July 23, 2011

Review : Swiss Family Robinson by J.D. Wyss

Title : Swiss Family Robinson
Author : J.D. Wyss
Reading Dates : 15 Jun - 19 Jun 2011
The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island
From goodreads :
A terrible storm strands a Swiss pastor, with his wife and four sons, on a tropical island. Luckily, the Robinsons are optimistic and inventive, and with what they salvage from the wrecked ship, and the island's abundant fruits, plants, and animals, they soon adapt--each day discovering new dangers, skills and delights in their strange new life.

Book Review of Swiss Family Robinson.
This is the first time I’ve re-read the book in over a decade, maybe more. And while I still enjoy it, most of my enjoyment this time is derived from sentimental reasons than the storytelling.

Previously, I had enjoyed it as a simple adventure story. One where I shared the shipwrecked family’s trials and tribulations as they encountered wondrous creatures and used their ingenuity to create a safe and comfortable home for themselves on the island. This time around though, I couldn’t help but notice how improbable that the varied creatures they encountered could co-exist on the same island or how incredibly knowledgeable the patriarch of the family was. It surely puts this tale in the realm of fantasy. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, just that it requires the suspension of disbelief.

Aside from that, I also thought that with regards to the purpose or objective of this tale, the story falls far from its aims. I can’t say how it affected other young readers but on reflection,as a child I never gave much attention to the lessons The Swiss Family Robinson was attempting to impart. It was no more and no less than just a story to me then. Without re-reading this now, I would never have realized that the author might have something else in mind.

As a final note, the story here was a nice break from some of my recent reads. Fun, without need to expend too much though on it.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? No, any longer and the tale would become boring.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Not really.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Young readers who like adventure stories.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

Read another review on the book by :

Books alluded to :

Gulliver's TravelsThe Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808)


  1. I recall really liking the movie made on this book but not being motivated to read the book-

  2. @mel u
    Really ? ... hmm... I don't recall ever watching the movie except maybe the space family Robinson version


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