Book Review: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island Book

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. As always, click the photo to see pricing on Barnes and Noble.com

Synopsis: “The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Treasure Island has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!

The unexpected and complex relationship that develops between Silver and Jim helps transform what seems at first to be a simple, rip-roaring adventure story into a deeply moving study of a boy’s growth into manhood, as he learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage and honor—and the uncertain meaning of good and evil.” -taken from bn.com

Alright, let me first start off saying that I never read this when I was young. This was a totally new experience for me and I know this book is written more for children, but I figured I couldn’t deny myself the pleasure of reading it. This is a very good book and interesting in it’s own ways. I don’t think I’m much of a pirate story person and after seeing many “treasure island” movies (treasure planet, the muppets on treasure island, etc.) I found myself very impatient with this book. Although it only took me about 6 hours to read it, I rushed myself to finish it because I already knew what was going to happen.

With that aside, I found the main character, Jim Hawkins, to be extremely annoying and aggravating, but if he had not done all those childish and aggravating things, the story would have ended in a not-so-happy way. So, I’m grateful for this aggravation, but when it was happening, I found myself scowling at the book. As for Long John Silver, he was a pretty consistent character until the very end of the book. He always seemed to be the good guy, even when he was the bad guy, which is great, because his character was portrayed in the book as being a good actor and he was written in such a way to give that impression also. At the end of the book, I found Silver to be a little annoying, but eventually he chose the right path and came out the better for it.

I would say this book is a mass of mistakes leading to more mistakes, which cause everything to resolve semi-peacefully somehow….that much is kinda confusing, but hey, whatever, it worked.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Not my favorite book in the world, I probably won’t read it again, but a good experience nonetheless.

As always, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Ben

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