Shipwrecked and cast ashore onto an uninhabited island, Robinson Crusoe ingeniously carves out a solitary, primitive existence for 24 years. Eventually, he meets a young native whom he saves from death at the hands of cannibals. He calls him Man Friday and makes him his companion and servant.
Crusoe and Friday share in a variety of adventures, including a fierce battle with cannibals that culminates in the heroes recapturing a mutinous ship and returning to England.
Based partly on the real-life experiences of Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, Defoe's novel of human endurance in an exotic, faraway land exerts a timeless appeal and has taken its rightful place among the great works of Western civilization.
"[One of the few books] 'written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers.'" (Samuel Johnson)
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