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The Wrecker (Radici)

The Wrecker (Radici) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Louis Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Loudon Dodd and his friend Jim Pinkerton buy in San Francisco the Flying Scud, a wrecked ship abandoned on Midway Island. The two will experience an adventurous journey in the attempt to take hold of the ship with his treasure. A mysterious collection of stamps will be the key to solve the enigmatic disappearance of the entire crew...

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in 1850 in Edinburgh, the son of an engineer. He briefly studied engineering, then law, and contributed to university magazines while a student. Despite life-long poor health, he was an enthusiastic traveller, writing about European travels in the late 1870s and marrying in America in 1879. He contributed to various periodicals, writing first essays and later fiction. His first novel was Treasure Island in 1883, intended for his stepson, who collaborated with Stevenson on two later novels. Some of Stevenson's subsequent novels are insubstantial popular romances, but others possess a deepening psychological intensity. He also wrote a handful of plays in collaboration with W.E. Henley. In 1888, he left England for his health, and never returned, eventually settling in Samoa after travelling in the Pacific islands. His time here was one of relatively good health and considerable writing, as well as of deepening concern for the Polynesian islanders under European exploitation, expressed in fictional and factual writing from his final years, some of which was so contrary to contemporary culture that a full text remained unavailable until well after Stevenson's death. R. L. Stevenson died of a brain haemorrhage in 1894.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 733 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kitabu (25 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #525,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked and under-rated! 16 Dec 2009
Robert Louis Stevenson is a master of the adventure story and this is certainly no exception. However, compared to his other tales there is a dark side to this story about amoral entrepreneurial endeavour where the world of art is used as a foil to its folly and black comedy. There are no heroic characters on this stage as all are flawed to some degree; yet strangely they arouse sympathy and even liking, perhaps often mirroring our own hopes, fears and desires and tending to a naïve, youthful optimism. This even despite the more unsavoury events, vividly described in some of the best writing of the book.

The action is fast-paced, moving from land to sea, from continent to continent, from fortune to misfortune and back again. Stevenson makes full use of his marvellous descriptive powers whether to place us on a ship's deck, a barren island or a city street.

The co-authorship with Lloyd Osborne may seem to detract from this work but don't be fooled by it: this is no also-ran but the full-blooded tale of adventure keeping up the feeling of suspense right to the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stevenson surprise 5 Dec 2010
By A. Wald - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Wrecker by R.L. Stevenson was a pleasant surprise. I saw the book described somewhere and thought "give it a go". I, like most people of my age cohort, have read Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, you know, the usual canon. I wanted to read something classic, yet relatively unknown and The Wrecker fit the bill. I was not disappointed in the least! Great descriptive phrasing, wonderful language use, fun 19th Century argot, and a complex, twisty plot; who wouldn't be happy. Yes, of course, you have to be an experienced, diverse reader and willing to puzzle out some of the references, but this made the experience all that more enjoyable for me. This is not an exercise for the intellectually lazy. What a joy, though, to read and engaging, 'old style' novel. Stevenson got the sailing and natural elements just right. I certainly cannot remember the last novel that I enjoyed more and the craftsmanship of language and style were a wonderful reward. I can't recommend The Wrecker enough if you desire an escape from the mundane world of the current written "product".
There were some minor typographical problems in my copy, which was regrettable, but not a deal breaker.
If you need a bit of a challenge and want to enjoy the craft of writing in the old style, you would benefit from spending your time with Stevenson's The Wrecker.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Treasure 16 Aug 2010
By Michael Jones - Published on
In the epilogue of the lost classic, The Wrecker, besides explaining what became of his characters, Robert Louis Stevenson (along with Osbourne, his stepson) deigns to explain his work, or rather his fictitious author's work, as something of a new form: the literary crime novel. By this he means the story starts out as a sort of novel of manners, chronicling the early life and experiences in the "money hunt" of the main characters, then finishes with a flourish of enthralling crime on the high seas. In approaching the novel in this style, the author hopes to lessen the "insincerity and shallowness of tone" of the common "police" novel and make the "mystery seem to inhere in life". But later, regarding this technique, he confesses: "it occurred to us it had been invented previously by someone else, and was in fact - however painfully different the results may seem - the method of Charles Dickens in his later works."

The results in question indeed deliver a painfully good story. This is the tale of an aspiring young sculptor, Loudon Dodd. He is the son of a land surveyor turned real estate speculator; an unhappy man as Dodd puts it, unhappy in life, in business, and sorry to say, unhappy with his son. Dodd goes on to relate his experiences in college, both home in Muskegon and abroad in Paris; his close, bittersweet relationship with his father; his attempt to become an artisan, sculpting and scraping by; and of the bond that develops between him and his schoolmate in Paris, Pinkerton. Later, back in the states, he and Pinkerton, become business partners. In a scheme for some quick money, they wind up buying a shipwreck rumored to have cloaked value. Lloyds of London routinely held auctions for such wrecks (Brigs, Schooners, etc...) that had been ravaged by the weather, on the reefs or by other unfortunate means. Stevenson's auction is a fine piece of writing, and it is at this point in the book that the story gets lift. Dodd subsequently rounds up a ship and a crew and sets sail for Midway Island, the site of their newly purchased wrecker. Sea dogs, the south Pacific, and hidden treasure all conspire to enlist the reader in the remainder of Stevenson's wonderful adventure. Though it doesn't come without a cost. Lust for wealth, which becomes nearly ubiquitous, is clearly the demon seed of this cautionary tale.

Interestingly, The Wrecker was a favorite of the Argentine poet and essayist Jose Luis Borges, who couldn't have written more differently than Stevenson, but who nonetheless returned to the text more often than any other. Borges' obsession with The Wrecker is examined in a recent NY Times article. by Rivka Galchen. But I have my own theory why Borges enjoyed this work so much: the hidden treasure within.

~Book Jones~ 4.5 Stars
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of R L Stevenson 1 April 2005
By Nirmal Patel - Published on
The Wrecker is the missing piece in your library, if you are one who still drool over The Treasure Island and The Black Arrow. It is for the mature guy. It definitely serves as a thriller, a mystery and an adventure novel rolled into one. Not worth missing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book; don't buy Nabu press edition 3 July 2011
By McEwan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Nabu Public Domain Reprint is a photo-reproduction of what looks like a 1905 edition, which would be fine except that on most pages the last line (sometimes the last two lines) are either so distorted as to be illegible, or cut off entirely. This makes for very frustrating reading. It would be far preferable to get your hands on an old copy. This is a case in which buying online proves a mistake (a brief physical examination would have revealed the defect).

The novel is uneven; I found the first part slow and somewhat artificial, by which I mean, lacking in illusion of reality. But about a third of the way in the old Stevenson magic kicks in, and the middle part is top notch. The ending, though perhaps not quite as strong, still works pretty well. All in all, an interesting blend of a dark sort of romanticism with a very gritty realism. A sort of nineteenth-century noir.
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