Friday, winner of the 1967 Grand Prix du Roman of the Académie Française, is a sly, enchanting retelling of the legend of Robinson Crusoe by the man the New Yorker calls "France's best and probably best-known writer." Cast away on a tropical island, Michel Tournier's god-fearing Crusoe sets out to tame it, to remake it in the image of the civilization he has left behind. Alone and against incredible odds, he almost succeeds. Then a mulatto named Friday appears and teaches Robinson that there are, after all, better things in life than civilization.
About the Author
Born in 1924, Michel Tournier studied philosophy and then became a journalist and a writer. He is the author of several novels, including The Ogre, The Four Wise Men, Gemini, and The Golden Droplet. The Ogre is also available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.
A fascinating, unusual novel... a remarkably heady French wine in the old English bottle... Tournier has attempted nothing less than an exploration of the soul of modern man.
Friday is the latest and one of the best examples of the French genius for revisionism—for ringing original variations on a traditional theme. It is also unique in that enterprise because it is so moving, so touching in its elegance, so simple in its art.
Like [Crusoe's island], Tournier's novel is unique, self-sufficient, imaginative, well worth exploring, and with a number of minor miracles to reveal.
M. Tournier is a cultivated and disciplined writer, and his Robinson, the son of a Yorkshire draper, is most likable... [T]he castaway has that quaint and peculiarly English stolidity that seems to exist only in the imagination of the French.
Defoe's book is distinguished by an unawareness of the psychology of solitude; nothing happens. Michel Tournier, however, has placed his man in precisely the same situation of static impotence, and then proceeds to illustrate a personal development as passionate and variegated as anyone could wish.
Other Titles by Michel Tournier
Other Titles in FICTION / Historical
Other Titles in Historical fiction