#70 Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe

All the Thoughts I Had While Listening to Robinson Crusoe on Audiobook


Early On

  • So, Mr. Crusoe, your first sea voyage ends in shipwreck, and the second ends in your capture by Moorish pirates. Upon escaping slavery, your first move is to get back on a boat??? Fool me thrice, and all that.
  • Glad to hear you feel one measly qualm about selling Xury after he helped liberate you from bondage, Crusoe. Seriously, I’m dabbing a tissue to my eye’s flooded edge as we speak.
  • Cue another shipwreck. Didn’t see that coming for a minute.
  • “Island of Despair.” Ha. Hahaha. Karma’s a bitch, isn’t she?
  • Hang on—did I hear that right? Penguins?


  • My, aren’t we resourceful.
  • Actually, “resourceful” is putting it mildly.
  • OK, we’ve now ventured way beyond resourcefulness and traipsed into surrealism. Is anyone a man of this many talents? Or did the entire English population of the 17th century know how to farm, fish, craft pottery, weave baskets, build rafts, carve canoes, fashion clothing, and make candles, cheese, bread, and wine?
  • Forgive me, Mr. C., for the impertinence, but shouldn’t you have gone crazy by now? Shouldn’t you be carving yourself a cedar family at this point, instead of all those canoes?
  • So many cats, so few bullets. *Shakes head.*
  • I’m pretty sure that, under the same circumstances, I would have abandoned religion instead of adopting it. But whatever. At least there’s no one around to evangelize.
  • JUST KIDDING. Thank God for Friday.

Later Than That

  • What are the odds of strolling into the middle of a cannibal party?
  • OK, Wikipedia says the odds aren’t THAT slim. Fine, then.
  • So… once you taught Friday to speak English, dearest Crusoe, you couldn’t have asked him his real name?
  • Holy crap is this book racist.
  • OOF racist.
  • Racist!!!

Very Late

  • Bear with me for a minute, Crusoe. So you saved Friday’s life once, and he vowed to serve you as lord and master. I get it. I really do. But now that Friday has saved your life at least five times, shouldn’t you switch???
  • Also, why is every slave in this book so excited to be a slave? (Except you, NATCH.)
  • Well done, Crusoe. You finally realized the moral of your own story: Travel overland.

The End

  • But look out for wolves.

Is It One of the Greatest Books of All Time?

The concept trumps the execution in this case. (The same, of course, can also be said of all reality TV, of which Robinson Crusoe is an ancestor.)

Favorite Quotes:

It put me upon reflecting how little repining there would be among mankind at any condition of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that were worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and complaining. 

It is true, I had been very unfortunate by sea and this might be one of the reasons. But let no man slight the strong impulses of his own thoughts in cases of such moment. Two of the ships which I had singled out to go in, I mean more particularly singled out than any other, that is to say, so as in one of them to put my things on board, and in the other to have agreed with the captain; I say, two of these ships miscarried, viz. one was taken by Algerines, and the other was cast away on the Start, near Torbay, and all the people drowned, except three; so that in either of those vessels I had been made miserable, and in which most, it was hard to say.

Read: 2015