Inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, this uplifting tale relates a family's ingenuity and courage as they struggle to survive on an exotic tropical island.
(P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks
The story is a classic and well worth listening too. My son really got into it and started looking for excuses to go for car rides (which is where I keep my iPod). The only fault I can give is in technical merit... there are numerous repeats, some up to a minute long. If not for that, this would be a five star review.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
which extols the virtues of moral behavior toward other humans and animals as well as industry and critical thinking in tight situations. Wyss devised this novel as something of an instructional manual for right living, a kind of didactic Robinson Crusoe, to be read and followed by his sons, but the wonderful adventure makes this also an entertaining and enjoyable read. A great classic for both children and adults!
The story disappointed me because things always seem too convenient and coincidental. I guess I'm just used to a little more hardship and struggle for this to appear realistic.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, and was able to stay interested, but I guess it just was not _compelling_.
I also found the reader to be a bit dull, probably a good choice for a classic, but I think the story would benefit from a different reader, which are available here.
Diamond and Ruby
Sure. I love this story and have read it several times as a child and as an adult. I purchased the audio book to keep up with my son who is reading the book for school. It is unabridged, as far as I can tell, and has chapter divisions the same as other less edited versions of the book (44 chapters, rather than the 20-something in some other versions) which makes it easy to follow along.
The story and the language are old-fashioned, of course, and our modern sensibilities may be offended by some of the action in the story. You have to read it from the perspective of a fairy tale: yes, we as modern people know that kangaroos and penguins and tigers don't live on the same island and yes, we as modern people know that the killing of whales is horrible.
There are tons of reviews who are quick to point out how horrified the reviewer was by the blatant sexism and the overt "christian-y" tones, not to mention how the family seems to kill practically every animal it comes in contact with. To this I say, get over it - if you can. There is so much to this story that is lovely and educational and inspiring. If you are truly offended that the Mother does all the sewing, doesn't go on all of the adventures and never has a name (The Father never has a name either, funny how that never pops up in any reviews) or that monkeys die, or that kids have (gasp) guns that they use, then this book is not for you.
I chose this version because it was not abridged and because the chapter divisions matched the chapters in my print version. The narrator was a second thought, but it turned out pretty well. You can hear the papers in the background and there are some awkward pauses, but his accent is a nice touch.
As a child, I loved this book because I wanted a pet monkey and to live in a tree house and a crystal cave. As a mother re-reading this book ( who would also still love to live in a tree house, but no monkeys, please) I was particularly moved by the beginning of the book when the father seems to accept that he and his family were maybe going to die in the storm that was destroying their ship around them. I don't remember who said it, but there is a quote I read once about how a great book grows with you, and that you should read a great book as a child, as an adult and then again when you're old - it is certainly true with this book.
This book is not politically correct. It isn't even biologically correct. It's not a survival manual, it's not a realistic portrayal of hardship. It's a fairy tale; a lovely story about a family living on a magical island without the interference of society. I would move to New Switzerland in a heart beat and take my sons (and livestock, tools, seeds, etc. with me.)
I have memories of the Disney version of this novel as a child. I guess I anticipated reading a version of that movie in this book. I was still entertained by the novel though.
This book is so terrible, I'm not sure where to begin. Why is this book considered a "classic?" It's awful, both in narration and content. The best thing I can say about the narrator is that the person they chose is perfect for the part - he sounds every bit as pompous and full of himself as the way it is written. Narration complaints: he frequently stops sentences before they are finished, for example "...and we quickly climbed the tree. Delighting in our own ingenuity." You can also hear background noises like papers shuffling and I swear at one point he lights a pipe, which would actually be kind of cool had he done it in context.
As for the content of the book itself, I'm still in shock that it is considered a classic. It is absolute garbage. My usually willing suspension-of-disbelief is currently rioting over the blatant lack of knowledge of basic facts. Monkeys are called apes. Buffalo and penguins inhabit the very same ecosystem. Every useful plant known to man not only exists on this island but is also easily discovered. There are consistency gaps, and editorial issues that would be minor if there weren't hundreds of them. The only way I would let my children listen to this would be with an encyclopedia and directions to write a report on everything Wyss got wrong.
This is, however, an excellent example of the British attitude of the time, "manifest destiny," and "we will succeed in all endeavors because God is on our side." Mind you, I don't have a problem with the fairly heavy-handed Christian message; if it weren't so twisted as to be laughable it wouldn't bother me.
If you are interested in this audiobook because of a school assignment, it will do just fine. The narrator is fairly easy to understand, if rather unprofessional, and his voice suits "Father" absolutely perfectly. If, however, you are hoping the book will be a fun and educational way to pass time for you or your children, while catching up on your "classics," skip this
Almost everything ,the basic idea of a family of Robinson Crusoes on a desert island is a good one but oh boy! Didn't he get it wrong
Not if it is on this level
Not if I was paid to listen,he was dreadful.A would be Brian Sewell soundalike who pronounced shone to rhyme with mown.He also kept pausing when a pause wasn't called for,asthma or lack of technique ?to call his voice pompous& boring would be an understatement
Every new animal,bird,reptile or whatever the first reaction even among the children was to kill it,I'd edit all those out.Every subject under the sun that was mentioned Papa was a world class expert on it & gave the reader/listener a full lecture on it,boring & incredibly irritating.
I read the book many years ago when the glaring improbability of the story didn't register with me.A tropical island with animals who didn't belong on the same continent let alone an island.The same island is almost a floating supermarket everything you need on the shelves.A man who although his actual calling is never mentioned is a genius at everything he attempts,I was expecting him to instal double glazing & Central heating at any moment.A awful,unbelievable piece of tripe.
A different narrator. You cannot change the story but the narrator read this as a diary not a novel. Perhaps this was as it was meant to be read but a less conceited and pompous approach with a more interesting narrator would have been a great improvement.
Not disappointed in story, wanted to read the original as opposed to the Disney Film version.
Davina Porter for one. I am amazed at how many voices she can do and how she injects feeling into the narrative (Diana Gabaldon novels).
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