Andy Madsen's Reviews > Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
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Jan 27, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2002

It's really sad that people judge books from the 17th century from their 21st century politically-correct perspective. You don't have to agree with Defoe's worldview and religious beliefs to like the book. I'm repulsed by Homer's beliefs but I know his works deserve to be classics.

People who think this book is boring probably think hikes through majestic mountains or quiet afternoons in a beautiful garden are boring. This book is slow at times. But the slowest parts are the best. Defoe is a master of detail. And the action is much more exciting when it comes after the calm. A book with only action would be boring to me (not to mention corny, e.g. Treasure Island).

This is, hands down, my favorite novel of all time. Rich detail, gripping plot, profound character development, insightful meditations, and the meeting of two radically different worlds in Robinson and the cannibals. I never stop reading this book. When I finish I start again. I love Robinson and Friday as if they were a real life father and brother.

BTW - There is an audio recording by Ron Keith that is spectacular. The publisher is Recorded Books.
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01/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by KZ (new) - added it

KZ Are you suggesting that the author's ignorance (due to the time period he's from) elevates his book above criticism of its flaws--such as racism? How is it “sad” that modern-day people have a problem with racism (among other things) in this story? Don't make excuses for bad behavior.


Jesse Kearl Thank you! I am also extremely frustrated by people that can't look at the book in its proper context.


Andres Eduardo Estoy de acuerdo/Im agree, youre right


message 4: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 Never judge historical figures or works of art by modern standards. Seek out the universality, but understand that times change. Good comments on Defoe.


message 5: by Brian John (new) - added it

Brian John I couldn't have said it better myself. Great review!


Ryan Stowell I can't stop rereading it.


message 7: by J (new) - rated it 2 stars

J I found this quite a tedious read and I certainly don't find walks through majestic mountains, or quiet afternoons in a beautiful garden boring. Those are two things that give me huge pleasure in life.


Patricia I found this book really boring and it has nothing to do with the period. I like "The Iliad" and love "Don Quixote" or "El Lazarillo de Tormes" or "La Princèse de Clèves". So really, just because it's a classic, it doesn't mean there are no better characters or more enjoyable books even by 17th c. standards.


message 9: by J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J. Thank you for this review, you summed up the way I have felt about this work perfectly!


message 10: by José (last edited Dec 09, 2015 07:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

José I agree with you. It is a great book and people need to understand it by what it is. Hugely under apreciated. Great review.


message 11: by Toby (new) - added it

Toby I read this book at the age of 13 and frankly loved it. I tried finding other books to do with being stuck on an island and surviving with what there is but I have to say Robinson Crusoe trumps all of them. I do understand that there are many people who are looking at this book and reading it through a 21st Century perspective, however to read any book with a closed mind precisely defies the point of a book! In order to refrain from angering anyone or going on too much I'll put it short, read the book with an open mind and you'll see why it is easily one of my favourite books.


message 12: by Jenn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenn I agree completely... it would take an extraordinarily perceptive man to stand against the social customs of his age. Who is to say in future our descendants will look at us and ask how could they drive or fly knowing they were poisoning the planet? How could they buy cheap clothes from sweat shops in the far East knowing how they were made? It's very easy to criticise, not so easy to make your own judgement.


message 13: by Stacey (new) - added it

Stacey ^ What Jen said.

I try to read historic works in context, though it's tough. However the best reviews of books and movies that, outside of context, are alarmingly politically incorrect, are the truly funny one's where the humor is understood as satirical. There's one for Robinson Crusoe here that fits that description. Sometimes, it IS possible to cut it both ways.


Andrea I believe it to be quite arrogant to presume that if someone didn't like the book, it's probably because they didn't read it right. I personally hated the book. Not because if was obviously racist for today's society, but because the narrator was just incredibly annoying. His character, his persona, lacked originality and personality. Even for his times. Wether it was written to mirror a bigot society or not, it is boring to read about it at such an extent. It's interesting at times, but I felt some parts were way to stressed. They go on and on and on. I just kept repeating to myself 'Okay, I GOT IT'.
Obviously, this is just my opinion. But I don't label who liked the book as being someone who is probably as boring as Robinson. Far from it. We all just have a different way of looking at things.


Cineraria My favorite books are the classics, and my spare time is filled with gardening and camping. Yet, I have to agree with others that this book was in fact lacking in something, if not boring.


Taylor This is the most nonsensical review. The book is an 18th century novel. Defoe is not Crusoe, their beliefs are not the same. Beyond listing his items, there's actually very little detailed description in this novel. Crusoe subjugates Friday, there is not father/brother relationship. Yikes!


Susobhan Thank you. It is my inspiration. Whenever I think of dying myself I think that there are so many problems in life still God has made me alive


message 18: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby L. Great review! My thoughts exactly!


message 19: by Jake (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jake Wendlandt Completely agree,


Kevin Well said Andy.


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