I read Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe as a companion to my studies in Postcolinal Literature to Foe by J.M. Coetzee, which I actually enjoyed a whole lot more.
I did like the sense of adventure and marvelled at his seemingly endless survival skills, but this sometimes seemed ridiculously far-fetched. I can’t say I was gripped by the book. I think this was because of the style Defoe is writing it in. Lots of parenthesis, too many commas. The ease he suddenly tames Friday. But it is a book of its time and I suppose I can see why people in the 17th Century would find it so attractive. High tales of adventure and cannibals! I wish I had made a list as I went along of all the skills Crusoe happens to have. I have tried to remember as many as I can in the following CV. Why a CV? Because Crusoe has a ridiculous amount of skills and if he were to explain them fully it would take up a whole novel.
Oh, wait a second.
Robinson Crusoe - CV
Practical and optimistic ordinary young Englishman, with a variety of practical skills, who is a devote follower of His word, and an amiable slave master, looking to flourish as an adventurer.
· Basket weaver
· Home maker
· Slave-driver – I fancied myself a companion, in the form of a slave, whom I began to speak to, and teach him to speak to me; and first, made him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life.
· Tutor – I made it my business to teach him (Friday, so above mentioned slave and companion) everything that was proper and useful, and especially to make him speak, and understand me when I spoke.
· Killer – have killed at least ten natives, and at least five Englishmen
· God-fearing – believes heartily in Providence and reads the Bible every day.
References – available on request.
Talking about hiring vagrants and castaways, check out this dude.
Take note of the link beneath the pictures and watch the trailer, it's fricken hilarious. There's a skull in a wig!!