Defoe's masterpiece is part adventure and part do-it-yourself book. It describes the experiences of the resourceful sailor and castaway Robinson Crusoe. After escaping shipwreck and being swept on to an island with nothing but his wits, Crusoe survives ? and even prospers ? through his ingenuity and perseverance. He builds his own dwelling and makes furniture and clothes. He lives alone until the arrival of cannibals brings him an unexpected companion and the chance landing of mutineers gives him the opportunity to return home.