Top critical review
BRING ON THE HYPE LONG JOHN
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.