Treasure Island

Treasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You would have to search long and hard to find anyone not familiar with at least the names that have been ingrained in the culture regarding pirates, buried treasure and the like, if not perpetuated at Disneyland or the Las Vegas strip, by the book itself, with a story that has timeless appeal. It had been many years since I first read this story, and it was a pleasure to reaquaint myself with the adventures of young Jim Hawkins.

I can’t decide whether it was a blessing or a curse that I had forgotten so much of this tale, but re-reading this book was like reading it anew, and in that vein, it was a good read. From Billy Bones’ arrival at the Admiral Benbow, to the blind maniac that had his gang pillage the venerable inn, to the Hispaniola and its questionable crew, it was all good down and dirty pirate stuff. Then came Long John Silver. With a forked tongue and sharpened cutlass, he was the antihero of the story.

Silver was what you would call a people person. Not a good person by any stretch of the imagination, but he had poor Hawkins’ head going in two different directions, which worked in favor of the pirates. Hawkins and his comrades were men of honor; the pirates were-well, pirates. Of course, Silver was able to manipulate the dim witted pirates as well, and that served to keep him alive while asserting his superiority in more ways than one. All were in pursuit of buried treasure, and there was only one way to find it-or so they thought.

Hawkins was but a boy-or young man if you will, and when reaching Treasure Island, it was his immature brashness that kept the mutinous pirates from making things worse than they already were. And they were pretty bad.

For the few that don’t know the story, I won’t spoil it, except to say that it is a rousing pirate adventure, with plenty of drinking, fighting, blood and treasure to keep anybody turning the pages. At the risk of sounding redundant, as many people have rightly said, this is the pirate story that all other pirate stories are modeled after. 15 men on a dead man’s chest…

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