Treasure Island

ISBN: 1402714572
ISBN 13: 9781402714573
By: Robert Louis Stevenson Scott McKowen

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Genres

Adventure Childrens Classic Classics Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Historical Fiction To Read Young Adult

About this book

The illustrations for this series were created by Scott McKowen, who, with his wife Christina Poddubiuk, operates Punch & Judy Inc., a company specializing in design and illustration for theater and performing arts. Their projects often involve research into the visual aspects of historical settings and characters. Christina is a theater set and costume designer and contributed advice on the period clothing for the illustrations.Scott created these drawings in scratchboard ­ an engraving medium which evokes the look of popular art from the period of these stories. Scratchboard is an illustration board with a specifically prepared surface of hard white chalk. A thin layer of black ink is rolled over the surface, and lines are drawn by hand with a sharp knife by scraping through the ink layer to expose the white surface underneath. The finished drawings are then scanned and the color is added digitally.Sneaky pirates, sailing ships, buried treasure, exotic lands, and murderous mutiny: what could be better to win over even the most reluctant boy reader? Robert Louis Stevenson serves up thrills, chills, and plenty of action in this timeless, and much-admired adventure novel.

Reader's Thoughts

Hollowspine

I have seen the movies, Muppet Treasure Island, that animated one where Ben Gunn is played by a nutty robot, but until I came across "Treasure Island!!!" by Sara Levine I never thought about actually reading the book. Then I thought, wouldn't it be fun if I, like the narrator of Levine's novel, read Treasure Island then of course read her book too. So that is what I did.First of all, I found it rather difficult to locate a copy of Treasure Island that was not illustrated and abriged for children. This seemed odd to me, I thought a classic like Treasure Island would be widely available for both adults and children. Like Frankenstein, which has multiple copies, some of the children's illustrated type and even more copies, with notes, forewarded by various people etc. etc. for adults. Not so with Stevenson's work. Although Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, like Frankenstein, seems to follow those expectations, Treasure Island it seems is only for kids.So, I read Treasure Island from the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, and I enjoyed the typewriter quality of the old printing, the slight smell of damp and the lovely red library binding. Reading Treasure Island was a good experience all around. I enjoyed the 'aged' book I was reading from, I was engrossed in Jim's adventures and loved some of the odd dialogues, epspecially between Ben Gunn and everyone else. Or the odd bits about cheese or salted goat. The conversations between the characters were chock-full of quoteable chunks and various things it was hard not to want to speak aloud.I did find the book engaging, exciting and at times very funny, but I haven't broken out the index cards yet. Or bought a parrot.

Manny

I read this book when I was about 8, and for some reason I didn't like it much. I never re-read it, as I did with all my favorite books, and I recall very little about the story.But I remember it better than some people, as I discovered when I posed what I thought was the easiest Quiz question in the world. Apparently, not everyone is sure how many men there are on a dead man's chest...

midnightfaerie

Treasure Island was a swash-buckling adventure where the stakes were high and the Gentlemen of Fortune weren't so gentle when seeking their fortune. I absolutely loved this book. Having never read it before, I picked it up because it looked to be a quick read, and I had books on route to my house and not much time before they got here, I thought I'd get another quick read off my list of classics. Immediately upon reading I wanted to get on a boat and search for buried treasure, but settled for playing in the sandbox in the backyard. Stevenson brings to life characters in a new and frightening way that held me captivated, in which Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde failed to do. He writes in such a way in this novel, that the characters come to life vividly and with great detail in my mind as I read, even though, when I later went back to re-read parts, the characters weren't defined nearly as minutely as I thought they were. I don't attribute this to my own imagination though. I think Stevenson's brilliance lies in the meticulous vagueness of his descriptions, allowing the reader to take the direction of their choosing with the character's appearance. A perfect example of this is in Ben Gunn. My husband and I were watching Treasure Island with Eddie Izzard, and he commented on the age of Gunn, saying he'd seen another movie where he was old, opposed to this one, in which he was younger in age. So then I thought back to the book and wondered, what age was he? So I looked it up, and really, it could be interpreted in so many ways: "...unlike any man I had ever seen, stooping almost double as it ran..." - As an animal or from old age? "...his voice sounded hoarse and awkward, like a rusty lock. I could now see he was a white man like myself, and that his features were even pleasing. His skin, wherever it was exposed, was burnt by the sun; even his lips were black; and his fair eyes looked quite startling in so dark a face. Of all the beggar men I had seen or fancied, he was the chief for raggedness." - Old? Young? "...I was a civil, pious, boy..." - Speaking of when he was young, makes me see him as older. "You're a good lad, Jim..." - He calls Hawkins a lad, which makes him seem older to me, but then, how old is old? For the time it was and the longevity of life span, especially for the pirates with so hazardous a life, they didn't live long. So maybe in his thirties? Besides the wonderful characters, the chapters were breathtaking, causing me to sit at the edge of my seat with each page turn. What a wonderfully suspenseful tale with such colorful inhabitants! Even the slang was picturesque, with nicknames like "Barbeque" for Silver, and "Long John's Earrings" for the ropes strung across the ships decks that allowed our favorite character to pass easily from port to starboard with his one leg. And even though the movie I saw gave a satisfying death to the despicable Trelawney, I'm rather glad that the book left him alive at the end. It wasn't what I expected and it was more true to life. The abhorrent man, who puts himself off as one of the good guys, never seems to be the one with a bad run of luck. And although Muppet Treasure Island was not exactly true to the original story, (the Captain a frog?), it was still surprisingly accurate in most aspects of the novel, which is something I've always enjoyed about the Muppets, especially in The Christmas Carol. Overall, it was a superb book and an intoxicating adventure. A natural classic, with a huge following, underlying themes, and above all, a great deal of the Magic Factor, it's a story that will live through the ages and continue to be adapted in many ways and various forms for years to come. Treasure Island is a beloved tale for both young and older readers alike. I highly recommend it. ClassicsDefined.com

