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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.
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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.
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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!
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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?
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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.
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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!
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on June 5, 2002
Every image I have ever heard about pirates is perfectly captured in this one book and sets the standard for all others to live up to. I wish I had had time to read this when I was younger since it was obviously written with younger readers in mind, but I enjoyed it just as well at my current age, and I look forward to reading it to my own children.
Since this was written for a younger reader, there is a lot of foreshadowing, which takes the edge off of the mystery and suspense. I guess Stevenson did not want the younger readers to worry to much about whether the main character is going to be all right, so that they could focus more on enjoying the story.
This story has everything. Buried treasure, maps, one legged pirates, people walking the plank, talking parrots, murder, secret islands, hangings, sea adventure, drunken sailors, and songs. I can see where Jimmy Buffet probably got a lot of inspiration for some of his songs.
Long John Silver is a despicable character that you can't help admiring one minute, and hating the next, only to find yourself somewhere in between at the end of the story. He's brave and cunning, but very conniving. Jim Hawkins is an excellent young character who has the habit of always being in the right place at the right time. He is young and impressionable, and I'm sure most of the readers can relate to him, and put themselves in his shoes. Captain Flint, who's character is not actually in the book still carries a lot of weight as an evil villain. Other characters not mentioned like the Doctor, Captain Smollett, and the Squire are quite honorable and hold their own throughout the story.
No matter how deranged and twisted it might seem, these pirates have their own laws and their own coat of honor which they keep to in one way or other throughout the story. I wonder if Stevenson based this on any actual facts he may have obtained regarding real pirate's or whether he invented it all in his head. Regardless it is fascinating how they justify their actions. This book is on several lists as one of the top 100 books ever written, and I thoroughly agree with their assessment. The images drawn is this particular book were wonderful, and really captured each scene.
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on May 6, 2002
A tale of suspense, filled with pirates, hidden treasure, and a plot not soon forgotten, Treasure Island hits the top of the charts.
When Jim Hawkins comes in to possession of the notorious Captain Flint�s treasure map, a crew is rounded up and a hunt for the treasure begins. Little do Jim and his companions, the Squire and Dr. Livesay, know that many of Captain Flint�s murderous pirates are part of that crew. That changes though, when Jim hears something not meant for him to hear. He, the Squire, and Dr. Livesay are now unaware of who and who not to trust. It becomes a battle between the good and evil in a race for the treasure.
Greed was a major aspect that caused many sailors to turn against what they knew was right; sticking with their captain and boat. But they wanted the treasure for themselves, and their greed consumed them. Just remember though, greed will not get you anywhere, as this book shows. All that it gets you is more trouble than you need.
The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, uses foreshadowing, a technique that gives a hint of what is to come, that keeps you wanting more, and creates an atmosphere of mystery. Treasure Island is a �must read� for all who love pirates, treasure hunts, and a great story.
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on March 18, 2002
This book is absolutely amazing! The beginning may have been a little dull, but towards the middle I really started to get into it. The story kept me glued to the book. I would get dissapointed when I was told to stop reading. It seemed that every time I had to stop, there was some adventure that had just begun.

It starts out with a struggling family who owns an inn. One day, an adventurous seaman, known as the "cap'n" comes to their inn. Once the pirate dies, the inn owners son, Jim, starts to check out the cap'n's chest that was in his room. Jim discovers a map that leads to Captain Flint's buried treasure. This brings along many adventures, and laughs!

Jim and the town doctor and the town squire set out to find this buried treasure. During the trip to Treasure Island, Jim makes the startling discovery that the people working and sailing the ship are planning to overthrow the captain and his men. Once there, Jim, the captain, the doctor and the squire sneak off to the other side of the island. This leads everyone to war as Jim meets a castaway that had been on the island for three years. This man helps Jim and the other men to saftey, while the leader of the pirates, Long John Silver, continues to hunt for the treasure.
Jim and the castaway take control of the pirates ship and are soon looking for treasure themselves. Jim, wandering about on his own, falls into the clutches of the enemy. This creates commotion as the castaway and the other men try to free him, but cannot. The pirates are soon out looking for the treasure again with Jim and make it to where the treaure should be. To their surprise, it is gone!
The doctor and squire kill the other pirates, except for Silver, and take him and Jim to the castaways cave. The castaway, having been on the island for three years, had found the treasure and carried it all to a hidden cave by the coast. Inside the cave was also meat that the castaway had hunted for. Jim and the others make it to the cave and move the treasure onto the boat.Then they sail away and everyone lives happily ever after (except the pirates).
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on November 30, 2001
I was just reminiscing about how this book was required reading for me over one summer vacation back in elementary school (yes, I had homework over the summer). I was a voracious reader but preferred books that gave insight into the experiences of girls or women. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jane Austen were much more my thing. So I put off reading this book until the last week before school started and then only picked it up because of my mother's nagging. I dragged myself through the first few pages and then I was shocked (a little horrified I confess) to find myself loving it! I couldn't stop turning the pages. I sucked up the book in a day and enjoyed it all immensely. It changed me. It expanded my "girlish" view of the world. The experience taught me to try books out before rejecting them. Who knows if I would ever have read "manly" authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck if it had not been for that experience? I'm looking forward to reading it with my own two daughters. Anyway, I give it two thumbs up :-)
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