Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe - by Daniel Defoe

Free US/UK Kindle Classic

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is a novel by English writer Daniel Defoe.  (US Edition)  (UK Edition)  The book was first published in 1719 making it a very early example of the novel.  It eventually became a bestseller.  The name is well known, but have you read the book?

I read a version as a child and I am sure it was well expurgated.  This is the 1919 edition published by  Seeley, Service & Co.  I am not able to find information on the editions.  You can't go by the description on the Amazon page which says it is for children.  There is a review claiming it is heavily edited, but that refers to an 1808 Kindle edition.

Here is what I can show you, the text:

I busied myself mightily, that day especially, in searching whether I could make any way into the ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for all the inside of the ship was choked up with sand.  However, as I had learned not to despair of anything, I resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that everything I could get from her would be of some use or other to me.

May 3.—I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I thought held some of the upper part or quarter-deck together, and when I had cut it through, I cleared away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for that time.
May 4.—I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. 

I think that gives you a very clear picture of what the book is like.  It is a diary by a castaway and is going to have a certain pace.  Those of us who like diarists will enjoy this, as will those who are interested in early literature. Then of course, you may just want to read one of the most famous books ever written!

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