Item description for Robinson Crusoe (Literatura Juvenil (Panamericana Editorial)) (Spanish Edition) by Daniel Defoe...
The sole survivor of a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is stranded on an uninhabited island far away from any shipping routes. With patience and ingenuity, he transforms his island into a tropical paradise. For twenty-four years he has no human company, until one Friday, he rescues a prisoner from a boat of cannibals.
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Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is the author of Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, and A Journal of the Plague Year. Paul Theroux is the award-winning author of such novels as Picture Palace and The Mosquito Coast as well as numerous bestselling travel books, including The Great Railway Bazaar. Robert Thayer is Professor of British Literature and Director of the Screen Studies Program at Oklahoma State University and the author of History and the Early English Novel: Matters of Fact from Bacon to Defoe.
Daniel Defoe lived in London. Daniel Defoe was born in 1661 and died in 1731.
Reviews - What do customers think about Robinson Crusoe (Literatura Juvenil (Panamericana Editorial)) (Spanish Edition)?
Influential Classic Apr 21, 2010
Robinson Crusoe is one of the few books that truly everyone should read and that nearly everyone who reads anything but current bestsellers has read. This has almost as much to do with its incredible importance and near-unmatched influence as inherent quality, though this last is substantial. The book has long been called the first Western novel, and it remains one of the most widely-read and beloved nearly three centuries later and continues to hold a mighty sway over writers and the popular consciousness.
There are many reasons for this. Most obvious and important is sheer readability; the book's age is near-unbelievable, as it reads almost as well as ever despite archaic spellings and punctuation. Unlike nearly all classics, it need not be drastically edited, footnoted, and introduced for comprehension. This is hardly true of even many twentieth century works, much less ones of such vintage. Even casual readers who have almost no experience with classics, to say nothing of ones three hundred years old, can pick it up with practically no trouble. Fast-paced and deeply engrossing, it quickly draws us in and never lets go. Initial readers thought it simply too good to be true; they had never seen anything like it - scarcely even thought it possible -, flocking to it as people now flock to blockbuster films and for much the same reason. This persists to a surprisingly large degree; the book is immensely entertaining even after all this time, drawing in readers of all ages and continuing to be frequently referenced, parodied, and adapted.
The plot itself is of course also key. Robinson is a rollicking, suspense-filled, action-packed adventure of the sort that did not really reappear until over a century later with writers like Dumas. The book was immediately seen as first-rate escapism and continues to be such; we lose ourselves in Crusoe's adventures in a way few books - or any other medium - allow. It is near-ubiquitously imitated - so many clichés began here that it is almost unbelievable - but never equaled.
The character of Crusoe is also profoundly important. One of literature's great figures, he captured initial readers' imaginations in an unprecedented way and is still a towering presence. Drastically different as his experience is from all but a few people's, he has the common humanity and verisimilitude necessary for a truly identifiable character. We feel with and for him almost as if we are him, experiencing his ups and downs much as if we lived them.
This points to another integral facet - stirring realism. Daniel Defoe set a new standard here, and it has in many ways rarely been equaled. Conventionally fantastic as Crusoe's adventures are, the near-documentary style has made them at least as real for millions of readers over centuries as anything in history books or the news - or even their own lives. This ground-breaking, titanically influential feature dramatically changed the very idea of what fiction could be - nay, in the view of most novel historians, all but invented it, at least in the West. Literature has never been the same, and many would say it has never been as good.
Robinson is also of great historical value. Though clearly far from showing what everyday early eighteenth century European life was like, the book gives a very good idea of its thoughts and customs as well as much background information. This lends Robinson value beyond literature but also brings up the greatest difficulty in reading it today - the glorification of values long since rightly deemed unacceptable. Strongly Eurocentric, many parts of Robinson now seem distinctly racist, and it unashamedly champions colonialism - a movement whose destructive tendencies we have learned all too well - when still in its heyday. Some will not be able to get past this, which is understandable, but it is important to see that Robinson was truly a product of its time - indeed in many ways epitomized it. Influential critics even see it is an unapologetic colonialist allegory. This is not an excuse but an explanation. The book shows the early eighteenth century world as it seemed to Europeans - bad as well as good; some of the latter would not have been thought so at the time, but this only increases the historical value. Robinson is thus almost ethnographical - though, as with the allegory interpretation, this was almost certainly not Defoe's intent; its sociological value is probably at least as great as its historical value. More fundamentally, despite a plot that was always in many ways fantastic and has now become so popular as to seem almost hopelessly clichéd, the book remains viable because it speaks to something deep within it. Though not philosophical or otherwise containing the depth of meaning some find essential to truly great literature, its vivid dramatization of can-do optimism in utter adversity's face has always appealed to the best in us. The eternal values of courage, determination, and perseverance have rarely been better or more memorably shown, making Robinson one of the most timeless depictions of the human spirit's endurance.
One admittedly large caveat aside, Robinson is simply essential for anyone even remotely interested in literature. The few who may be reading this and have not read it must do so immediately.
As for this edition, it is important to remember that, like others in the Dover Thrift series, it is bare bones - only a short headnote besides the text. Anyone wanting extra will have to look elsewhere, but this will suffice for most, as few classics are less in need of supplemental material.