Jacob

I'm not big on classics, but this book has started to alter my opinion. Treasure Island is an exciting tale of a young boy named Jim Hawkins on an adventure to find treasure to help support him and his mother. His father is dead, and it's just him and his mother, but then he finds a treasure map, and his life will change forever. They find a ship and crew, and all is going well until they run into pirates.The things I didn't like was that it was a little slow at the beginning like most classics. In classic novels, the author s are descriptive about everything, even when it's redundant. There's not alot of this book that I don't like.There are more good things than bad regarding this book. The storyline is really exciting because once they find the chest and the map, they ball gets rolling and the book gets exciting. It's not a terribly long book, but it's not short either, so it's just the right size.

Michele

I'd never actually read this book before. I think I'd only seen movie versions of the story - which meant that I heard Tim Curry's voice every time Long John Silver opened his mouth to speak.Despite this distraction (and yes, I loved the Muppet version of the story), I was able to get into the story for its own sake. I found the first person narration by Jim the best part of the book because of the perspective it gave the whole adventure - after all, Jim's in it for the glory, as a boy would be, and not the money that his adult companions obviously hope to make. Jim's view is vindicated in the end as well when all the bad or questionable guys in the book end up blowing their wad, while he and the good guys are 'richer' for the experience.I enjoyed Jim's narration so much that I was disappointed when the episode in the stockade shifted from his perspective instead of just being told retrospectively. Seeing the action from Jim's point of view also allowed the reader to anticipate Jim's own responses. For example, as an adult reader, the sailors (pirates) "inability" to capture Black Dog after chasing him out of Long John's pub confirms the reader's suspicions about Long John (they'd been aroused earlier, but without substantiation) but Jim, being a child, takes a little longer to realize it. This creates a kind of narrative tension that's thoroughly enjoyable and is obviously what Stevenson wanted to do in choosing to narrate from the boy's perspective.Fun book - almost as much fun as the muppets!

Greg

Loved it. The language of the characters is an important part of the book's magic in this gripping adventure story. In the Appendix, Stevenson himself explains how he developed the story. First he drew the map of the island, and having that he could visualise all the characters, locations, and weapons, "fighting and hunting treasure, on these few square inches of a flat projection." It is interesting that the narrator changes for a few chapters in the middle.After the fact I would have preferred not to have read the Introduction by graduate professor of American literature John Seelye before reading Treasure Island. Academics defining an Author's influences before I've read a book sort of deflates the magic for me. I would have preferred it at the back of the book. Stories where the main subject or character is 'an old man who has spent his whole life with the sea' seems to have a great attraction and a timeless appeal. Three examples are Long John Silver, Doc from Cannery Row, and Santiago, in The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway.I certainly intend reading Treasure Island again.

Anthony

Felt like revisiting my "yute." You really can't read it quite the same way as an adult as you did as a kid. It's a good yarn, but you're so aware of how the stereotypes act to reinforce the "received notions" that support the English class system. Damn that liberal-leaning higher education!:)

Liz

I liked the Treasure Island, but if I had read it when I was younger I would have LOVED it. Whilst I was reading this book, all I could think of was One Eyed Willy and his 'rich stuff' and of course, THE TRUFFLE SHUFFLE!!I didn't realise the movie Goonies was so heavily influenced by Treasure Island....I loved that movie. The adventure, the danger, the pirates, the rich stuff, Chunk.....it was brilliant.Reading this book made me want to; pull out Goonies and watch it again, travel on a boat to an island somewhere and hike up my shirt and do some belly jiggling.If you have kids read Treasure Island to them now......because it's still good as an adult, but after reading it you can't really run around with a plastic sword in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other screamin' "shiver me timbers where's me buried treasure" into everyone's face....unless of course you want to be cornered by NSW police and tasered to death.

