Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A good read overall. Bits and pieces of philosophy here and there that make you think and ponder. Ethics, Religion, and cultural issues are occasionally pondered throughout the story. Setting those aside the general story is a good adventure tale and is hard to put down once you get into it.
The primary drawbacks are the writing style and of course the period language/prose. The difference in prose from another time in history is one reason to read classic lit. so this is not a negative, just a difficulty. The writing style takes some effort to get past. First there are no chapters. . . none. You never get a convenient stopping point to set the book down. The plot is not divided in any way. Second, the timeline of the plot is dis-jointed. The author will write of doing something and then much later tell you "by the way that took a year and a half to accomplish, and now back to where we were. . .".
As far as the story itself; I've always heard it to be the story of being stranded on a deserted island, but found there is a considerable amount of story both prior to and after the island. Not a little of here's the setup and here's the happy ending afterwards, but a fair amount of story/plot which has little to do with the central island plot-line. The other part of the story which I found odd was that you expect the story of a castaway to be one of struggle and difficulty but here in this story Crusoe very conveniently recovers most everything he needs from the wreck of the ship (i.e. after 28 years he still has gunpowder (and functioning guns in a humid tropical clime), also he eats bread from the ship for nearly a year). Not to mention his incredible recovery of his money, business, and property after being presumed dead for 29 years.
Overall worth reading.