A surprisingly readable 300 year-old adventure, though the early 18th century evidently lacked editors Dec 25, 2008
The name "Robinson Crusoe" readily conjures up images of a sad castaway on a desert island, who after years of solitude comes up a man's footprint in the sand. But in reading Daniel Defoe's novel of 1719, I was surprised how different the work is from its common stereotype. Not until about 50 pages in does Crusoe end up a castaway, having before hand some misadventures as a young sailor. Instead of washing up on his island with just the clothes on his back, he in fact is able to get a great many useful tools and implements from his still intact wreck. And the man's footprint, instead of being the sign of another Crusoe subsequently encounters, is just a sign that some cannibals from the mainland visit the island on occassion.
All in all ROBINSON CRUSOE is an entertaining novel, one with much adventure and intrigue. One gets a lot of pleasure from reading of how Crusoe turns the basic furnishings of the island to his own use, having by the end of his confinement there such things as cheese, three houses, two canoes, and pottery. ROBINSON CRUSOE is also an interesting portrait of the times, for it was much influenced by popular attitudes of the early 1700s. Crusoe occasionally voices his dislike of the Spaniards, their atrocities in the Americas, and their Roman Catholic religion. But Defoe is hardly more charitable to the Native Americans, whose ignorance and godless depravity Crusoe deplores constantly.
To criticize a 300 year-old classic might be a silly exercise, but I doubt many readers will find this novel an elegantly crafted work. It's repetitive, for one. How many times do we need to read that Crusoe is reluctant to kill the maneaters? And the writer didn't seem to know when to stop, for after Crusoe's return to civilization we get an unnecessary battle with wolves in the woods of France. No wonder that the novel has so often circulated in abridgement.
I read this book in the Penguin Popular Classics edition, ISBN 0140623154, which I would recommend if you just want some reading material without making a permanent addition to your library. It is printed on poor quality paper, but is priced quite low. It has no notes or commentary, but you really don't need them. Indeed, I'm surprised how smoothly readable ROBINSON CRUSOE is considering that it was written in the English of 300 years ago (even later works like TRISTRAM SHANDY present more of a challenge), and I'd even recommend it to a young person wanting just a fun adventure story.
Beautiful book, but abridged Jul 9, 2008
Scribner has created a beautiful book in this edition. The illustrations are on heavy glossy paper and are magnificent. There are very nice, free readings of this work online, and so I purchased the book for my young children to enjoy - to read while listening to the narrator. My only complaint is the book is abridged. This is not evident from the description. I think most editions of this work are abridged. When the book ended, I was left wondering what became of Friday, as he is not mentioned again after the final battle. The author did not seem like one who would leave out that detail, and so I discovered the unabridged story is longer. Still, the quality of the book and the beauty of the illustrations are so very nice that I cannot knock a star off my review.
Classic, Kind of has a inner depth too. Mar 13, 2008
"I came on shore here on the 30th of September, 1639." These words, these few words signified the beginning of a new life for Robinson Crusoe. In the timely classic Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, a young boy becomes a man, after living alone on an island for 35 years. Set in the 1600's, our protagonist, Robinson Crusoe, is stranded on an isolated island after being shipwreck by a terrible storm. He has to learn anything and everything in order to survive on the island. At first, Robinson Crusoe struggles with the need of food, shelter, and protection. But most of all, Robinson Crusoe battles against the desperate need of company. Slowly, Crusoe starts to fall into a pattern: he built a sturdy fortress, raised up a good crop, managed to satisfy all his need with his own to hands, and took the Bible to his heart. Defoe wonderfully creates a realistic mental scene of all Robinson Crusoe dealt with while, the illustrator, N.C. Wyeth, visually portrays the moments of Crusoe's life vividly. The style of Robinson Crusoe switches between first person narrative and dairy format. The book is fast-paced, skimming years, while writes in detail on only the most important parts of his island survival. Defoe neatly described all aspects of Robinson Crusoe's life from religion to family. Finally, Defoe puts in, in my opinion, a theme of never giving up, no matter what the circumstances, for if you stack up the good against the battle, you will find the good shall always outweigh the bad.
Shipwrecked-on-an-Island, a Wonderful Story Nov 5, 2007
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There are a lot of psychological and social theories about "Robinson Crusoe," but I just take it as a grand adventure. I loved all the details of how he survived after being shipwrecked on that island. Just remember that it was written in the seventeenth century so you have to get used to writing.
I have a warm place in my heart for Robinson Crusoe. Some fifty years ago in the second grade, my teacher read it to our class. Decades later, I told my wife about it, but she said that it was impossible. Robinson Crusoe is too difficult for a teacher to read to second graders.
Well, several years went by, and I was proved right. In a used bookstore, I bought a copy of "The Story of Robinson Crusoe in words of One Syllable," with "Colored Illustrations." The book was published in about 1900, and when my teacher read it to her class, the book was over fifty years old.
Since then I have collected paperback editions of "Robinson Crusoe" for their neat covers, and this one is really nice.
If you like shipwrecked-on-an-island stories, read Richard Laymon's "Island." It's a page-turner of a modern murder mystery. Island