Treasure Island

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

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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


YO-HO-HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM!!!This is the iconic novel about pirates that it stands as the best example in this topic and easily one of the most adapted to other media novels in any genre.I can remember having watched several adaptations, live action films, animated movies, even an animated film using animals as the characters, there is the Muppets' one, a Japanese anime TV series, an European mini-series taking the story to outer space starring Anthony Quinn, the animated remake of that version by Disney and the current Starz channel prequel TV series "Black Sails". Just to mention the ones that I have watched but there are a lot of more adaptations.While the topic of pirates is a popular one, I think that there aren't much novels about it. At least not examples really worthy of reading them. Obviously there are some here and there, but taking in account how much options one has in other topics in literature, pirates has been a concept seldom touched with success.However, this novel was able to keep on the mind of everybody the storytelling appeal of the topic of pirates inspiring successes on other media such as Japanese anime "Captain Harlock" and live actions films of "Pirates of the Caribbean".For all that and its own merit, Treasure Island keeps retaining the crown as the best novel about pirates. Characters like Jim Hawkins, Billy Bones, Ben Gunn, Captain Smollett and of course, Long John Silver have become iconic in the universe of literature. Even they have been so admired that other authors couldn't resist to makes homages/mentions of them on their own novels, such examples like on Peter Pan.Its appealing is obvious depending the readers, many young ones can't resist to be amazed by Jim Hawkins who is 14 years old but he is able to keep up in the middle of adult characters and even being a key character in the success of the adventure.To readers and writers of all ages, certainly the character of Long John Silver stands out as one of the best developed characters in the history of literature becoming a model to many following similar ones. He is able to do ruthless things but he has a code, he has limits, and not matter that he is not a nice person, there are things that he never will do and for that, he is a complicated and truly interesting character to read about.Not matter how was on real life, Robert Louis Stevenson, the author, was able to show a romantic picture of pirates' world with now iconic elements like islands with treasures, maps with "x"'s, fearful papers with a black spot, peglegs, eye patches, parrots on shoulders, but above all, he had no doubt to show how dangerous and murderous can be real pirates.


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!


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...


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, 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.


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.


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 for thought...


This is a neat little tale of adventure, piracy, hidden treasure, mutiny and heroics. All in all, good stuff. I wish I had read it as a kid, I’m pretty sure I would have loved it – the same way I loved The Mysterious Island, because it’s all about adventure. Nothing beats that when you grow up in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, with few friends and mostly your brother for company. Some tales are also simply better when you’re a child, because you’re less critical, making you more susceptible to the apparent grandeur of piracy and less attentive when it comes to small things (such as the fact that it’s too short to have many ‘small things’).It’s a perfectly enjoyable story, and I’m definitely reading it to my kids when that day comes, but reading it on my own I was a little underwhelmed. I suspect I expected a little more sense of adventure, because when it all came down to it, it all felt very orderly, like it was a gentlemen’s adventure, and god forbid they use dirty tricks, we’ll leave that to the filthy, mutinous pirates. It wasn’t very… swashbuckling. I do believe, however, that my real problem is with the length. It’s like The Hobbit, it could have used another 100 pages to draw everything out a little bit. It all went a little too fast, and when the climax came it was too little too soon. I also committed the folly of seeing the Disney film “Treasure Planet” (based off this novel) before reading it, and that’s got plenty of (steampunk) swashbuckling, so perhaps I merely placed my expectations too high or in the wrong place. Either way, this is still a classic in the genre and does have memorable characters – especially Silver, with his moral ambiguity and shifting loyalties – and an imaginative setting and plot. I imagine reenacting it in my garden might add the thrill I felt it lacked. Worth a try.


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.


"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.)


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!

