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The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton

Daniel Defoe

Book Overview: 

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton is a "bipartite adventure story whose first half covers a traversal of Africa, and whose second half taps into the contemporary fascination with piracy. It has been commended for its depiction of the homosexual relationship between the eponymous hero and his religious mentor, the Quaker, William Walters."

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .nd directed us to a good way indeed to deal with them, and that was to make some fire, which would always fright them away; and so indeed we found it.

Upon these encouragements we resolved upon our journey, and many considerations put us upon it, which, had the thing itself been practicable, we were not so much to blame for as it might otherwise be supposed; I will name some of them, not to make the account too tedious.

First, we were perfectly destitute of means to work about our own deliverance any other way; we were on shore in a place perfectly remote from all European navigation; so that we could never think of being relieved, and fetched off by any of our own countrymen in that part of the world. Secondly, if we had adventured to have sailed on along the coast of Mozambique, and the desolate shores of Africa to the north, till we came to the Red Sea, all we could hope for there was to be taken by the Arabs, and be sold for. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Kedves kalandregény, az eleje nekem nem tetszett, de ahogy Afrikába értek, érdekessé vált a dolog. Tetszett ahogy a vadvilágról ír, eléggé különösen ír róla, no de nem egy National Geographic túra ez biológusokkal spékelve.
Valószínűleg ezt gyerekként olvasva az embernek nem tűnik fel, hogy menny...more

Richer and more interesting than "The King of Pirates," although still a technocrat's-eye-view of piracy. Includes a fascinating account of an overland journey across Africa; would read well against "Heart of Darkness," as, despite being far from sympathetic towards the African characters, is muc...more

My least favorite of the four Defoe stories I've read so far. Defoe's fiction is fairly tame as far as fiction goes, but this one is a little too tame for a pirate story and pretty tedious at times. It does have its moments, though. I'd say that the best part by far is near the end with the discu...more

The amazing review of the amazing adventures of captain Singleton.

“and this shall be the day that we set sail through a different kind of ocean” Singleton.

The book The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton by Daniel Defoe, was quite interesting to me. It was interesting, a...more

Written in 18th century English.

Written as an autobiography, it provides true insight to conditions during the early 1700's without the views imposed by a modern author. This quality does render its reading tiresome for the modern reader who does not engage their intellect and imagination. Having...more

La genial historia de Singleton es más que una de piratas, pues toca aventuras de exploración de Asia y África. Además, contiene infinidad de pequeñas anécdotas tan originales que hacen creíble que se trata del recuento de la vida de un personaje de carne y hueso.

I was surprised how much I liked this book in the end. I haven't read Robinson Crusoe yet, so I can't say if this book meets up with it; I might do so later.

The book tells the story of Bob Singleton, who had been kidnapped as a boy from a good home and grew up with no real home. He came aboard a...more


A nice edition of what's essentially the text of the first edition, with a sensible introduction and notes. Sadly out of print, as it allows pseudo-intellectuals like me to respectably read in public adventure stories about pirates called Bob.

What’s interesting here is where you have to activate...more

The plot of Daniel Defoe's journalistic pirate novel Captain Singleton is not the floor-to-ceiling mischief that I expected. It's never page after page of rough-and-tumble, bloodthirsty, irresistible mayhem. It's actually rather boring, in that all the literary work (heavy description, detail, fo...more

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