I ve read this a couple times to the boys As a mom of boys, I loved it It is fun to read of the ingenious solutions for survival, and I love their constant reliance on and gratitude to God.And Eric says I love the many passages of the book that go something like thisAfter my wife and children had expressed their ideas, I explained the folly of their reasoning and they rejoiced in my knowledge and wisdom.Dream on ER. I liked the story well enough If I had read a decent translation I might have given it 4 stars It s a great concept, being stranded on a beautiful tropical island Their perception over 200 years ago would be quite different than ours today Some things that bothered me were the stereotyping regarding race and religion, and the senseless killing of the wildlife they came across But it s an adventure story and it s entertaining from that aspect It left me wanting to know what happened later, his afterword only accounted for 2 years I understand Jules Verne wrote a sequel to Wyss classic I may have to see how that goes. Shipwrecked On An Uncharted Island, The Swiss Family Robinson Mother, Father, And Four Young Boys Make The Most Of Their Predicament, Adapting To The Island And Turning The Absence Of Civilization To Their Advantage Through Persevereance, Hard Work, And Self Reliance, They Become Masters Of Their New Environment, Rising To Its Many Challenges And Using Their Ingenuity To Avail Themselves Of Its Abundant Resources Their Experience Is Colorful, Creative, And Full Of Exciting Adventures For Than Two Centuries, Johann David Wyss S Beloved Book Has Entertained Young Readers This Illustrated Edition, With Full Color Plates By T H Robinson, Features An Elegant Bonded Leather Binding, A Satin Ribbon Bookmark, Distinctive Stained Edging, And Decorative Endpapers It S A Book That Will Be Cherished By Readers Of All Age When I first started this book, I found it rather comical at how many reviewers were appalled by all the animals that were killed, mostly for food, some for safety, albeit, some for sport or rather teenage childishness And I thought to myself, not having read the book yet Where do these readers think their chicken nuggets and hamburgers come from Trees After having read the book, I will confess, there were a lot of dead animals But if one really takes the time to imagine what it would be like stranded somewhere with no other source of food, and having with you 4 teenage boys, I should think that each of us would take every opportunity to secure for us and ours that which would preserve our lives But I digress Father Robinson may be the original MacGyver He s amazing and entirely brilliant If I knew merely a tenth of what he possesses within his brain, I should be happy all the days of my life Butthan that, I think his role is that of a Christ archetype He is ever patient and teaching and wants to see his children succeed and helps them along the way He works with them in everything He never sits back and says Go figure it out on your own, I m too busy He is the example of how each of us as parents SHOULD be towards our children, and anyone else we have a stewardship over He is ever praising and very respectful of his wife and they work together as men and women should work together as equals and yet entirely unique Oh the lessons that could be learned in our society today if we took this example to heart The book is full of the value of hard work, teamwork, compassion, affection and creativity. Stop right now Before you read this book, I must warn you The back of the book is a LIE All of that they must rely on their wits, the strength that comes from family ties, and the bounty of nature to survive is all a crock of baloney Complete fabrication They re stranded with enough supplies to start a small colony Guns timber from the shipwreck I could understand, but butter, livestock, tools, blacksmith tools, fishing hooks, needle, thread, extra clothes, enough seeds to start a garden if not a farm, and a complete working boat with a CANNON Not to mention an island so hospitable it has salt for preserving, cotton, flax, rubber, and an overabundance of game It would besurprising, if they all died Not to mention, that every chapter reads like a how to book I can almost hear the conversation with the publisher.Publisher Johann, no one wants to read this how to manual It s boring And there are dozensjust like it It s needs something extra, a hook, some zing.Johann But this is useful Publisher I know, put it on a desert island Forced to rely on their wits alone They ll have to do everything with the bounty of nature No modern tools Johann No How can I do that Publisher They ll love it Go on.Johann Fine.Ten days laterPublisher What is this Johann You said put it on a desert island They re on a desert island.Publisher But you gave them everything Where s the hardship Where s the people starving Where s the adventure Johann This is adventure It s hard work to start a village They work hard in almost every chapter, plus I added games and parables for the little children.Publisher Fine, fine, but I can t