The Swiss Family Robinson recounts the adventures of a father, mother, and four sons marooned on a tropical island. The story unfolds beginning with the tragic storm that claims their ship and the lives of the captain and crew, continuing with their own harrowing battle with the elements and dangerous landing on the remote island shore, and onward through their ingenious use of the materials at hand to survive. They encounter adventure after adventure, with discovery following upon discovery until, at last, they must face the choice of staying on the island that has become their home, or return to a civilization they left behind.
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So this was my first read of Swiss Family Robinson and it sure wasn't like the movie. Per Wiki the author wrote it for his 4 sons as a means of educating them on morals, industry and to learn about the animals and plants of the world and their uses. A small way into the book I was confused and looked up where Swiss Family Robinson is set... it just didn't seem physically possible. This island has fir trees, palm trees, dates, mushrooms, sugar cane, bamboo, potatoes, sea weed and their fruit trees starts grew well. There is a desert, swamp, mountain top, cove, jungle, plain, sea shore... I was waiting for the volcano. Buffalo, apes, lions, tigers, bears, whales, sharks, wolves, cyotes, penquins, seals, walrus, shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, boa constrictors, pelicans, flamingos, rabbits, deer... for the convenience of writing about many... it was set in an imaginary part of the world where all plants and animals florish. The pattern of the book is they discover an animal or plant and dad tells them all about it... much like the first paragraph of wiki... then they kill it, eat it, use its parts for construction of home or make a pet of the babies. The four sons in the book learn the basic steps of doing things like animal husbandry, wine making, building a canoe, how to get sugar from a cane... I almost thought Wyss would never run out of new animals and situations to discuss with the sons. I read it immediately after reading Robinson Crusoe and found them not a bit alike. As an older adult reader, I loved the mental ramblings and creativity (much more accurately protrayed) of Crusoe. Young readers I am sure would like the non-stop adventures as the boys encounter new things and are encouraged in their adventures by their father. I was more than ready for it to end, but also glad to have read it. Good narrator.
- Jan "Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear."
An enjoyable classic well performed.
Very enjoyable performance, excellent voice work and a nice steady, peaceful cadence, but not boring. I enjoyed the story even though it was quite different from the Disney movie adaptation. Delightful, relaxing and comforting.