The latest book reviews in one place

Good Morning, Mr Crusoe Reviews

Good Morning, Mr Crusoe by Jack Robinson

Good Morning, Mr Crusoe

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, published in the year MDCCXIX, which for 300 years has instructed the Men of an Island off the Coast of Mainland Europe to Contemn all Foreign

Jack Robinson

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction, History
Imprint: CB Editions
Publisher: CB Editions
Publication date: 25 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9781909585294
3 stars out of 5
29 May 2019

"A little book of anti-Crusovian polemic"

Good Morning, Mr Crusoe uneasily juggles with three imperfectly distinguished entities: Crusoe the original novel; its author; and the later enslavement of both the novel and its eponymous hero to alien agendas. Boyle is inconsistent in apportioning blame for the novel’s “racist, imperialist and misogynist baggage”. You are now expecting me to defend Defoe’s book by saying that it was “of its time”; Boyle, indeed, takes the trouble to assure us that he is of his, but doesn’t always accord that courtesy to his adversary. Much about Crusoe is indeed reprehensible, or even horrifying: from Crusoe’s callous sale of Xury, the boy who helped him most, to the paternalistic possession of Friday’s body and soul, and most of all (and here Boyle’s bat is straightest) the way the book has been used to justify imperialist attitudes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Peter Conrad
21 Apr 2019

"This clever takedown of the classic novel blames Robinson Crusoe’s xenophobia for our political turmoil"

Jack Robinson – the jokey alias of Charles Boyle, a witty and ingenious dropout from the publishing trade – is unimpressed by the rich, imaginative afterlife of a story that soon became a myth. He considers Defoe’s novel to be “a dull thing” and questions its elevation to “the sacred status of Eng Lit”; what matters to him is its malign influence – its xenophobic propaganda and its pandering to the delusions of imperial Britain.