‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Daniel Defoe [Book Review]

It’s taken me far too long, but today (only 11 days before my essay deadline) I finally finished reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, for my fourth MA essay and the 2016 Reading Challenge. I listened to it on audiobook, which at least made the experience bearable – it was long winded and heavy!

Title: Robinson Crusoe
Author: Daniel Defoe
Released: 1719
Pages: 373
Category: #39 A book that takes place on an island
Rating: 5/10

“How little repairing there would be among Mankind, at any Condition of Life, if People would rather compare their Condition with those that are worse, in order to be thankful than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their Murmurings and Complainings.”

The novel follows Robinson Crusoe’s journey from England to the Brazils, where he was a proficient plantation owner. On a mission to procure more slaves for further development of the plantations in the area, his boat suffers a shipwreck, killing all on board save himself.

The story follows Crusoe’s solitary life on the island over a period of more than two decades and how he came to be self-sufficient. It is a tale of individualism and spirituality, with political undertones: as a character, Crusoe is a dominant male in all aspects of his life and is predisposed to success. The novel is told through first-person narrative, allowing the reader to be present throughout the adventures that unfold.


The main thing I love about my MA is that I get to/have to read books that I would otherwise overlook in favour of something easier/more appealing – but I’m forced out of my comfort zone, which is (I think) an excellent thing! Whilst the book was tiresome and repetitive, the political, social and religious implications Defoe concealed in its meaning were exceptionally well delivered. Time to crack on with the essay!

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