Sunday, March 16, 2014
Book Review - Robinson Crusoe
I just finished listening to the unabridged original version of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe. It was an amazing story - with so much more depth than I ever knew. As a child I read the Junior Scholastic version. Years later I read a similar edition to my grandson. I thought I knew the story well. It was only when I read the full unabridged original story as the author intended it that I came to understand it better.
Robinson Crusoe is so much more than an adventure story. In many ways, it is a deeply religious book. There are many passages throughout the book where Crusoe wrestles with the concept of providence and whether things have happened in his life due to chance or the hand of God. There is all kind of symbolism and several important themes throughout the novel.
There are also passages about his adventures after his rescue from the island that I have no memory of having been included in the abbreviated children's versions I had sampled before...like the harrowing scene where he and his traveling companions are attacked by wolves in the snowy mountains during their trek to Calais where he plans to take a ship to Dover.
I learned a new word as I was reading the book..... DeFoe repeatedly uses the expression videlicet, a lovely old English word that I suppose was more common when the book was written (1719).
There have been several movies made of this classic tale including the following:
screenplay by Christopher Loften,
starring Pierce Brosnan.
Opening Scene HERE
( I LIKE the looks of Sean Conner with long hair in Medicine Man, but this former Bond guy loses his appeal with the shaggy mane)
Starring Robert Hoffman
See it HERE
starring Dan O'Herlihy
See it Here
I have not yet watched the older version, although I may sometime soon. I was curious about the opening of the 1997 version with Brosnan - that whole duel scene and the woman he wants to wed but can't since her family is rich and his is not....completely made up and has nothing to do with the book.
But then....considering the fact that I've recently read/listened to some old James Bond novels and realized how very little they follow Ian Flemming's original works, I should not be surprised.
Bottom line - I very much enjoyed the BOOK Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe. Over 200 years later, it's still a captivating read. The movies? Dunno... my jury is still out there.
Posted by LJB at 9:57 PM