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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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • Lecanto, FL, USA
  • 01-28-05

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Book but...

I loved the book so much but the narrator stops frequently. Although what I said earlier, the narrator is a perfect person to narrate. It was a great book to listen to but the background noises kind of seemed a bit distracting. I would recommend this book to my friends because it good book to read/listen. This was a great book but the narration needs work. :-|

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tw
  • 02-05-18

I can not stand the narrator

First of this is a wonder full book but I can not stand the narrator. I cont get past the first five minutes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Home school tool

This book was great to listen to. Would be hard to read with my 10 year old .. but was great to listen to !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite books of all time

Would you listen to The Swiss Family Robinson again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.)

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Lana
  • Tyler, TX, USA
  • 09-05-09

good book

I like this Book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Love to read
  • 08-19-14

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 09-19-14

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