Asha Seth's Reviews > Robinson Crusoe
bookshelves: 2013, classics, historical
As Robinson quoted,
"And thus I left the island, the nineteenth of December as I found by the ship's account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight and twenty years, two months, and 19 days; being delivered from this the second captivity the same day of the month that I first made my escape in the barco-longo, from among the Moors of Sallee.
In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England, the eleventh of June, in the year 1687, having been thirty and five years absent."
And the journey of Robinson Crusoe still does not end.
Robinson Crusoe is a fine Englishman living in England and cherishing a dream of going to the sea. Although his family does not support his idea, he flees, nonetheless, on a ship to London. After two such trips, his ship gets captured by Pirates and he serves as a slave in Africa. He escapes the slavery somehow but on yet another journey gets shipwrecked and stranded off at Trinidad coasts.
He soon realizes that he is the only human on the island and thereby believes his is the 'KING' of the place. Then starts his journey of twenty eight long years of adventure and living on the solitude island.
He befriends and trains a parrot and names him 'POLL', also pets a goat and a dog. He builds himself an apartment in a cave, learns farming from a handful of seeds, rearing goats, cooking himself meals from whatever beasts and fowls he hunted, weaving, pottery, baking bread, making himself body-covers from animal skins, and similar other occupations that kept him occupied. He also maintains a diary where he notes his daily expedition and activities.
Few years down the line, he makes an enormous canoe from a huge cedar tree only realizing he cannot take it to sea. So he makes a smaller canoe and attempts his first escape which he does not succeed at. He also finds a man who was a victim of cannibal hunt, saves him, names him Friday and takes him in for a servant. And finally, after twenty-eight years, he leaves the island with his little belongings and some rusty silver coins for money.
This book is not just a book but a journey in itself that takes you; sometimes with ecstasy and sometimes; drags you with monotonous boredom through the island that Crusoe toured and inhabited. Defoe describes the intricateness of the journey with such simplicity that you cannot stop but feel that you are a part of the island too; not just reading but living all of it.
This book reminded me several times of one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies - Cast Away. Also, that I was aware of the fact that this book was much influenced by the life of a Alexander Selkirk, Scottish castaway sailor who inhabited Pacific Island for 4 years, made reading this book all the more fun, to think what all man can do and get down to in trial times.
Finally, I would feel the review incomplete if I do not include the catchiest Crusoe quote,
“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them.
and so true that is!!
I am much ashamed to accept that I skimmed through final 50 pages just to know if Crusoe ever gets to leave the island. And I was happy to see he does and attends to regular affairs of life back in England.
Although, I enjoyed the book a lot, I still rate it four and not five for the hell lot of spelling errors it had. Most times, I had to thesaurus the words to check what some words meant only to know they were mere spelling errors.
Well, all I can say is, this book will - hook you up, pull you, drag you, make you yawn and curse its slow pace sometimes, make you run and sprint sometimes, and honestly, it is all worth the effort.
A journey worth the travel. I just did. Are you up for it?