10 Escapist Books Like Robinson Crusoe

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Books like Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe allow us to immerse ourselves in the most thrilling and terrifying of situations. We get a peek at what people can and will do when faced with difficult decisions and dangerous adventures.

Although we love reading about the ups and downs of a sword fight or what a man will do when starved on a deserted island, the truth is we are enamoured by the choices people will make and whether it will cost them their humanity. Robinson Crusoe is a story that also questions morality.

After ignoring his parents’ warnings, Robinson Crusoe follows his heart and sets out on an adventure to navigate the seas.

But soon, he is the victim of a series of storms that leaves him as the sole survivor, shipwrecked on an island. We follow him as he learns how to survive and spends fifteen years on the island before discovering a human footprint. Now, there is hope for escaping the island’s grasps.

However, if you have read this book already and you are looking for something similar, then why not try one of the ten books I’ve picked below! Some are classic novels and others are books full of a sense of adventure that I think you’ll love!

10 Books Similar to Robinson Crusoe

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Another, albeit more modern, classic novel for lovers of literature is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

This adventure novel follows a group of schoolboys who are stranded on an island following a plane crash. With no adults to watch over them or to tell them what to do, the island is theirs and the freedom they claim.

In an attempt to forget the society that they have left and follow adventure instead, the boys realize they will have to face many trials.

Soon, the order they have establishes crumbles and as noises in the night begin to make their way closer to the boys, they will have to make terrible decisions.

A story of morality and politics, this is a perfect book similar to Robinson Crusoe for readers.

Have you already read this novel? Click here to see our list of books like Lord of the Flies!

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Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathon Swift

In this fun and adventurous book written by Jonathon Swift, we follow a ship surgeon named Lemuel Gulliver on four voyages to strange places. First, he finds a miniature city where he towers above the buildings and people alike.

Then, in reverse, he discovers a town of giants where he cranes his neck like an ant to a man. Later, Gulliver stumbles across a flying island whose inhabitants are too preoccupied to realize the destruction of their land.

Finally, on his fourth and final voyage, he meets the Houyhnhnms, a species of gentle-minded horses. Pick up Gulliver’s Travels for a great book to read after Robinson Crusoe.

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is another classic adventure novel that readers will love if they enjoy Robinson Crusoe.

This novel follows a boy named Jim Hawkins who finds himself the protagonist in his own adventure after witnessing the death of a pirate named Billy. Billy is handed a black spot at Jim’s parents’ inn, the Admiral Benbow, and soon after looking through Billy’s stuff after his death, they find a treasure map.

Jim and his mother run away and soon join Billy’s old shipmates to find the treasure before anyone else does! However, Jim soon uncovers a plot where Billy’s shipmates want to take the treasure for themselves.

Mutiny and danger lie around every corner for Jim who is shoved into his own adventure. Pick up this novel for a fun and fabulous read!

Have you already read this novel? Click here to see our list of books like Treasure Island!

Touching the Void, by Joe Simpson

For readers who love to incorporate a bit of non-fiction into their repertoire, try picking up Touching the Void. This real-life story of life and death follows an expedition of two men who set out to be the first people to climb and reach the summit of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes.

After successfully reaching the top of the mountain, disaster strikes on their descent when Joe Simpson breaks his leg after a nasty fall. This leaves fellow mountaineer, Simon Yates, to help lower Simpson the rest of the way with ropes.

But when a storm arrives, the pair are faced with both violent practical and moral decisions to make.

Fable, by Adrienne Young

This book is a story of revenge, perseverance and bravery.

Fable is only thirteen when she watches her mother die tragically in a violent storm. Her heart is broken once more when only a day later, her father – the most powerful trader in the Narrows – leaves her on a dangerous island well known for its even more dangerous inhabitants.

Thieves, beggars, pirates and more lurk around every corner and Fable is abandoned and left to survive on her own. Now seventeen, Fable mastered the island by using the skills taught to her by her mother as a child and now wants her revenge.

By gaining the help of a trader calling himself West, Fable plans to get off the island and demand a place beside her father. But she soon realizes her father’s reach has grown since she was a young girl and maybe West isn’t exactly who he says he is.

Full of lies, deceit and a hint of romance, Fable is perfect for lovers of books like Robinson Crusoe.

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

This all-time favourite classic of many readers, Oliver Twist is a great novel to pick up if you love classic literature books that are similar to Robinson Crusoe.

One of Dickens’ best works, we follow young Oliver Twist, an orphan who runs away from the workhouse he worked and lived at after an altercation. Now in London, Oliver is taken under the wing by a man named Fagin, who takes in orphans and turns them into pickpockets.

He is trained in the art of thievery and sent on his first mission. Things go downhill after he gets caught and Oliver is sent headfirst on an adventure through London’s highs and lows.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis

This first book published in Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia will have you absolutely satisfied if Robinson Crusoe left you wanting more. The story follows the four Pevensie siblings who find another world entirely in the back of an old wardrobe.

Lucy, the youngest, is first to find Narnia and soon, after much persuasion, her siblings discover the world too. They find Narnia under the rule of an evil enchantress, The White Witch.

They meet the great Lion Aslan who calls them and the rest of Narnia to arms to face the White Witch in battle to free Narnia from her cruel clutch. 

Have you already read this novel? Click here to see our list of books like The Chronicles of Narnia!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of a young boy named Huckleberry Finn and his friend, Jim, who is a runaway slave.

Huck runs away from his abusive father with Jim, journeying along the Mississippi River on a raft. Throughout the novel, Huck meets various characters of all classes and finds himself in the middle of a family feud, two people pretending to be royals as well as others.

By meeting these people, Huck overcomes his internal prejudices and learns to truly love and respect his friend Jim.

Another book that combines human morals with a sense of fun adventure, this is perfect for fans of Defoe.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a fun to pick up if you love a bit of science fiction and fantasy adventure!

The novel tells the story of Professor Lindenbrock who ventures into the center of an inactive volcano in Iceland in an attempt to get to the center of the Earth.

Joined by his nephew and a guide they hired, the three follow the instructions of a medieval alchemist to navigate a passage to the center of the Earth.

The deeper they go, the more challenges they face. Perfect for all ages, why not add this to your to be read list!

Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville

Another classic adventure book like Robinson Crusoe is Moby-Dick, or the Whale. This story is well known, and it is told from the point of view of the sole survivor of a whaling ship that was shipwrecked and sunken due to a white whale.

The captain of the ship, Ahab, was crippled by a white whale named Moby-Dick on the ship’s previous expedition and Ahab had a vengeance against the whale. Against his better judgement, the captain hunted Moby-Dick, leading to his own self-destruction and ultimately, his death.

Pick up this novel if you want to add another classic to your repertoire.

Books like Robinson Crusoe spark the sense of adventure we all have lying dormant inside us and if you can’t book a holiday then why not pick up one of these and live vicariously through the characters!

Are you looking for more books to read after Robinson Crusoe? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Charlotte is a writer for Books Like This One. She studied drama and writing for performance and enjoys reading romance, literary fiction and young adult novels. Some of her favourite authors include Donna Tartt and Leigh Bardugo. Read more from Charlotte

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