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Gulliver’s Travels

I first started reading Jonathan Swift’s classic Gulliver’s Travels way back in 2004. At the time, however, it was a bit much for me and I only made it about a third of the way through. As a result, it was with some trepidation that, 6 years down the line, I started it again.

Gulliver’s Travels is, at its heart, a satire that parodies the various foibles and foolishnesses of “polite” society at the turn of the 18th century. Published in 1726, the language comes across as somewhat elaborate and overly stiff, but this serves only to heighten the effect of the novel’s not inconsiderable wit.

Although, of course, society and life in general has changed a great deal over the past almost 300 years, Swift’s tale remains as scathingly brilliant as ever. While I wouldn’t recommend this as a light read or a story book, it is well worth the effort for those with a philosophical or political bent.

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