The story starts slow. Matt Groening had some fun with that in one of the latest Life in Hell issues. But it picks up pace by the time the Hispaniola is going out to sea, and keeps it up pretty much through the rest of the book, an exception being the chapter about Jim floating in Ben Gunn's boat. The language is superb, and the sailers' dialogs are most believable, creating the atmosphere of romantic adventure we used to associate with pirates.
While the numerous interpretations of the story focus on the relationship between Jim and Long John Silver, that's not really the point of the book. It's the action-adventure aspect that's so attractive for young boys, Lloyd Osbourne's game so masterfully narrated by his stepfather.
One often overlooked part of the story is the subplot of Ben Gunn, the true hero of Treasure Island. "Nobody minds Ben Gunn," yet he'd done them all, including the fearsome Long John Silver. Perhaps even the author, Robert Louis Stevenson himself. Ben Gunn's character comes alive despite all of the Jim's dismissive remarks about him. He is the most human of the lot, the one we can relate to when Jim's game becomes too simple (just how many times can you get saved by pure luck?). The hapless cheese-loving pirate is a true romantic without knowing himself to be one. [...] While approriate for kids, it's enjoyable for everybody!