guarantee that anyone will buy it.Seriously, if you want a cute story about people starting a colony on a desert island with all the necessary tools go for it Personally, I think it reads like a how to manual, but if you like that, then this book is for you I m not saying it s poorly written, or that it s not a cute little story, but it s not the adventure it s made out to be Hell it doesn t even have much of a plot So if you re looking for an island adventure book, find a different one. Wow What a relief to have that out of the way I have been painstakingly pushing my way through this book for a while now Having said that, I always thought that The Swiss Family Robinson was just the type of story that I would like Going into it, my expectations were high and I think my enthusiasm barreled me past the first few chapters without so much as a literary bump But just like trying to race up Everest, you lose steam after the first hundred yard sprint and the rest is pure drudgery The unfortunate thing is that there was no sense of satisfaction upon finishing The Swiss Family Robinson as there would be in peaking Everest, only relief Here is the problem as I see it, and I will use the narrator s own words towards the end of the novel to explain it It is needless for me to continue what would exhaust the patience of the most long suffering, by repeating monotonous narratives of exploring parties and hunting expeditions, wearisome descriptions of awkward inventions and clumsy machines, with an endless record of discoveries,fit for the pages of an encyclopedia than a book of family history Wow Couldn t have said it better myself, Mr Robinson though your realization of those things was about two hundred and fifty pages too late While I can t say it better, I will sum it up nothing happens Oh, sure, they keep building these paradisaical, tropical mansions, lacking only in electronics and internet because those things haven t been invented yet, but what exactly is happening Nothing The biggest conflicts they have are brought up one paragraph and resolved in the next And then there are the characters I originally loved the idea of a family being the protagonist, instead of just some single, adult male like in most stories But I think Wyss could have putpersonality into a single, adult boulder than he did in this entire family That s not to say that there aren t distinguishing personality traits The chief one of the narrator is that he is annoying, smug, and wholly unbelievable Every idea he tried, he immediately succeeded at accomplishing, even if the whole human race had been trying the same feat, unsuccessfully, for thousands of years with plentyresources Any animal or plant he saw, he immediately knew the scientific classification, background, and general usage for it as if reading out of the page of an encyclopedia an interesting study would be to find the Swiss encyclopedias of the time and find out which ones Wyss plagiarized from, probably verbatim in most instances, in order to piece together Mr Robinson s immaculate naturalist knowledge Perhaps I am being harsh okay, yes, I am being harsh, especially for a book meant for children But I think that even children have a right to expect simple things like PLOT or DEVELOPED CHARACTERS as part of their reading experience However, I realize that the book is up against some pretty stiff prejudices of mine You see, before reading this, I had also read The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne This one also has castaways on a destitute island who are able to create amazingly advanced machines, technology, and shelters with very limited resourceslimited than the Robinson family s, even Yet, I did not balk at incredulity when Cyrus Harding moved from one advancement to another, or accessed astonishing amounts of information using his memory alone The reason why I believe it is because Verne actually knew what his characters were talking about Rather than slapping something from an encyclopedia entry and passing off haphazard hypotheses, Verne had actually thought these things through, understood the implications and context of each thing, and put forward a fascinating, but credible solution Besides The Mysterious Island, I had also seen the Disney movie, The Swiss Family Robinson Such a great, great movie one of my all time favorite, in fact How did it attain that status It made realistic characters that you could believe in and distinguish, one from another It truly made the family the protagonist It cared about the characters first, and the cool treehouse secondary although, you have to admit, the treehouse in that movie is AMAZING And finally, there was a plot The characters were constantly working with an underlying conflict, and it culminated in a worthy climax In short, the movie fixed everything that was wrong with the book and they excelled at the few things the book got right such as the treehouse, the appearance of another character later on in the story, and the references to pirates Going into the reading with these expectations, it is little wonder that