on May 10, 2007
Treasure Island is arguably one of the greatest works of storytelling in the English language. Stevenson created other novels, with greater depth and insight, but the highlight of Treasure Island is the combination of color and poetic prose that distinguishes his tale of piracy and boyhood adventure from the rest of the field of other adventure books. The title alone paints an image of suspense, and salty pirates battling over great riches. Most people tend to view Treasure Island as a story for children, but it can be enjoyed by anyone longing for a rollicking adventure. Like so many stories from the 1800s, each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, and once you get used to the language the author's humor shines through.
on August 8, 2003
What is every teens fantasy? It's running away from home to get away from parents and rules and homework etc. and to have an adventure like Jim Hawkins. After seeing the movie, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, for the 3rd or 4th or 5th times teens are going to fantasize more about joining a crew of pirates to have an adventure on the high seas. Only there are no longer pirates like those who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries. But teens like me can escape and have adventures by reading pirate books like TREASURE ISLAND and ROBINSON CRUSOE. (The latter is based on a real pirate named Alexander Selkirk who was marooned on an island. Fortunately a ship picked him up in a short time not years later, and he didn't have an encounter with canibals like Robinson Crusoe.) Treasure Island is slow in places, but there's no law saying a reader has to read the slow parts. I just skipped over them and got to the good parts. I've read parts of other true books about pirates. But the modern day one I liked the best was THE DIARY OF A SLAVE GIRL, RUBY JO. No, it is not dorky. It has a good story with good characters (slave children) who watch Blackbeard as he holds their city hostage. In the back of the book you can see real photos of pirates, jolly rogers, and slave stuff. There is also more information about pirates of that time, and they weren't quite like the ones in the movies. I recommend everyone read Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, and that new book.
on April 30, 2003
The story of Treasure Island takes place during the glorious 18th century, when seamen still sailed the oceans in search of wealth and fame. The most feared enemies were the sea pirates. Young Jim Hawkins discovers a treasure map in the sea-chest of the murdered pirate, Billy Bones. Jim joins Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney to form a partnership to search for buried pirate treasure. The presiding genius of their crew is the one-legged pirate turned sea cook, Long John Silver. Long John is cunning and bloodthirsty, without a shred of conscience. But his buoyant humour and vitality are irresistible. Their sea voyage turns out to become quite perilous when the first rumours of mutiny are being whispered on board of the Hispaniola.
The point about classics such as Treasure Island is that you cannot doubt the relevance of such a book, since it is still popular more than 120 years after it was first published (1883). Hundreds of books following Treasure Island have used the image of the pirate Long John Silver and made it a universal type. Ask anyone to picture a pirate and in nine out of ten cases you will get something closely resembling Long John.
The strongest quality of Treasure Island is that it is still surprisingly fresh. It has a pace that can stand comparison with any contemporary novel. Stevenson did not add a lot of moralising to the story, which is quite remarkable for a coming of age story dated from that period. The character of Long John suffers clearly from a certain machiavellian duality, a topic that will return more prominently in Stevenson's later work: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
on June 18, 2012
The free download for Kindle of "Treasure Island" is hardly a feature rich edition of the classic, but it does have the most important part, which is the novel itself. Originally the book was serialized in "Young Folks" between 1881 and 1882, but was then published as a book on May 23rd of 1883. "Treasure Island" is a wonderful adventure for younger readers, and has had an impact on popular culture. The popular stereotype of pirates, and buried treasure marked by an X on a treasure map, all comes from this story.
Most of the story is narrated by Jim Hawkins, the son of the owners of an inn, who becomes involved in a mystery involving sailors and treasure, though there are a few chapters narrated by Doctor Livesey, whom Jim looks to as a trusted magistrate. The adventure takes place at some point in the 18th century, though one cannot determine the exact time frame and regardless it isn't important for the story.
This is a great work for younger readers as it is full of adventure and interesting characters, and a young hero in Jim Hawkins. The best known of the characters, though, is Long John Silver. Hired as a cook for the expedition, it is no surprise that Silver turns out to be much more. Silver has much more complexity and depth than any other character in the story, and that is perhaps the main thing that makes the story as engaging as it is. There is no shortage of film adaptations and TV shows based on this work, and though its story is clearly of a time, the enjoyment of reading it is timeless.
on May 30, 2003
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!
on May 23, 2003
"Treasure Island" is the classic adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Set on the high seas amid treasures and pirates, it is the story of a young boy's adventure. "Treasure Island" has been done by everyone from Disney to the Muppets. It's been imitated many times and influenced countless books and movies.
