October 4, 2009

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Genre: Children's Classic/Adventure
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Argh me mateys! Make ready the sails, and swab the poop deck. The Hispaniola is about to set sail in search of the infamous treasure on Treasure Island. Join Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver, Captain Smollett and the rest of the crew in a tale of high adventure, piracy, danger, and coming of age. Whether you be a landlubber or a seafaring lad or lass, this story is sure to fill your lust for buried treasure.

This story begins in Bristol, England, where young Jim Hawkins lives and works in his parent's inn, The Admiral Benbow. There they lodge a pirate named Billy Bones who is continually on the look out for the feared one-legged man. When some former shipmates have a run in with Billy Bones, he receives a fatal wound. Upon searching  Billy Bones' chest, Jim finds a treasure map, but ends up running for his life when the aforementioned pirates ransack the inn looking for it. Jim takes the map to some respected men in town, Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney. The three form a secret pact to find the treasure. Squire Trelawney funds the trip, and so doing finds a ship and crew. Despite their pact to keep their knowledge about the treasure a secret, it seems the whole crew knows what the quest is about. They soon set sail for Treasure Island, but Jim Hawkins discovers that most of the crew, led by the ship's cook, Long John Silver, are planning a mutiny so they can keep the treasure for themselves. Jim now realizes that an adventurous trip for treasure has just turned deadly. Will he make it off Treasure Island alive?

Who doesn't like a story about pirates? I really enjoyed this book, even though I got a little bit lost with the nautical terms. I found myself comparing Jim Hawkins to William Turner, and Long John Silver to Captain Jack Sparrow. What can I say? I am a Pirates of the Caribbean fan.

Something I liked about this book was even though the pirates were despicable people, they still had that admirable quality of charisma. Long John Silver was such an intriguing man. As a reader, I really had no idea what his next play was going to be. Jim mentions towards the end of the book that Silver kept switching sides according to who might come out on top. It kind of reminds me of a quote from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Jack Sparrow says,
"Me, I'm dishonest, and you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you want to watch out for, 'cause you can never predict if they're going to do something incredibly stupid."
I think that quote perfectly describes the characters in this book. Jim Hawkins is the honest man who throughout the story keeps doing incredibly stupid things. Long John Silver is obviously the dishonest man, but amazingly still manages to fool some or all of them at various points of the story.

I thought this was a great read as part of my Classics Challenge. I am glad I picked it up and want to recommend it to those who love adventure and pirate stories. Which leads to this question: Do you side with the Pirates or the Honest Men?



Britt said...

We're having a Pirate Halloween around here.... almost certainly follwed by a Pirate bday. Again.

LOVE that quote from Jack Sparrow.

Read Treasure Island... like in elementary school? Probably should read it again... :D

heidenkind said...

Oh, pirates, definitely. :)

I have about 3 copies of this book, but I've never read it. I do like watching film adaptations of it, though.