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Selkirk's Island Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Selkirk's Island



Harcourt, Oct 2002, 13.00, 246 pp.
ISBN: 0156027178

In 1703 an aristocrat and a sea captain cut a deal to pillage the Manila galleon. In 1704, they set sail with one of the sailors being Alexander Selkirk, a poor Scot. Alexander and the officers, especially Captain Dampier, had several arguments. So the Captain marooned Selkirk on a remote South Seas Island three hundred miles from South America and now owned by Chile and renamed Isla Robinson Crusoe. For the next four years he survived by himself before finally being rescued. Selkirk became a celebrity in England and the model for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, written two decades later.

Diana Souhami provides readers with a delightful biography of Selkirk that separate fact from fiction. Ms. Selkirk digs deep into the records of the time so that the audience obtains a complete picture of the man, which is quite different from the legend. The results are a superb biography that showcases Ms. Souhami's talent as much as her subject, the ultimate survivor. Readers will enjoy “The true and strange adventures of the real Robinson Crusoe” as much as the Defoe's fictionalized account. Just reconsider the role of those goats.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Selkirk's Island

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Plot & Themes

Outdoors story    -   Yes Exploring:    -   stranded    -   trying to get home    -   surviving in outdoors Period of greatest activity?    -   1700's

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   explorer Nationality    -   British

Setting

Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   stranded Century:    -   18th century

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   in awe How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

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Diana Souhami Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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