‘Book of the Half’ Review – Toby Chavasse

Last half term, three students agreed to read a book recommended to them by members of the English department. Amadi Gray read ‘Small Island’, Andrea Levy’s award-winning story of Jamaicans and Londoners involved in World War II. Jaz Skingle read ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, and Toby Chavasse read ‘Robinson Crusoe’. While Amadi and Jaz put the finishing touches to their reports, enjoy this thoughtful recommendation from Toby:


‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Daniel Defoe is a telling tale of a single man’s journey, set in the 16-1700’s. Crusoe ends up shipwrecked on an island but manages to survive the harsh conditions and show us that innovation and optimism are very important life skills. He would not have survived without these qualities. It is a very rapidly moving book where years go by in single pages but this gives you a sense of how life was like back then. As this book was written in a different era there is some questionable morals that Defoe has with regards to racism and equality but it does show you how far we have come from those days. In my personal opinion, this book  is a great read as it highlights how humanity’s greed is its weakness; Robinson Crusoes’s struggle left me thinking about its message which all great books do. It is an all-time classic and I recommend it to anyone looking to dive back into the past and see the life of a mariner.


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