Into the Book


This was an entertaining read. I wanted to relax before starting a more serious book so I semi-arbitrarily chose Gulliver’s Travels, since I knew it was a classic and I hadn’t read it before. It was a good read, but the book also made me think some about some of the political points Swift makes in the book.

I wasn’t really prepared for all the satire that is in his book though I did know it’s one of the first political satires on the government at that time. The book was great to read though. It was interesting and usually funny and the different races the traveler meets are creative twists on re-thought things.

Throughout the book, the author makes fun of opulent lifestyles and courts (at Lilliput), of people who are always looking for the next ‘big thing’ (at Laputa) and then reflects on how awful the human race is by comparing it to a fictional race of horses on an island (called Huoyhnmhnms). All in all it’s interesting to read his take on human vices such as greed and also how he presents the other races and how they deal with these problems.

But the book doesn’t just talk about how awful humans are. It’s also actually a good read that relates the adventures of Jonathan Swift, an adventurer from England, who, from many upsets and an insatiable thirst for adventure, discovers many new lands and spends years in each one.

One of the things I thought was most unrealistic about the book was how quickly the traveler learned each language. Phrases like ‘within four months I was able to understand almost everything, and speak tolerably well’ don’t strike me as what happens from someone who is learning language (And I’ve learned one foreign language and I’m in the process of learning another). Anyways, it’s not a big part of the story, but I thought the author could have given more information about the language of each race that Gulliver discovers.

But for a fun fiction read, the book is very good, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can see why it has become a classic and I would like to read it again in the future (When I’ve worked through my massive reading list.

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Published on 15 July, 2010. Last updated on

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