Item description for Gulliver's Travels (Penguin Classics) by Jonathan Swift & Robert DeMaria...
Overview The unusual voyages of Englishman Lemuel Gulliver carry him to such strange locales as Lilliput, where the inhabitants are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a nation ruled by horses.
Shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver's encounters with the petty, diminutive Lilliputians, the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the abstracted scientists of Laputa, the philosophical Houyhnhnms, and the brutish Yahoos give him new, bitter insights into human behavior. Swift's fantastic and subversive book remains supremely relevant in our own age of distortion, hypocrisy, and irony.
@LittleBigMan Awoke in an unfamiliar land. The boat and my crew are gone. Oh dear, the people here are very small. Oops. Sorry about that. I don't mean to boast; I'm not a terribly tall man. But these people of Lilliput are the size of child's Johnson. Still, they have captured me. I have become a great favorite of the Lilliputian court, whose antics are like an adorable tiny version King George's, the blithering idiot. From "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less"
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Studio: Penguin Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.78" Width: 5.18" Height: 0.72" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2003
Publisher Penguin Classics
Series Penguin Classics
ISBN 0141439491 ISBN13 9780141439495 UPC 051488007005
Availability 0 units.
More About Jonathan Swift & Robert DeMaria
Jonathan Swift was born in 1667, the son of Anglo-Irish parents. After an education in Ireland, Swift moved to England where he reluctantly chose a career in the church. There, he worked for Sir William Temple, in whose household he met Esther Johnson. The two fell in love, but were never publicly married. While in England, Swift discovered his talents as a satirist, producing texts such as "A Tale Of A Tub" and "The Battle of the Books" (1704). At age thirty-one, Swift returned to Ireland as chaplain to a lord justice. Swift maintained his energy and wit and, later in life, wrote "A Modest Proposal" (1729) and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (1726). Swift died on October 19, 1745.
Jonathan Swift lived in Dublin. Jonathan Swift was born in 1667 and died in 1745.
Reviews - What do customers think about Gulliver's Travels (Penguin Classics)?
NOT Bringing Home the Bacon! Mar 27, 2008
Our hero Gulliver and his wife could use some counseling. It seems that every time he plops down on the sofa with his better-half and children, Gulliver gets restless and needs to go have another adventure. (Did they have sofas back then? If not, how did people crash out in front of their TV sets?) And he lives in idyllic old England, go figure!
Each time he does this (gets the traveling jones) he hops aboard some ship, tantamount to suicide in those days, eats salted meat and spoiled porridge for a few weeks, months or years, (unless there is a Chili's or Olive Garden nearby along the way--but he always seems to forget his coupons,) generally shipwrecks and sooner or later encounters some bizarre form of intelligent life in whatever fairyland he has found for himself this time, in whatever chapter of the book he happens to be sojourning in at this particular intersection of the time-space continuum.
Usually he is held captive, and then embosomed or exploited by whoever the freaks of nature are this time around, invariably escapes and by a series of miracles eventually finds his way home again, only to discover the same boring wife and children at the hearth waiting patiently despite the years that have passed without so much as a text message.
Along the way we are treated to Swift's amazing writing, great humor, wit and stellar imagination. Highly recommended, but it takes a bit of work to get through the whole thing.
amazingly good read Jan 10, 2008
It took me a while to get to this book - it kept being recommended by friends, but I was a bit put off by the effort I thought I would have to put into reading a book written 300 years ago. Well, I was really suprised - "Gulliver's Travels" is easier to reads, and is certainly written much better, than most modern novels. Swift certainly didn't have too high an opinion about humanity, but rarely was he heavy handed. Thus he is entertaining even when he is preachy.
I agree that the book was so popular because it succeeded on so many different levels. It must have been outstanding political satire in its time (the full effect has, not surprisingly, diminished over time). However, it also reads well as a parody of travel literature, a fairy tale, or speculative fiction.
Misanthropic and proud of it Sep 16, 2007
Swift's masterwork has lost none of its bite. His acerbic misanthropy is on full display here.
As the book progresses, Swift's contempt for humanity grows. This is partly what made the book so compelling for me. Gulliver is only truly happy when he is among the Houyhnhnms, the horse people in the final part of the book. He develops such a dislike for humans that he finds it hard to re-acclimate upon returning to his family in England. What is compelling is that Swift was so obviously misanthropic, yet was able to get away with it. It really speaks to his skill as a novelist. In the hands of a lesser writer, this book would have come out horribly wrong.
Swift's descriptions of the different worlds are something to behold. As the reader, I could clearly picture each place in my mind. Swift gives the reader just enough to vividly imagine the world Gulliver is in at that time. Swift has the idea that the reader can do some of the work on his own, which is sadly not something authors ascribe to these days. This is partly the reason why this book is such a classic.
A wonderful commentary on the follies and shortcomings of humanity.
Swift's satire finds time travel difficult, but it's a great read anyway Aug 27, 2007
It's a good read and probably every bit the masterpiece its reputation claims. The problem with satire, however, is that it doesn't stand alone. Parody, on the other hand, ought to make sense in itself, but obviously more sense if the object of the parody is understood and familiar. Satire only seems to make sense if you know the original.
The section in Lilliput describing the bloke with different sized heels on his shoes, for instance, is very funny, but only when the footnote has provided the context. He is described as having to negotiate a political line between the faction that likes high heels and the other that likes low ones. He makes awkward progress with both groups, since he can barely walk or stand up straight in a pair of shoes made up so he can have a foot in each camp. The reference is beautiful. It refers to High Church and Low Church in the Anglican tradition, and therefore to Whig and Tory, the opposing political parties of the time. To stay sweet with both, certain royals kept a foot in both camps, making their progress as ridiculous as the rough-shod Lilliputian.
In the books three sections, Gulliver is too big, then too small, then everyone is a horse except for the noxious Yahoos, of course. It was still a lot of fun and, probably, hard witting. The trouble, again, was knowing the targets. If today's Yahoos are considered... perhaps Swift might have googled his yahoos if he had been writing today.
One last observation is about well-known classics in general. The most famous scene from Gulliver's Travels, at least the one most depicted, is of Gulliver strapped to the ground by Lilliputian string and twine, while the little blighters run all over him. In Don Quixote, an equally quintessential scene is the tilting at windmills, mistaken by the knight for giants. It is interesting that both of these much quoted scenes appear very early in their respective books. I wonder if that might have something to do with certain people never getting very far through them!
Worth dusting off, except for Book IV Jan 28, 2007
On a dreary January day, I ran across some old High School literature books and decided on re-reading Gulliver's Travels, this time for enjoyment rather than a grade. Now that I have a little more knowledge of European history than I did as a teenager, I did indeed enjoy a fair amount of the satire in Gulliver's voyages. However, I've got to say that his fourth book with the talking horses slowed me down so much I feared I wouldn't finish the book. Swift moved from satire to moaning and griping about everything human. Wasn't he a priest? I would've expected a man of God to at least have run across one or two worhty persons who might have uplifted him a little. The starry-eyed gushing over the Utopian horses and unrelentingly negative portrayals of mankind gets very old, very fast. Makes me wish I hadn't picked up the dusty old book in the first place. I'm glad I did, though, for the sake of the first two books.