Robinson Crusoe Book Summary - Robinson Crusoe Book explained in key points
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Robinson Crusoe summary

Daniel Defoe

Survival and Ingenuity Isolated

4 (11 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is a classic tale of survival and adventure. It follows the story of a man shipwrecked on a deserted island, where he must learn to fend for himself and face the challenges of isolation.

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    Robinson Crusoe
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    Our story begins with young Robinson Crusoe, hailing from a middle-class family in York, England. Bubbling with wanderlust, Crusoe defies the well-meaning advice of his parents, choosing instead the unpredictability and thrill of seafarer’s life over a possibly stable law career. Stubborn and resolute, he sets sail, hoping to quench his thirst for adventure, venture into territories unknown, and explore the world’s farthest reaches. 

    Unfortunately, luck isn’t on Crusoe’s side. His first voyage itself, directed towards London, becomes a disaster, indicating perhaps the perils that might follow later. Despite this tempestuous beginning, Crusoe’s spirit remains unbowed and his craving for the sea unquenched. Even though he nearly lost his life in that horrific storm, he decides to further venture into newer voyages, strengthen his seamanship, and foster his trading skills. What follows are several fairly successful trips to Africa, giving him a taste of the high seas’ perils and promises. But it’s his journey to procure slaves from Africa, where he becomes Bromwich’s partner, that proves to be the turning point in Crusoe’s life. 

    A violent storm at sea leaves his ship wrecked, hurling him to an ominous shore of an uninhabited island near the coast of South America, and so begins his isolation of twenty-eight arduous years. His companions, and everyone aboard the ship, get swallowed up by the sea, leaving Crusoe as the lone survivor on a deserted island. 

    Crusoe stands at nature’s mercy, stranded on an unfamiliar shore with nothing except the drenched clothes on his body, and his only company is the eerie silence around him. Stripped of all worldly comforts and in the face of foreseeable death, he suddenly finds himself navigating unchartered physical and mental territories. From the first sight of the wrecked ship and the gnawing loneliness that pervades the vast desolate landscape, Crusoe perceives the vastness of his solitude.


    In this section, we see Crusoe in his most rudimentary state, grappling with loneliness, battling his demons, and struggling to find his feet in his new reality. The transformation of Crusoe from an audacious adventurer to a lone and frightened man marooned on a deserted island is tragic yet riveting. Even amidst the ruins of his plight, Crusoe’s spirit of survival flickers, preparing to embrace what lays ahead bravely.

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    What is Robinson Crusoe about?

    Robinson Crusoe (1719) is a tale of a man who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad. He faces solitude, crafting his survival from his shipwreck’s remains, and encounters cannibals, captives, and mutineers before he is finally rescued.

    Robinson Crusoe Review

    Robinson Crusoe (1719) is a classic adventure novel that tells the captivating story of a man's survival on a deserted island. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • With compelling storytelling, it takes readers on a thrilling journey that explores the human spirit's resilience and adaptability.
    • The book offers insights into self-reliance, as Robinson Crusoe learns to fend for himself and make the best of his circumstances.
    • It presents thought-provoking moral and philosophical dilemmas, as Crusoe grapples with isolation, nature, and his own sense of purpose.

    Who should read Robinson Crusoe?

    • Adventure literature lovers
    • Students of English literature
    • Fans of survival stories

    About the Author

    Daniel Defoe was an English trader, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, often hailed as one of the founders of English literature. Known for his realistic narratives and deep character development, his other renowned works include Moll Flanders and A Journal of the Plague Year.

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    Robinson Crusoe FAQs 

    What is the main message of Robinson Crusoe?

    The main message of Robinson Crusoe is the resilience and resourcefulness of the human spirit.

    How long does it take to read Robinson Crusoe?

    The reading time for Robinson Crusoe varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Robinson Crusoe a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Robinson Crusoe is a classic that offers a captivating adventure and explores themes of survival and self-discovery.

    Who is the author of Robinson Crusoe?

    The author of Robinson Crusoe is Daniel Defoe.

    What to read after Robinson Crusoe?

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