Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 8 June 2012
What to say? This edition is a beautiful art work, an excellent buy as long as you have the right readership in mind. Here is the original text, no watered down 'abridged' version but a tale that would be a PG at the cinema, with baddies biting the dust and in some cases the ocean and, sadly, some goodies perishing too. It's an action-packed adventure for boys and tomboys aged ten to ninety, although some girls may dislike the fact that the only women are the feeble Mrs Hawkins and Mrs Silver, notable by her absence. The fact is that the novel reflects the realities of 18th C treasure-hunting when, unless a woman WAS a pirate like Anne Bonney, she was unlikely to be found at sea, sailors having the superstition that a woman on board brought bad luck in the form of storms and high winds.
Stevenson's style is graphic and fast-paced and, although his vocabulary may daunt younger independent readers, all eager adventure-lovers with the patience to consult a dictionary if challenged, and the humility to take on an accurately researched sea-story of the days of sail, will find it gripping. It's best read aloud, remembering that Silver is an educated and utterly unprincipled villain, a 'killing gentleman' as Sir Terry Pratchett would term him. There's nothing funny about him. Captain Smollett is a braver man than you may recall, worthy of our respect, Dr Livsey is a decent man and a patient friend, and Squire Trelawney a brave, generous, gormless clot... As for Ben Gunn, Israel Hands, Blind Pugh and Billy Bones... Open the book and meet Kidd's crew. Pieces of Eight!
It was bought as a gift for a Dad to read to his son and to keep as a family treasure but is also suitable for reading by torch-light under the duvet: warning, it's a weighty tome that may become a strain for small hands.