Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe. Its original, full title was The Life and strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, where-in all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself.It was first published in 1719 and sometimes regarded as the first novel in English. The book is a fictional autobiography of the title character, an English castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Venezuela, encountering Native Americans, captives, and mutineers.
I didn't read this until I was 45, but I enjoyed it and was pleased to recommend it to my 14 year old son. It's not the easiest book to read by any means, because the spelling is quite different in many cases to modern spelling, and because there are no chapter divisions whatsoever, so you end up wondering where to pause. It makes a great adventure story, but it is also quite a thoughtful book as Crusoe muses on the grace of God (or 'Providence' as he calls it), that has saved his life from a shipwreck, even though he is marooned alone on an island with possibly no hope of ever leaving. My main criticism is that Crusoe is rather too perfect in his attitudes. He is occasionally sad, but he never admits to anger, depression, or indeed almost any fault at all. This seems rather unrealistic. Nevertheless, the book deserves to be read, 300 years after it was written, and I'd recommend it, especially to teenage boys.
I really enjoyed this book. It is an exciting adventure story, and throughout there are many deep moments of philosophy about God. As long as you can get past the strange spellings and sentence structure, you should be fine reading it, although it is certainly a difficult read. Excellent!
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- Reading Age: 14+
- Reading Aloud Age: 13+
Quite a few mentions of the islands around Crusoe's being inhabited by cannibals. There are quite a few instances of this, and Crusoe does find several piles of bones etc. The details are not really explicit, though.
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