Melissa Rudder

Even though Treasure Island might be Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous work (it's in a close race with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), it is my least favorite of the three I've read. It is, of course, full of adventure and extremely significant in the way that it's influenced the cultural representation of pirates, but, while I wanted to know what was going to happen next, I never really felt for the characters. It was curiosity, not suspense, that kept me reading. Which is ultimately less fulfilling.I imagine that Stevenson, who apparently came up with the tale of Treasure Island initially to entertain his stepson, made Jim Hawkins an undefined character so that readers could put themselves in his place. Jim, as far as I could tell, is void of any real defining character traits, aside from those that further the plot. He is curious enough to get into scrapes and courageous enough to survive them. I think if I could have cared for Jim as a person instead of one of those cartoon paintings that you stick your head in and take pictures of at the fair, I would have felt more invested and anxious about the tale's resolution. Most of the characters in Treasure Island are shadows, which does indeed make Long John Silver all the more interesting. Charismatic and fierce, he is an exciting villain. I actually wanted to join his side but I wasn't quite sure if I could trust him.I'm glad I've read Treasure Island. I feel bad that it has taken me so long to read a book that so heavily influenced the vision of pirates I know and love today. So, I suppose, if I'm recommending Stevenson books, I would say Treasure Island for cultural significance, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for freaky Freudian psychology stuff, and, if my memory serves me correctly, Kidnapped for adventure and suspense.


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.


The smaller Suvi, who used to climb on the rocks of the nearby forest and build castles with pillows and sheets into our living room, would have probably appreciated this a tad more than 23-year-old Suvi. Absolutely an entertaining story, after all I did kind of forget myself with this instead of studying. However, I didn't have any particular negative or positive feelings one way or the other. One thing though that would have connected these two versions of me, is the complex and multifaceted character of Long John Silver, whose moral isn't quite as black and white as with the patriotic characters of the novel and the pirates. As far as I know, this moral issue is quite rare in children's literature, at least of this time period.I don't know whether Treasure Island was the first pirate story, but there's a lot of (perhaps stereotypical) conceptions and ideas in here relating to pirates that have survived to this day. The most important of these are at least one legged pirates with a parrot on their shoulder, treasure maps with an X, and buried treasures. The ship Hispaniola sounded familiar, but I have no idea why. There are no wooden legs though, because Silver uses a crutch. Believe it or not, but it doesn't seem he has much difficulties using that on a swaying deck or on a soft sand beach. History buffs might want to know that Israel Hands really existed, and that he was Blackbeard's boatswain.All in all, an entertaining adventure story and deserving of its status as a classic, although maybe not suitable for the smallest children. In addition to the flickering morality of Silver, I noticed that Stevenson doesn't try to glorify piracy in any way. Still, if I had read this sometime before the age of 12, I'd probably started dreaming of similar pirate adventures that Jim Hawkins got himself into. I already thought about what it would be like to run away with the circus (while considering the good and bad aspects of being a lion tamer), or hide myself into gypsies' wagons.


In one of Manny's 1,682 reviews - no, I can't remember which one** - he says that it must have been incredibly exciting being an avid reader of modern novels in the 1880s and 1890s. Not only were they churning out great classics at a rate of knots, they were inventing whole genres - Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Picture of Dorian Gray, HG Wells - and Treasure Island is one of those, a novel which invented a whole a-harr talk like a pirate genre. Stevenson's prose is quite magical, he absolutely convinced me with his descriptions of winds and seas and gunnels and jibs and booms and mizzenmasts and fo'c'sles (it's okay, you can print the whole word - forecastle - there - the printer won't charge you any more) and all of that. Plus, some of the ripest dialogue anywhere -"If that ain't to your fancy, some of my hands being rough, and having old scores, on account of hazing, then you can stay here, you can. We'll divide stores with you, man for man; and I'll give my affy-davy as before to speak the first ship I sight, and send 'em here to pick you up... Refuse that, and you've seen the last of me but musket-balls.""There!" he cried. "That's what I think of ye. Before an hour's out, I'll stove in your blockhouse like a rum puncheon. Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hour's out ye'll laugh on the other side. Them that die'll be the lucky ones.Cap'n Flint says : As well as a ripping yarn, it's also a nifty dissection of the concept of being a "gentleman" which you may take sociologically, politically or psychologically, as suits ye best, ye lubbers. Squaaawk! Pieces of eight! A tot of rum would go down a treat! Skwawwwk!**Update : I found a previous note I'd already written so I can confirm that it was Manny's review of A Rebours where he says :It must have been so exciting to be a novelist in the second half of the nineteenth century. You weren't limited to just creating a novel; if you were talented, you could create a whole new kind of novel. : Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson1885 : Germinal : Emile Zola 1886 : The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde : R L Stephenson 1891 : The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde, 18911892 : The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes : Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1895 : The Time Machine : H G Wells 1897 : Dracula : Bram Stoker 1898 : The Turn of the Screw : Henry James 1898 : The War of the Worlds – H G Wells


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.

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