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Silver: Return to Treasure Island Hardcover – 15 Mar 2012

43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First Edition - 1st Impression edition (15 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224091190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224091190
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


His voice is unlike any other. (New Statesman)

Motion is a beautiful lyricist unpretentiously and precisely describing those things worth having even as he casts unsettling shadows across them (Guardian)

[I]nventive. The struggles that ensue on the island are, frankly, more gripping than what Stevenson came up with... In one respect Motion excels Stevenson by a long sea mile. He is better at natural description... Motion has achieved that very difficult thing: a children's novel that works even better for adults. (John Sutherland The Times)

Book Description

The thrilling follow-up to Treasure Island, as told by one of England's greatest contemporary writers.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By jannert on 17 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Silver, and am not really sure if I liked it or not.

The author has made a fine job of duplicating the language of the original Treasure Island. However, I do wonder if he spent more time developing that aspect of this novel than he should have done.

There were parts of this book, such as the first chapter, when I was thinking: "Wow, this is great stuff!" And then, the book would spiral off into wads of incredibly melodramatic and cliched introspection. Far too much of the 'if I'd only known then what I know now' category of first person-narration schtick. Sometimes the story would pick up again, and I'd regain interest, but it was never sustained for long. I stuck with the book and finished it, but was not really absorbed by the story. Intrigued, but not absorbed.

I had a lot of trouble engaging with the characters. Their development seemed patchy, and did NOT begin to equal Stevenson's character depiction. Long John Silver, as originally written by Stevenson, is a memorable character because he was superficially likeable -- at least at first. You only have a total picture of his character near the end, when the camaradarie he had fostered with young Jim has worn away. We are not 'told' by Stevenson what we should think of him; we make up our own minds.

The original Jim was still a young boy, so his innocence was believeable. This new Jim chappie -- the old 'Jim Hawkins's" son -- is nearly 18 years old. He has been away to school for several years, now works with his father in a tavern, has been raised without a mother -- AND fed a constant diet of stories from the original Treasure Island, as told by his father. His 'innocence' and gullibility is irritating, rather than believable.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There has been a mixed reception to this book in Amazon reviews - five star to one star. I am on the five star side. However, though there is ample evidence that Andrew Motion has written his book in a spirit of great reverence to 'Treasure Island', to which it is a sequel, 'Silver' has character of its own and is not just a 'moving the story on' clone of the great original. Jim Hawkins's son accompanies John Silver's daughter on a journey back to 'Treasure Island' in search of the bar silver, which was left behind when the 'Hispaniola' made her hasty departure in Stevenson's book. Of their journey and its outcome I can say little - there is too much danger of giving the story away - but there are pirates, strange exotic animals and vegetation, a marvellous storm, danger and death, tension and some humour. In a nice touch, the lookout on board ship, a 'wispy, angular Scotsman', watching over all of them from the crow's nest, is called Stevenson. The greatest strength of the book is in the excellence of the writing, particularly the descriptive writing at the beginning, on the island and at the end. There has been some complaint that the book is slow-moving, but in fact the pace of the narrative varies considerably ; when it is leisurely, that is because Motion (and his hero, Jim) want to dwell on some interesting aspect of the discoveries made. The writing at the beginning, when a small boat comes across the water to Jim's tavern at night, is absolutely beautiful and very involving. There is a moral dimension to the book which is entirely different from that in 'Treasure Island' ; it is not giving away too much to say that slavery is involved. In a couple of places the narrative strains credibilty, and I don't think Motion is entirely successful with one or two of his characters, but the strengths of the book so greatly outweigh its weaknesses that I have no difficulty in giving it the top rating. I enjoyed it a lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tulayev on 14 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I imagine that 'Silver' is aimed at those who read 'Treasure Island' when young and enjoy returning to it from time to time. The main pleasures of this sequel are in the descriptions of the tumbledown buildings by the Thames; the seductive, lush, and frightening island, and the grand storm at sea.

Unfortunately key moments in the narrative stretch plausibility. For example, I couldn't figure out why the young Jim Hawkins was embarking on the voyage to the island in the first place, and the behaviour of the ancient Long John Silver (a superbly drawn cameo) in financing and crewing a ship for a perilous voyage before even taking the first step towards securing the all-important map, seemed beyond eccentric. Creaking plotlines are perhaps a symptom of a bigger problem - the vague outlines of the two central characters, young Jim and Silver's daughter Natty. Jim is a detached narrator, his motivation always cloudy, while Natty who promises much in the way of mystery and feistiness early on, gradually dwindles into the 'love interest'. She is not even allowed her own voice when she embarks on a solo adventure which could be one of the most vivid sequences in the book. We have to hear her story through the words of Jim - an ominous glimpse of their future married life. Perhaps Natty is merely keeping her powder dry for a further sequel.

That said, 'Silver' retains enough of the spirit of Stevenson to be an enjoyable read, and it sent me straight back to the original which can't be bad.
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