87. Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Everyone's heard of Treasure Island. The classic tale of young Jim Hawkins who becomes the owner of a pirate's treasure map when the man dies in his family's inn. With the aid of the local doctor and the wealthy squire, they hire a ship and crew and head off in search of buried treasure. Little do they know, the crew is made up of the pirate's former shipmates who are determined to claim the treasure for themselves and will stop at nothing, including mutiny and murder, to get it.

Stevenson's tale of adventure, buried treasure and one-legged pirates was originally written as a children's tale and I had to keep reminding myself of this as I was reading it. Personally, I found the book too short, lacking in detail and the ending? I was having flashbacks to Crime and Punishment where it seemed as though Dostoyevsky had run out of steam and tacked on a happy ending to make his publisher's deadline. While I wasn't expecting the final pages to be soaked in blook, I was expecting something different. I'm sure that the Muppet film version had a slightly different ending.

Would I recommend Treasure Island? I have mixed feelings. Should you decide to read it, don't expect to be blown away. Stevenson was responsible for kicking off the world's fascination with pirates and pirate adventures. Ideas such as "X marks the spot", buried treasure, and pirates with wooden legs and parrots on their shoulder cand now be found in just about every novel or film made about pirates. I was glad that I read Treasure Island but not overly impressed. This is one I'll be passing onto my brother and sister in law for them to read to the kids complete with funny pirate voices and all. They'll find it exciting.


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