Joseph

Long John Silver is a classic character. He'll murder in cold blood minutes before giving a warm reception and he'll mean both. He's a cold calculator with his eyes on the prize but he wears his greed and affection on his sleeve. He's the perfect picture of the charming knave and throughout this story of pirates and treasure you're never sure if you should be rooting for or against him.Fortunately, this tale is so much adventurous fun that you won't spend too much time psychoanalyzing pirates. The plot is dynamic and well paced and there's plenty of action and humor along the way. The characters, aside from Silver, are less important than the story, but all show distinct enough traits to help you keep track of who's who on a large crew.This tale does suffer from some cliches and incomprehensible sea-speak. And the final 1/3 is a bit light in terms of drama and satisfying resolution (the climax comes almost exactly in the middle.) But hey, this is the tale that popularized 'yo ho ho,' pieces of eight, peg-legs and talking parrots and X marks the spot. It's well worth a read just for the references.

John Yelverton

Classic tale of the sea and pirates. A must read for all young readers.

Werner

Robert Louis Stevenson was an author I became acquainted with very early in life, as the 1959 date suggests; this was my first book by him, and one of the staple favorites of my childhood. (The date is rough; I may have been younger than seven when I first read it, and two is just a guess as to how many times I read it --it was at least that, but maybe more.) My rating is my hindsight assessment of how it stacks up today in the mental canon of literature I've read; but if I'd read it today, with an adult's perspective, my rating might actually be higher.Stylistically, this book has much in common with the author's Kidnapped (without the Scots dialect), and illustrates some of the qualities that lead me to rank him as a favorite writer: a well-crafted plot with a hefty adventure and excitement quotient; vivid, vibrant characters; a solidly moral orientation; a protagonist I could identify with. His formal, 19th-century diction seemed to me back then (and probably also would today) like serious prose for a serious story, and seemed appropriate to the historical setting. (Admittedly, the nautical terms and some of the other vocabulary, using terms outside my experience, was a challenge, but I could usually roughly interpret it from the context --for instance, I could tell that a "lugger" was some sort of boat.) Today, I can recognize the book as a classic of Romantic style (I didn't know what that was back then), with its frank evocation of emotion and exotic --once England is left behind-- tropical island setting and pirate milieu. But Stevenson does not "romanticize" pirates, in the sense that much modern popular culture does; these are brutal, coarse, treacherous cutthroats motivated by greed, with nothing glamorous or charming about them. Long John Silver, of course, is the template for the stereotype of the one-legged pirate captain with a talking parrot; but the formation of the stereotype testifies to the power and vitality of the original creation. I agree with the Goodreads description above that the ambiguous relationship between young narrator Jim Hawkins and Silver is one of the strong points of the book, and the storyline has a coming-of-age theme to it through the relationship, as Jim realizes both that an outwardly jovial and winsome facade can mask a personality capable of very ruthless and self-serving choices --and that, at the same time, the ruthless and self-serving aren't cardboard villains, but human beings.Another similarity to Kidnapped here is that both novels have no major female characters. Indeed, Stevenson wrote this at least partly to please a nephew who was at the age for disliking girls, and had promised him a novel with no female characters except the hero's mother. :-) Given that superstitious 18th-century sailors believed a woman's presence on a ship caused bad luck, that's not an unrealistic situation. So, this isn't a read for fans who insist on having small-r romance with their historical/adventure fiction!

Madeline

"Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars of Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17- and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof."Regardless of what you think of Treasure Island as a story (and we'll get there, not to worry), its importance in establishing modern adventure tropes can't be denied. So many of the things we think of when we imagine pirates - peg legs, parrots on shoulders, fifteen men on a dead man's chest, the Black Spot - were invented by Stevenson in this book. Basically every single portrayal of pirates created after this story is based in some way on what Stevenson wrote, so if nothing else I appreciate this book for providing us with everything from Captain Hook to Jack Sparrow. ("Captain Jack Sparrow.")So it's just too bad that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. Sure, it's exciting for a while, what with the murderous pirates attacking the inn and Jim Hawkins setting out on a crazy treasure-hunting adventure, but around the time they get to the island the plot grinds practically to a halt. It takes chapters and chapters for them to get anywhere or do anything, and I was immensely appreciative of how movie versions of this story make sure to move the action along quickly once they land on the island. Also, Book Jim is kind of an idiot - he stows away with Silver & Co. when they row to the island (even though Jim knows that Silver is evil) just for the hell of it, and he abandons his friends again once they're on the island and have a stronghold set up, because the best thing to do when you're on a strange island full of pirates who want to kill you is go exploring without telling anyone. Also you'll notice in the passage I quoted above, Jim's father is alive at the beginning of the story. He dies pretty quickly, but I prefer how in the movie versions Jim's dad is long gone, having abandoned his son or died a long time ago. It just makes more narrative sense: in order for him to latch on to Long John Silver so quickly, Jim needs to be saddled with enough daddy issues to embarrass a stripper. So in conclusion, I'm glad I read this book, if only to appreciate its cultural significance, but the movie versions I've seen are infinitely more enjoyable. (In case anyone is curious, I have seen two different film versions of Treasure Island. First is Muppet Treasure Island, which makes Stevenson's original seem plodding and boring and horribly miscast - Captain Smollett is and always will be Kermit, and there has never been a better Long John Silver than Tim Curry. Also, Disney's experimental steampunk take on the story, Treasure Planet is highly underrated, in my opinion.)

