Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels is remembered now mainly as a children's story about little people scurrying around a little island, and not as the biting satire it apparently once was.

It turns out that there is a very good reason for that.

The fact is that the satire is well out of date. Much of it, especially the Lilliputian matter, needs extensive explanation in the notes, and it seems to me that satire that needs explanation has sort of exhausted its purpose.

This would be fine if the story was interesting, but it isn't. It's dull, slow and uninteresting. Captain Gulliver visits several lands, each populated by a weird and wonderful race (in one case by intelligent horses). Apparently, he knows every European language on demand ("I understood Portuguese very well." First we've heard of it in 300 pages.) and can learn to speak a new language in all of three months.

In summary: the satire doesn't work, and the story is dull. And that is why this so-called classic has only one star from me.