anyone who reads that about the satirical bent to all his works - he doesn't mean what he says on its face value, so read between the lines.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Naurin by: my cousin
I found this book pretty fascinating because I wonder how one day you'll be a normal size and the next day you wake up and you're a giant. I would not even want to be a giant because I am already tall and I would not like to be seen as a person who steps on people. This book strangely reminds me of big feet.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
I was severely disappointed by this book. Based on its reputation I expected so much more. The story was boring. Of the four parts, the third was the most interesting. While some of his satire on the failings of man are entertaining, the satire on the political scene in late 17th, early 18th century England just aren't that interesting.
Joe Soler
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to remember this book, but it was magnificent. Swift was so darn clever and snarky. I love snarky political commentary that is aimed not just at poking holes in our pretensions but challenging us to be better. Swift was one of the earliest and still ranks as one of the best.
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Classic Lit. and Satire Fans
Recommended to Thomas by: Some Comb-Over Professor
Two masterpieces that had me believing I could become a satirist in no time. Many newspapers had to endure my letters of which none were printed. (But I can't put the blame on Swift for making it look so easy.)
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gulliver's Travels was a great story of adventure I read as child. I didn't come to understand the political satire until I started college. My college experience has enriched the reading experience for me and I can appreciate the book on a different level.
J. Alfred
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lewis called Ovid a "cheerful old degenerate" and at the risk of making an oxymoron, I think Swift is a cheerful old misanthrope. The journeys read quickly and completely avoid melodrama, the irony is supurb, and it is genuinely hilarious.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am re-reading this classic book because it is hard to get free e-books for my iPad from the library. I use a few classics in between when I have problems getting newer books to read.

I am understanding the satire much more as an adult than I did as a young adult reading required reading.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Who doesn't love great satirical writing?!
Katie Winkler
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There's a reason these works are in every English Lit. anthology I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot!
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book is about so much more than little people. There is a deep sadness under it all.
Rachel Thompson
Mar 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classic
Perhpas I should try to read this with adult eyes. However, I HATED Travels in high school. Modest Proposal was okay though.
Worth reading. Worth remembering. Nice little reference to it in Fahrenheit 451
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Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift published al ...more