Fahad

جزيرة الكنز كان بورخيس يعد ستيفنسون أحد كتابه المفضلين، وروبرت لويس ستيفنسون هو صاحب الروايتين المشهورتين جدا ً (جزيرة الكنز) و(الحالة الغريبة للدكتور جيكل والمستر هايد)، الرواية الأولى مشهورة جدا ً عربيا ً، ويعود ذلك إلى أن الرواية حولت على يد المخرج الياباني (أوسامو ديزاكي) إلى مسلسل رسومي مبهر بعنوان (Takarajima)، دبلج هذا المسلسل إلى اللغة العربية وعرض في الثمانينات، وكان أحد أجمل المسلسلات التي تابعتها في طفولتي، وأظن أنه أثر وأمتع جيل كامل قبل أن تفقد الأفلام الرسومية القصة والإنسان، وتصبح مجرد صراعات بين كائنات خارقة ذات تكوينات غريبة، المسلسل أبرز الرواية بقوة، وخاصة شخصية (جون سيلفر) المحورية، كما منح شخصيات أخرى دورا ً أوسع من دورها الحقيقي في الرواية مثل شخصية (جراي) التي كانت شخصيتي المفضلة مع سيلفر. الرواية اعتمدت أحد الموضوعات المحببة، وهو موضوع القراصنة والكنز المفقود، ولكني أقدر أن ما أثرى الرواية ومنحها جمالها، شخصية جون سيلفر المتقلب، والتي أبدع اليابانيون في تصويرها. أتمنى لو كنت أمتلك براءة تكفي، أعود بها لأشاهد ذلكم المسلسل الجميل.

Amy

I read this book alongside my son, who had been assigned Treasure Island for summer reading. While not necessarily the kind of fiction I typically choose, it was certainly entertaining, however, there *were* large paragraphs here and there I barely paid attention to--paragraphs that were filled with boatswains and coxswains and larboards and mizzenmasts and other such words that mean nothing to me (hypothesis 1: Stevenson was paranoid about being "unauthentic" so he had to throw this stuff in to be convincing....hypothesis 2: some people care about coxswains and larboards...but I don't). I tried to enjoy the lush descriptions of things for which I already had clear mental images of, but couldn't quite do it, but it's not Stevenson's fault that I have had access to many -a-visual-image of such locales as deserted pirate-y islands....Silver's character is, in my opinion, the only one of true interest (and "you can lay to that"), as most others lack the three-dimensional qualities of real people we know. Long story short, if you didn't read this as a kid, it might be a fun summer read--but you aren't missing anything important....Interesting note: the other book Isaac was assigned this summer was To Kill A Mockingbird--we read that one first (it was obviously a reread for me...) and then Treasure Island--putting these two stories together in the same conversation, *did* pique my interest a little more. I ended up drawing some interesting comparisons between Jim and Scout, and about the events that they encounter...food for thought...

Eric

I really don't know what I can say about this classic swash-buckling adventure that hasn't been said already, but a few things that jumped out at me (minor spoilers below):- I found it interesting that the narrator details how Captain Smollett, Gray, and Ben Gunn spend their shares of the treasure, but not the original three treasure hunters -- himself, Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney. Actually, the ending in general seems a bit rushed to me, but this is a minor quibble, as I'm a big fan of brevity in literature.- I enjoyed the open-endedness of the ending paragraph: "The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know, where Flint buried them; and certainly they shall lie there for me."- I couldn't believe this was the same author that wrote Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, as the tone of this book is entirely different. But when more of Long John Silver's inner character surfaced, I saw the duality-of-man theme at the center of Jekyll and Hyde present here as well.- Speaking of Long John Silver, it is remarkable to think that this book's popular is so pervasive that it inspired a fast-food restaurant chain -- 86 years after it was first published.

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