Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review : Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss 2*

I was hoping that this would be more in the Crusoe vein, but it isn't, it's tripe.

The Robinson family get shipwrecked on a bountiful coast containing a menagerie of wildlife from various continents, all of whom appear overly eager to hurl themselves on the family's hunting spears whenever they get peckish. Indeed, the life at the shipwreck point is so rich and varied that they hardly seem to eat the same meal twice.

Within a year the family have established a system of irrigated farms, have built a number of homes, have domesticated half the animal population of the area and then bump into the natives - read; savages - of the area who have not managed to do any of these things.  The author though understands full well why the locals have not reached shipwrecked Europeans standards of living, it is obviously because as they are black / savages / natives / brown skinned, they are obviously uneducated.

I disliked this book all the way through, every mild problem the family encounter is solved with overwhelming efficiency, almost nothing appeared believable.  If you want a decent historical shipwreck story go for Crusoe.

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