Everyone knows the story of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. Or do we really? Are we so certain about what's fiction and what's fact in this story?
Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726 and became an immediate success, read and discussed across the whole world. These days, however, we normally find the narrative as a rewritten or abbreviated version, reduced to a fun children's book full of entertaining notions and exciting stories. But the truth – according to Edgar Burås – is that the book is far more believable and realistic than most people know. It conceals a true story.
Burås knows this thanks to Robert Loxley, who traveled to Newark-on-Trent himself to seek out the real Gulliver, who had moved to the countryside with his family. Loxley was looking for the Lilliput animals that Gulliver took with him before he made his way home.
This novel is about the first inquiry and what happens afterwards, brilliantly told by Burås. The result is an enlightened story that consists of layer upon layer of text, but that is also extremely exciting, sharp and engaging. It also takes the adventure genre seriously; everything that can possibly be included has been, from lost manuscripts and dark and stormy nights to detective stories and fantastic journeys. It is strange, complex, funny and sensationally original. The Murder of Lemuel Gulliver will call forth associations with the best fairytale-tellers throughout history.
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