Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The book’s blurb says “The most popular pirate story ever written in English” and they are not kidding about it. Practically every pirate tale written since then was influenced by this classic. I do not think I really need to mention the plot as it is widely known, but I will do it just in case.

A young boy named Jim Hawkins got his hands on a map showing the location of a buried pirate treasure – by a pure accident. A group of people is ready to go on a treasure hunt, but their plans are about to be destroyed by pirates who also want to get the treasure.

This is a classic adventure which also happened to have some very well written characters. First and foremost of such is Long John Silver. He is one of the most morally ambiguous characters from the genre. He was famous enough to have a chain of restaurants named after him, among other things. Another brilliant character which comes to mind is half-mad Ben Gunn.

This was a fantastic tale, superbly written with amazing characters and a plot that never let up or lost any steam. A “classic” adventure story that truly lives up to its name. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

3 items worthy of note in Stevenson’s classic treasure, Treasure Island:

1) There are a ton of tropes! We understand that this is pretty much what Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ripped off, making tons of money off of this adventurous classic, including but not limited to: rampant alcoholism; a code of honor; castaways (at sea or in land); shipwrecks (new and ancient); treason (group and individual) & double crosses; mutiny, hostages, captures and shocking escapes; strangers appearing from the mist & pirate flags; rare-ish slapstick comedy & good comedic timing; a compass made up entirely of human bones and ghosts.

2)Jim Hawkins is the go-between of the two fighting groups, the one who bargains with the villain Long John Silver (mmm…. breaded fish and shrimp…) and propels the narrative forward. He’s the center; a dreamer; while he loses his humility he attains a coming-of age wisdom that peaks at the point where he brandishes a pistol for the first time.

3)The plot resembles a Hollywood blockbuster. There is very little inaction, but when it occurs it does decelerate the pace of the story. Here is a very substantial urge to make everything explosive and loud. Thank you, Mr. Stevenson!

Add comment