A mysterious pirate shows up at an inn owned by Jim Hawkin's mother. The pirate is killed by a gang of rogues, but Jim finds a treasure map belonging to the pirate. Jim then embarks on a journey to far away island to find the treasure. Of course, nobody can be trusted - especially the cook, Long John Silver. With his peg leg and parrot, Silver is the stereotypical pirate. Once the island is reached, sides are chosen - the mutinous pirates against the ship's crew. Jim goes on a journey within a journey on the island, going from one side to another, as the treasure is hunted for.
Everyone should read this book at some point. It's especially good for young boys, due to the fact that the main character (Jim) is a young boy. It's well crafted, and easy to read. And it's hard to put down once you get going. What else can you ask for?
on April 20, 2003
I didn't really come into the reading of Treasure Island with any expectations even though the tale and characters are iconic. Yes, I knew it involved buried treasure, pirates and Jim Hawkins but was ignorant of the specifics of the plot. All I was expecting was a good tale. I found that the iconic status of the book was more impressive than the actual work, something not uncommon in the digital age.
The family of the young Jim Hawkins' runs a not quite prospering inn and everything seems to be going on its drudging way until a man with no name shows up. He bears a scar and a sea chest and comes to be known as "the captain". He spends most of his time boozing until some shady chracters show up to talk to him. The captain will draw Jim and his family into his past and a violent present after his death and the discovery of a treasure map. Jim's life will speed up to encompass pirates, pursuit, buried treasure, and that mascot of fish franchises, Long John Silver, and his ever-present parrot on his shoulder. No, the parrot's name is not Polly.
Treasure Island is a fast moving narrative that keeps on pumping energy on every page. Stevenson has a real talent at keeping you interested. The character of Jim is well-drawn as are most of the main characters. The problems come with the minor characters. The pirates are completely stupid and you wonder how they could have ever earned a living doing it because they are so incompetent. I really don't see why this book has the place it does in the canon of good literature. It's an average young adult novel.
on April 7, 2003
I read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I found this book to be not so enjoyable. It begins with slow, hard to follow beginning, and continues with a somewhat sped up middle with many confusing twists and new people. The end I also found to be boring. This just seemed like a short story streched out on many pages lots of new places, characters, or things in between.
The parts of this book that I could follow along with were few and even still not inturesting. It took effort to read and keep everything in your head. I had to read over many things twice.
Some of the characters are Jim,Jim's mom,Dr. Livesey,Pew, Admiral Benbow,and others. Jim is the boy who goes on the adventures with the pirates. Jim worked an inn with his mom and dad. A sstrangwe visitor came around that was a pirate. Jim's dad died and so did the pirate... which is where Black Dog came and Jim's whole adventure started. He traveled across seas to find treasure, and he thought that the island was scary and haunted.
If you are an advanced reader, who can keep up with many things I might suggest this to you. If you are inturested in a fantasy like story with pirates, you also may enjoy this. However if you are an average person who just enjoys casually reading or you like to have a book that leaves you on the edge, I would have to say you would not want to read this.
on March 13, 2003
Jim Hawkins, a young boy, helps to run a family inn and falls into trouble left and right. When Billy Bones, an old buccaneer that lived in the inn, dies and leaves his large chest for claim, Jim snatches the key from his neck and opens his chest. He finds an oilskin package that contained a map to buried treasure and embarks on a journey to recover it. He and some of his companions go to Bristol, set up a crew, and board the great Hispaniola and depart for the island. One of the crewmembers they acquired while in Bristol was the famous pirate, Long John Silver. While on the journey, Jim overhears a conversation between Long John and three other members in which the men prepared plans of mutiny and determined how they would carry them out. They reach the island and the crew begins their corruption. Jim and his companions fight many conflicts while on the island. They are low on supplies, outnumbered, injured, and tired. Jim set out to retrieve the Hispaniola and completes his objective successfully. When he returns to the old stockade, he has a surprise waiting for him.
on November 21, 2002
I had previously read "Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde" and was impressed.
So I recently picked up "Treasure Island" and was surprised to find out it was a kids book--written for kids. This book is amazing. Its also amazing what happens to the kid, Jim Hawkins, in this book. He even says so to Long John Silver when hes cornered. Quite the experience; quite the capable lad.
Fast paced, believable, action packed.
Jim, the son of an inn keeper, meets up with a pirate. And that pirate finally gets tracked down by others of his kind, which means Jim gets mixed up in their business and lands himself a treasure map. He shares the info with a doctor and the local squire and they set sail unknowingly with the previous pirates old crew. There is trickery and mutiny afoot. These are no gentlemen pirates, especially peg-legged Long John Silver. This is where you get the pirate lingo that has been used by our everyday public. Its great to go back to the beginnings of "shiver me timbers" and "sixteen men on a dead mans chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum".
When they get to "Treasure Island" all their plans, and the pirates go awry. Jim proves his resourcefulness, bravery, daring and childishness all along the way.
Excellent tale. You will enjoy it. Its got everything for a great adventure. And a skeleton, too!