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The Swiss Family Robinson | [Johann David Wyss]

The Swiss Family Robinson

"For many days we had been tempest-tossed...the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost." So begins this delightful adventure story. The Robinson family, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, will emerge alive from this terrible storm, bringing to land two dogs and a shipload of livestock: hens, pigeons, and geese.
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Publisher's Summary

"For many days we had been tempest-tossed...the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost." So begins this delightful adventure story. The Robinson family, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, will emerge alive from this terrible storm, bringing to land two dogs and a shipload of livestock: hens, pigeons, and geese.

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

What Members Say

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3.7 (71 )
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  •  
    B. Junkin-Mills West Chester, PA United States 12-29-04
    B. Junkin-Mills West Chester, PA United States 12-29-04 Member Since 2003

    brookemom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A review from my (10 year-old) son:"

    "Mom - quick, go to the audible website and give this one 5 stars. I loved it!"

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 01-28-05
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 01-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, recording has flaws"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 01-02-13
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "An Entertaining Novel..."

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis Palm Desert, CA, USA 12-05-05
    Curtis Palm Desert, CA, USA 12-05-05
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    "A literary classic, but I was disappointed."

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Ottawa, ON, Canada 06-30-11
    Jean Ottawa, ON, Canada 06-30-11
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    "slow oh so slow"

    I read this as a child and have fond memories. But times have changed and compared to modern novels this is soooooo slow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lana Tyler, TX, USA 09-05-09
    Lana Tyler, TX, USA 09-05-09 Member Since 2008
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    "good book"

    I like this Book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 07-17-07
    Craig 07-17-07
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    "disapointed, but entertained"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Mountain Home, ID, United States 10-02-05
    Debbie Mountain Home, ID, United States 10-02-05 Member Since 2005
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    "Worst book yet"

    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

    4 of 16 people found this review helpful
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  • Margaret
    Orpington, United Kingdom
    9/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "appalling narrator"
    What would have made The Swiss Family Robinson better?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Johann David Wyss’s story?

    Not disappointed in story, wanted to read the original as opposed to the Disney Film version.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Frederick Davidson?

    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).


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Apathy


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love to read
    8/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Dated Rubbish"
    What disappointed you about The Swiss Family Robinson?

    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


    Would you ever listen to anything by Johann David Wyss again?

    Not if it is on this level


    Would you be willing to try another one of Frederick Davidson’s performances?

    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


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Swiss Family Robinson?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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