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Book Review- Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is a classic written by Daniel Defoe in the early 1700s. It is a story of a man who is castaway in a remote island and how he spends 30 years there before finding a way to return back to his country.

This book also is the plot for the Tom Hanks movie Cast away, if it interests you somehow.

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I generally like to read Classics- not because they are famous books written by famous authors, but because they are genuinely beautifully written. Well, mostly!

I typically pickup books which are well known or well appreciated. Most of my reviews will also be all praises for the quotes and the lines. Robinson Crusoe, sadly, doesn’t qualify on my favourites list. There are a few reasons. Firstly, it is a very old book. I can appreciate the fact that the plot and the language used might have been path breaking at that time, it however fails to impress me now. Secondly, I don’t like texts that speak so much about God and providence and illustrate that without an omnipotent force, everything is a lost cause. Every second line in Robinson Crusoe seems the same. Thirdly, there are books which depict joy and sorrow or grief beautifully. But usage of floods and storms and violence in this book, which was very apt and widely popular in those days, it failed to connect with me now.

I won’t call it a must read. But if you’re someone who enjoys reading classics in general, who can give this a try!

Below are some of the lines that I enjoyed from the book. However, beyond a point, I stopped jotting it down and just focussed on finishing the book!

1. I know not what to call this, not will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree, that hurries us on to the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.

2. I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases- viz that thy are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed. Of the returning, which only can make then be esteemed wise men.

3. For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first.

4. How strange a chequer-work of providence is the life of man! And by what secret different springs are the affections hurried about, as different circumstances present! Today we love what tomorrow we hate; today we seek what tomorrow we shun; today we desire what tomorrow we fear, nay, even tremble at the apprehensions of.

5. Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself, when apparent to the eyes; and we find the burden of anxiety greater, by much, than the evil which we are anxious about.

6. How infinitely good that providence is, which has provided , in its government of mankind, such narrow bounds to his sight and knowledge if things, and though he walks in the midst if so many thousand dangers, the sight of which, if discovered to him,  would distract his mind and sink his spirits, he is kept serene and calm, by having the events of things his from his eyes, and knowing nothing of the dangers which surround him.