Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

First, I apologize for the lateness of my post.

Yesterday, I got to have adventures that only parents of small children really get to have. Ones involving a sore throat that vanishes, so no doctor visit needed, to a scalp getting cut open on the corner of a stool, so doctor visit needed, to a “just in case” throat swab turning into an antibiotic for strep throat. Yeah, one of those days yesterday.

Anyway, I read Treasure Island this week. This is probably one of those books that I -should- have read as a child but didn’t. I don’t know if it was never pointed my way because I was a girl. Or if it was pointed my way but I was more interested in pioneer girls, twins with identical descriptions right down to the necklace they wore always on page 6 of each book, or money making clubs involving 4 very different girls with 4 very different clothing and personality styles than with pirates and treasure. ***If you can name all 3 book series I just alluded to, I will send you a book from my bookshelves. I won’t tell you which one, but it will be one that I’ve reviewed for this blog.*** (Dave, you’re exempt from this as you probably have all the books I would consider sending already)

Anyway, I never read it. And now I wish I had. It would have been a fun re-read. As it was, as an adult, I still really was absorbed in the story.

The copy of the book that I checked out from the library has a quote from J.M. Barrie on it:
“Over Treasure Island I let my fire die in winter without knowing that I was freezing”.

I never got quite as bad as Mr. Barrie (also, the advent of electric heat really helped), I was pretty into it. I even managed to read a chapter while waiting for the doctor to come staple my daughter’s head. (She was fine by this point and was opening drawers in the exam room. And Greg was there. Before you think I was some inattentive mom who doesn’t care).

Thomas Keneally listed Treasure Island in his top ten.

If you’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, or any other variety of pirate movies, you have watched bits and pieces of Treasure Island already. Stevenson’s work influenced portrayals of pirates in literature and cinema almost from the beginning. J.M. Barrie, after rebuilding his fire and flexing his frozen fingers, proceeded to use Stevenson as an influence for Smee and Capt Hook and all things pirates in Peter Pan.

Treasure Island is told mainly by the view point of a young man, Mr. Hawkins. The antagonist in the story is Long John Silver. Thinking on it, he does resemble the fast food restaurant he is named after. He can seem very, very nice on the surface, making you think you’re getting a true gentleman. But, after, after he’s wormed his way into your life, well then he turns nasty. He keeps you up at night, he makes you fear for your life. But yet, after all of that, he can sit down and charm you all over again. Kudos to the namer of Long John Silver’s!

There’s a pirate’s buried treasure on an island. There’s a ship full of pirates who are disguised as honest men who mutiny. There’s treachery (on both the “good” and “bad” sides), courage, slyness, honor (on both the “good” and the “bad” side), murder (on both sides), stranded marooned pirates, and riches beyond all imaginings that are as drenched in blood as Indiana Jones movies’ treasures.

Just read it. If you haven’t already. If you have kids, read it to them. (Right now, Amelia is more into Princess Palace Pets, but one day I will get this read to her, ONE DAY!).

Trust me. Read it.

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