I read The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss when I was around 14 or 15.  I was still in high school.  Back then, I didn’t know what it meant to be reading the classics, although I was very much into reading then.  This was lent to me by a Seminarian.  I don’t remember now why he lent me this particular book; perhaps because he liked the book and wanted me to read it, or because he had this particular book in hand and he knew I like reading in general.  I kind of forgot I have read this.  It was only recently while I was randomly surfing the net that I saw the title and actually remembered having read it.  Funny how you remember those isolated reads from the past, and suddenly you realize that you were reading something important then.  Although I have forgotten about the book, when I did remember, the story just came rushing in.  It was exactly how you imagine shipwrecked people on an island would do.  I remembered the struggles, the building, the hunting, the planning for their rescue or getting out of the island, and that sort of happy resignation at the end.

This novel has an enduring quality.  The story one never forgets, and their struggles equally felt by the reader as well as by the characters in the book.  If I were to get stranded in an island I will definitely take a copy of this with me.  I think it is every help I would need, aside from another human being of course (provided he does not decide to eat me when it all comes down to that).


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