Thursday, February 20, 2014


I may have read this novel many years ago, but if I did, it was not stored properly in my memory. A software glitch no doubt. Daniel Defoe first published this story in 1719 under a considerably more lengthy title : "The Life and Strange Surprizing story 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 Oronoco River; Having been cast on shore by shipwreck, Wherein all the Men perished but himself. With an Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pirates."
If the title is lengthy, so is the novel.
Robinson starts his adventure as a rebellious youth who disregards the sage advice of his father and seeks adventure, fame and fortune on the high sees. After repeated disasters at sea, he still boards another ship and this time it is his undoing. He is the lone survivor of a shipwreck and manages to establish himself on an island somewhere around Trinidad.
The story is quite good in depicting the survival skills of Robinson, and how he innovated to eventually make life quite pleasant for himself. It also gives him opportunity to soul search and as he digs out a Bible from a sea chest he was able to salvage, the novel takes on an interesting twist as reflection on past rebellion brings Robinson to repentance and a true relationship with his new found saviour, Jesus Christ of the Bible. So the story is an adventure of survival and spiritual renewal as the musings of the castaway become quite theological and profound. This might be the first Christian fiction novel in history!
With his new outlook on life, Robinson takes on various challenges, such as dealing with cannibals, his 'found' friend and servant Friday, who also becomes a Christian,  and eventually his dealings with mutineers, the conclusion of which becomes his ultimate means of rescue and return to England.
Perhaps this novel is responsible for the clichéd idea of being stranded on a desert island with sustenance from land and sea, living in sunshine and surf for the remainder of one's days and quite enjoying it. Indeed, Robinson was loathe to leave his island when the day came when he had opportunity to do so.
I found the writing to be fast paced and certainly interesting enough to not only hold my interest, but at times it was difficult to put down.
I am enjoying my stroll down the classics aisle of the Kindle bookstore and now I have another one I can cross off my list. This was one of the better ones.
4 stars 

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