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Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver retold by Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Published by Walker Books Ltd., 2004

One of the most well-know stories of the English language, adapted here by Martin Jenkins to make it more accessible to modern audiences. This brilliantly illustrated edition contains all four of Gulliver’s voyages.

Our first adventure with ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver takes place in the year 1699 when he is shipwrecked on Lilliput, a place inhabited by little people. His next trip takes him to the land of giants, Brobdingnag, and then he journeys to the floating island of Laputa. On Glubbdubdrib, he finds himself on an island governed by a tribe of magicians who are served by ghosts and in Luggnagg, he encounters a race of immortals whose miserable existence serves to lessen his own fear of death. Finally, as captain of a mutinous crew, the unlucky Gulliver is put ashore on Houyhnhnm, a place where horses rule over a disgusting human-like race of creatures called yahoos. Of all the places he has visited, he is most impressed with the fair and just Houyhnhnms, so much so that when forced to leave the island and return home, the sight of his wife and children fills him with horror and disgust and he faints when his wife kisses him.

Although Jenkins has simplified sentences and vocabulary, the original story has not been watered down and all of Swift’s political and social satire is faithfully preserved, and will be appreciated as much, and probably more, by adults as children. The some one hundred and fifty illustrations also provide an easy entry into the world of Gulliver and in these there is something new to discover at every sitting. What emerges from this exciting collaboration is a fresh new telling of the story, with all the power of the original which was published some three hundred years ago.

“a fabulously produced, beautifully illustrated and exquisitely designed book”
(Inis, the Children’s Books Ireland magazine)

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