Johann Wyss is getting the brunt of my frustrations here, but in reality the book is harmless Long, boring, and redundant but harmless It is a great idea, some unique settings, and some simple fun It is just a matter of sifting through all of the drudgery to get them. SPOILER ALERT I ve read it now, and it does not measure up to the Disney movie It was so ridiculous The boys shoot every animal they see, which range from inhabitants of the African savannah, Australia, and the American northwest yes, hippos, rhinos, lions, tigers, kangaroos, bears, elephants, the duck billed platypus, you name it, they re on the island The father knows absolutely everything about every plant and animal, and sums up every situation correctly before it happens He recognizes plants like flax and wax bushes For a deserted island, it s interesting that there is absolutely everything that they could possibly need and that the father who has never lived in the West Indies recognizes it all at a glance Oh also, their European trees that happened to be on the ship grow just fine in the blazing tropical sun There is no conflict because the father knows his way out of any trouble , and the only story is we went here, shot this animal, made this hut, etc The characters all speak the same even the little boy talks just like his dad and uses the same adult phrases and big words The last chapter was the most interesting I could see a young boy who doesn t mind old fashioned language who s into hunting and survival liking this book but that s about it, so I ll keep it just in case Ethan falls into that category There is no hot girl for the boys to fight over either I read at the end that the author thought of the story to give his sons survival ideas, and I don t think that s so bad, but if you re going to set a novel in the West Indies, and you know so much about flora and fauna, you could try to make the flora and fauna of the island authentic There I m done venting, and very glad to be done with the book Its fascinating to read these reviews and see how many people judge a story of this time period by the values of the 21st century I doubt any of the people who have written these reviews have ever missed a meal let alone faced the dangers of survival in a wilderness The story was written to fire the minds and hearts of children of the day It taught them about the things that were important to their future and their families Try to remember that a child reading this book in Europe may have grown up and found in this story a motivation for seeking a better life in the new worlds of America, Australia or the Pacific islands These children grew up to be the settlers of the Old West and of wild places that we now take for granted as tamed They were parents of the cowboys and farmers that built the nations of today The use of animals to survive was consistent with the views of the day.If you read this book with an appreciation for the time and culture of when it was written you will learn and understand the people of that time better. they kill or enslave everything in sight, whether they need it or not they pray before they do anything i m pretty sure the matriarch of the family was never actually named, but merely called the mother or my wife any time she was relevant, which was not very often near the end of the book, the family actually shoots a cachalot they don t use it for anything, but instead axe the head open and take away buckets of spermaceti a whole fucking sperm whale had to die just because they saw it, killed it, and as an afterthought figured they could use the head innards presumably for candle making fucking book it was overly moralizing and offensive in so many bits, yet i found myself bringing it up in conversation with people frustrating, but i suppose quite memorable i had the same problem with white fang and the call of the wild, actually also, how lucky were they at every regular meal, they were eating better than i am able to and knew every last thing about where they were stranded, except for exactly where they were makes sense speaking of where they were, where were they i thought that maybe they were somewhere like new zealand when they started shooting penguins, but that didn t make sense and the closest i ve come to figuring it out has been that they were probably in an archipelago off portugal, but i don t know maybe they were in a different dimension where people talk about providence all the time and suck majorly except for the gay one he was all right. I have great memories of Dad reading this to us as kids, it was so hoplessly archaic and ridiculous that his rendition quickly became sarcastic We all ended up in fits of laughter each time they found ANOTHER useful thing washed up on the beach growing on the magic island, and or shot ANOTHER hapless animal person moving object that crossed their path.
Johann Rudolf Wyss, a scholar who wrote the Swiss national anthem Another son, Johann Emmanuel Wyss, illustrated the book.
- 544 pages
- Der Schweizerische Robinson
- Johann David Wyss
- 14 December 2019 Johann David Wyss