Exceptionally popular since its publication in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is widely regarded as the first English novel. Our eponymous hero finds himself shipwrecked on an African desert island after a tumultuous storm, and following the realization that he is the only survivor, is faced with the prospect of years of isolation. However, he throws his energy into familiarizing himself with his new habitat: he hunts, learns how to make pottery and even adopts a parrot. And after encountering a group of cannibals, Robinson Crusoe finally finds a companion.
A thrilling adventure for younger listeners, made thoroughly accessible through Roy McMillan’s retelling of Defoe’s text, simplifying and clarifying it at certain points.
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Robinson Crusoe was marooned for 28 years, during which he kept meticulous journals, which narrator Jonathan Keeble recounts in his understated style. However, when Crusoe survives the wild sea and an earthquake or describes his daily life or a dream-vision he experiences, Keeble's performance intensifies. Listeners will feel they're with Crusoe as he reacts with trepidation when he discovers a human footprint after 18 years of solitude. Most moving is Crusoe's relationship with Friday, particularly when they unknowingly rescue Friday's own father. Lovely musical interludes connect the disparate sections.
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