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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get that buckle out and get it swashed!, 12 Nov 2002
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This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
This was a real corker. I like my heroes malevolent, self interested, ruthless and, when possible, murderous. Long John Silver is absolutely spot on on all those counts. You can read about the story anywhere, so I won't go into details, but the way its told is exceptional. Full praise to the translator too - its impossible to tell that this is a work in translation. Given the ample usage of 18th Century seafairing slang its actually hard to know how this might of worked in Swedish.
The story is told with gory detail, pace, strong characterisation and fantastic narrative. Make no mistake though, this is not just a gory boy's own pirate story. I think it would stand up to scrutiny from an historical document perspective too.
If you liked this book you would like the Requiem Shark too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Old 'Ard!' Says I, 'An' Read This 'Ere! AAAARR!!', 1 May 2012
By 
Lortzz "airhead" (Launceston, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
I missed the first English publication back in 1999 of, 'Long John Silver'. However, while learning of the new novel, 'Silver', by Andrew Motion from a Guardian review section,I also discovered this superb story. Those who love the stirring tale of 'Treasure Island' should read this staggering account of its most colourful character, Long John! Wily; ruthless; savage; intelligent. A survivor in a wild adventurous life where human life is cheap. you will read of the factual sides of those days: the cruelties of slavery; the savage rules of pirate life, the miserable lives of poor sailors in the Royal Navy and merchant ships, and the interesting comparisons with the supposedly righteous priesthood and politicians. There is great depth and complexity here woven in with terrific story-telling. You will certainly gain a greater understanding of the meaning of piracy! Outstanding throughout the book is the great character of Long John - narrated in his salty, colourful, engaging way. After reading the book, I wondered, even after acknowledging the skill of Tom Geddes' translation, how the Swedish author Bjorn Larsson managed to write in Long John Silver's voice. I imagined such English terminology almost impossible to write in another language! All you readers out there - this great story is a must!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun!, 28 Feb 2003
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
One of the most recognizable characters in English literature gets his own fictional autobiography in this sweeping historical tour-de-force by a Swedish sailor, of all people. For many, LJS is the most memorable and deep character in the classic adventure tale Treasure Island. In this book he recounts his life both before and after the events in Stevenson's tale. His first-person story unfolds in chronological chapters which alternate with chapters in which he tells of his dealings with that chronicler of pirates, Daniel Defoe, and later, Jim Hawkins. Many of these chapters are written directly to the two libelers, and include rambling meditations on the nature of freedom and meaning of life.
The accounts of his life adventures are rich in language and detail. It's a stunning achievement by translator Geddes, given all the nautical and period slang, and one would never know the book wasn't written in English. Readers who know nothing about boats and seamanship (like myself) will have no problems following the action and appreciating the details. Larsson has apparently researched the social history of pirates and seafaring in great detail, as the book delivers a detailed and spirited defense of those who went to sea under the black flag. Great attention is given to the awful conditions of the average sailor on a merchantman, and the evils of slave ships are examined at length and in graphic detail. Through Silver, Larsson portrays the buccaneers of the era as freedom-seekers and hedonists, living for the moment. Their crimes are shown as no greater than that of the merchants who plunder distant lands and enslave people.
This unvarnished "truth" is brought out in vivid storytelling as the old pirate, now living in Madagascar, puts pen to paper. It has to be said that while the chapters describing Silver's life and (mis)adventures are wonderful, the shorter chapters where he rambles on about good/evil, etc. can get repetitive and tiresome. Still, the book is great fun and well worth reading for its take on pirate life. Fans of the original Treasure Island may also be interested in Justin Scott's fun 1994 version, which transplants the action to 1950s Long Island.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 22 Nov 2010
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Mr. A. Tanca "McAldo" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
A very well documented and entertaining book.
I loved it and found it very engaging and coherent with what one might guess about Long John in Treasure Island.
Actually, it is kind of funny to see developed the reasons why Silver is, in the end, by far the most complex and interesting character in Treasure Island.
The author manages to unravel many traits of the pirate's personality without in any way detracting from his appeal.

Highly recommended, this is an unusually good book, even if not for the faint of heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you liked Treasure Island you'll love this, 5 Sep 2009
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P. A. Gordon "the topdragon" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
A great character! a great story! and and the book is so well written that it's almost impossible to believe it's a translation.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at its best, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Long John Silver (Paperback)
This is a wonderful retelling of the imagined life of Long John Silver. I've always loved the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter Scott, and the only two authors who've dealt as successfully reinventing the pirate genre are Bjorn Larsson in Long John Silver and Nicholas Griffin in the Requiem Shark, two of the best books of the year.
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Long John Silver
Long John Silver by Bjorn Larsson (Hardcover - 2 Sep 1999)
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