Completist author reading, Old School

9. Robinson Crusoe – 5/10

Not the gripping tale I had hoped it would be.

My father had warned me that I might find Robinson Crusoe too simple in light of my recent Brontë adventures, and he was right – the writing is skilful, the plot adequate, but I was left unmoved.

Written in the style of a diary (with a few unnecessary extra layers of diary-writing), the book follows Robinson Crusoe’s misadventures at sea, from running away from home, joining a ship to Africa, being enslaved, escaping, sailing to Brazil, becoming a rich land-owner and becoming ship-wrecked while on a slave-gathering journey. We then follow twenty-something years of how he fends for himself on an uninhabited island (which seems to be remarkably abundant in everything he might need), and how he finally makes contact with savages and escapes from his island.

Robinson himself is well-educated and therefore frames his thoughts eruditely, but there is little to like or dislike in his character – he is simply there. And alone.

Maybe one needs to be male to appreciate/understand/enjoy this novel

Something I learnt in Germany: Management, Robinson Crusoe style, is just waiting for Friday.


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