Set and written in 1726, This is a marvelously imaginative tale of the four voyages of Lemuel Gulliver. He finds himself shipwrecked and the prisoner of captors ranging in size from 6 inches tall to 60 feet tall and of various other persuasions. But this is just the beginning of a story written, strangely enough to satirize the foolishness and vices of modern men as they were perceived at the time. No one, young or old, can ever forget the Lilliputians and the Yahoos that starred in these wonderful and riveting stories of long ago.
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) was an Irish novelist, satirist, poet and political essayist. From a very literary family, his uncle married the daughter of a godson of William Shakespeare, Swift was very well educated, receiving an MA from Oxford University and a Doctorate in Divinity from Trinity College in Dublin.
An ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland, Swift began writing satire, inspired by his misery in his profession. Politically active, Swift incurred the enmity of enough British nobles, that his career as a minister was over. Swift began writing novels, while also writing political pamphlets promoting Irish causes.
Swift's best known work, Gulliver's Travels is filled with satiric references to his current events, and was an immediate hit, written anonymously, it had to be smuggled into Ireland. The Queen was not amused.
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"A masterwork of irony...that contains both a dark and bitter meaning and a joyous, extraordinary creativity of imagination. That's why it has lived for so long." (Malcom Bradbury)
"Swift is such a creature of paradox. His prose was like himself, by turns savage, tidy, playful, and ironic. He was a comic genius." (The Economist)
Written about 300 years ago this story has aged very well and Gulliver's adventures are event today very entertaining. Gulliver's Travels was meant to mock the hordes of books about adventurous travels released at the time which often exaggerated the dangers faced and the belitteled the intellect of the natives encountered. And so Gulliver meets giants, tiny people, horses which rule over men and people living on a floating island. In addition to the entertainment value these episodes hold it is also very interesting to see how critical Jonathan Swift was of English society and values. This criticism is never voiced by the main character directly, but surface through the discussions Gulliver has with the people he meets.
The Audiobook version published by Alcazar AudioWorks features a terrific Narrator which makes the story a joy to listen to.
This book is written with wonderful prose and read by a very talented narrator. When I first started the book it was a wonder to sit back and just listen. The story is very imaginative as well. This must be a very early example of the fantasy genre.
I give it 3 stars because the story dragged at times, a lot of times. I did manage to finish it though.
I'm not here to review the novel but to review the reading and recording of it as it's presented here. The reader's English accent is delightful, though, if you're not reading along with the text version, he does slur some words together when he is reading a part quickly. He also doesn't read the text word-for-word at times (substitutions, word order inversions, skipped words) but, so far, not too much and not to affect meaning (much). There are several recording goofs, where the reader rereads words and sentences, but not often. Overall, I've enjoyed reading along with this reader/performer. He does a fine job bringing Cpt. Gulliver to life.
I had to do a school project about Gulliver's Travels, so naturally audible was my go-to destination. At a low price and high quality, this version was a life-saver! The narrator did a wonderful job bringing Swift's witty social commentary to life, and is (in my opinion anyway) one of the best readers of this book. If you thought you knew Gulliver, get ready for delightful new discoveries, from the flying island of Laputa, to the island of the Houyhnhnms. With remarks just as pointed today as they were when this book was first written over 300 years ago. If you're ready to travel with Gulliver, this is the version you want!
This was a great audio book. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star was the semi-cheezy breaks in between chapters and the narrator (who does a good job) is a little hard to understand due to an English accent.
This is one of those books that people love to talk about but never actually read. At most they read the cliff notes version but let me tell you, you're really missing out on a jewel if you do. The unabridged version is the only way to go and this one does an excellent job. It leaves you with conversational pieces, insight into humanity and culture that you would not have had otherwise. Not to mention that just sticking with the abridged or cliff notes you get the "official" interpretation but you lose the opportunity to think for your self on the dilemmas presented.
The story basically follows the adventures of one guy who ends up shipwrecked on 3 different islands and with each island is presented with a unique situation. One where he ends up a giant, one where he ends up a miniature and one...well...you'll just have to find that one out for yourself.
This was obviously a good book and I'm glad to check if off my list of unread masterpieces. However . . . it still managed to bore me stiff. In analyzing why that might be, I can only conclude that--as with some other universally read classics--I grew up overly exposed to its ingenuity via television, cartoons, ravings of admired teachers. So once I got to Gulliver's living with the Lilliputians--about a third of the way in, I kind of just wanted it all to end. I did admire Swift's ingenuity, and the way the little people treated and worked with the giant. I can see how this was a breakthrough in literary fiction .. . . still, to my shame, I can't say that I really treasured this read. Sorry.
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