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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to keep with you and read and re-read.....,
By A Customer
This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)Sadly Hollywood has probably duped you with their lame film versions. Even Robert Newton with his laughable caricature. Make no mistake, this book holds immense appeal for children and adults.... especially adults. Jim Hawkins tells how his life gradually becomes entangled with a dark underworld bent on a search for Flint's treasure. Having thwarted the gentleman of Fortune and taken the map from under their noses, the expedition of Captain Smollett, Squire Trelawny, Doctor Livesy and Jim Hawkins naively take the pirates on as crew, with Silver as their leader. Their murderous plotting is only accidentally revealed to the honest men at the crucial moment, just before the lookout sights the island.
The simple narrative style of Jim and the slightly childish romance can easily deceive you into ignoring a book full of violent adventure. No modern childrens author would relish such simple evil: "Silver, agile as a monkey, even without leg or crutch, was on top of him next moment, and had twice buried his knife up to the hilt in that defenceless body. from my place of ambush, I could hear him pant aloud as he struck the blows."
Anyone in any doubt about the character of Long John Silver would do well to read Bjorn Larsen's superb 'Long John Silver - The true and eventful History of my Life of Liberty and Adventure as a Gentleman of Fortune and Enemy to Mankind.' RLS may have based his brutal sea-cook on a figure described by Captain Johnson in his 'History of the Robberies and Murders of the most Notorious Pyrates' - "A fellow with a terrible pair of whiskers and a wooden leg, being stuck round with pistols like the man in the almanac with darts, comes swearing and vapouring upon the quater-deck, and asks, in a damning manner, which was Captain Mackra".
No doubt as hollywood has dumbed down RLS, he himself romanticised the real thing: Early 18th century pirates swarmed all over the carribean and the African coast. They had no hesitation in murdering and torturing in the cruellest fashion, yet in a strange way you can sympathise with their desire for democracy, egalitarianism and their system of welfare or compensation for injured men. Silver's comrades tip him the black spot as is their right, but by the sheer force of his presence and argument, backed up by his trump card - the map - he wins the day. For a more detailed look at the historical realities of life among the pirates read David Cordingly's 'Under the Black Flag'
This edition comes with a little icing on the cake - the superb and some might say the definitive illustrations of Mervyn Peake. His dark imagination oozes out of every picture and take you the scene. The contrast of sunlight and death as Silver cleansed "his bloodstained knife the while", makes my spine crawl and I am there in the undergrowth, looking out at the "little green dell".
Read this wonderfully straight-forward book, keep a copy nearby and let it transport you, when you need it, at the turn of a page....
....I hear the surf booming about it's coasts, or start upright in bed, with the sharp voice of Captain Flint still ringing in my ears: 'Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!.........
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure Island,
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This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)A beautifully bound book with, probably the most iconic illustrations of the story, by Mervyn Peake. I had forgotten just how god the story is. This is the book that sparked off Pirates of the Caribbean and all those "pirate-speak" references. Brilliant.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful classic,
This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)This children's book is a beautiful classic from a series which my son has collected avidly since we bought him The Jungle Book from the same series. They are books to read together or alone and also to keep and collect because they are so wonderfully produced in a kind of timeless, nostalgic style appealing to children and adults alike.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful images,
This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)I bought this edition for Mervyn Peake's magnificent illustrations, which haunted me as a child. I find them
(almost) as disturbing now as then.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skilled Fantasy Adventure about Human Greed!,
This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)Treasure Island is one of a small number of books that are both for children and adults. The appeal of the book for children relates to the story line: pirates, buried treasure, sea voyages to faraway places, and a boy hero. The appeal of the book for adults is in seeing a wonderful example of how events operate at many different levels. Long John Silver quickly becomes the focus for adults. What is his true nature? What will he do next? Clearly, Silver is one of the most interesting and memorable of all fictional characters.
A problem that children will have with this book is that the language is somewhat foreign to them. Some adults and children will find that the book starts slowly compared to newer novels (which often have the equivalent of a chase sequence in the first 5 pages).
My advice is to stick with the story for the first 6 chapters, and see how you are doing. By that time, the story will either have cast its spell on you, or you will be able to tell that this book is not for you.
A final reason for reading Treasure Island is because the book has been read by so many people. You will find references to the story in other literature and in conversation with others. You will also run into establishments called The Admiral Benbow Inn. It would be a shame not ot know its heritage. Also, finding someone else who likes Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver for the same reasons you do is a great shortcut to becoming better acquainted.
Personally, I found the story irresistible. I would have written a very similar book if I had the skill to do so. The plot is nicely balanced, and the characters provide an unusual perspective for what could easily have been a real potboiler with little to recommend it. The book has great charm, given its focus on pirates, which makes it compelling for me. I have now read the book 3 times, and enjoyed it more each time.
Have a great read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK EVERY BOY SHOULD READ,
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This review is from: Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) (Hardcover)Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Robert Louis Stevenson's boys classic TREASURE ISLAND, is magnificently rendered in this beautifully illustrated volume by Mervyn Peake. For those who love this wonderful adventure young and old, they might want to invest in what is to my mind the best film adaptation. TREASURE ISLAND (1990) - Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed.
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Treasure Island (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) by Robert Louis Stevenson (Hardcover - 29 Oct 1992)