Treasure Island

ISBN: 1416500294
ISBN 13: 9781416500292
By: Robert Louis Stevenson Anna Maria Hong

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

About this book

Enriched Classics offer readers accessible editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and commentary. Each book includes educational tools alongside the text, enabling students and readers alike to gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the writer and their work.Climb aboard for the swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime. Treasure Island has enthralled (and caused slight seasickness) for decades. The names Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins are destined to remain pieces of folklore for as long as children want to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous book. With its dastardly plot and motley crew of rogues and villains, it seems unlikely that children will ever say no to this timeless classic.Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.Read with confidence.

Reader's Thoughts

Alejandro

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.

Heather

Maybe it's because I grew up, along with how many tens of millions of others, with the mythology of pirates in my head, or maybe it's the adrenaline-pumping action of a good adventure story, but I absolutely loved this book. In fact, I had to force myself to set it aside for a few hours at a time, to draw it out as long as I could stand, to savor every aspect of the classic story. I was not, nor am I now, well-versed in pirate lore, or knew at all the tale of Treasure Island and Long John Silver. But I did see the Disney spin on the tale, Treasure Planet, and upon seeing that movie (which I really enjoyed), I knew I had to read the book counterpart. As I said, I loved it. From he foreshadowing and development, to the choice of words and phrase and buildup that left me breathless in all the right places (Hawkins and Hands fighting on the nearly-sinking Hispaniola, the six remaining mutineers finding the treasure has been taken long before they set foot on the island), to Silver himself, a man you can't help put love in spite of good conscience. It all coalesced so perfectly as to make a book that I am happy to add to my "favorites" collection. So, so, so worth the read!

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.

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!:)

John Yelverton

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

Anzu The Great Destroyer

Never trust a pirate.I really love pirates… even though I try to ignore the fact that they’re dirty, rapists, murderers, alcoholics, thieves… aaah many bad things but still, I like the concept so here I am reading this book. Since it’s summer I tend to go towards these stories. One of my wishes is to become a pirate for a determinate amount of time. I’d love to sail away for a while with Jack Sparrow… I know, who doesn’t love Jack Sparrow? *daydreams*After reading… and reading… and reading some more I decided that this wasn’t what I expected. I was looking for more adventure and the book was lacking it. I decided to finish it though because it’s a classic and all but I do admit that I made a mistake with this one. Robert Louis Stevenson just takes the fun out of the story. It had potential and it all went to Hell. So thanks Mr. Stevenson, you did a good job on this one. Oh and seriously if you have trouble falling asleep or anything just grab Treasure Island, it’ll cure your insomnia damn easily.Heh I couldn’t help myself and I had to make this advertisement. Hell, here I come!I don’t want to be mean and give it a bad review but the story is mediocre. I know it’s a classic and all and I shouldn’t be expecting comic book action but I can’t help feeling bored with it. Call me names but I can’t give it a good score. It would be a lie. The keyword for this book? Lifeless.Read this review on ZombieHazard.

Suvi

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Paul

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. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...1883 : 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

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...

Keely

There are a lot of Sea Stories out there, and this is one of the better-known, but it hardly outshines its genre. I found myself missing the humor and vivid characterization of Conrad, not to mention the insightful philosophical asides. I also found it somewhat lacking as an adventure story, as the plot was somewhat simplistic and contrived, following the empty avatar of a narrator through various vicarious thrills. There's nothing wrong with an escapist yarn, but a good one keeps you riveted with twists and turns, alternating verisimilitude and the unlikely. It's not as if it's a problem of period, either, since The Three Musketeers is one of the most rollicking and engrossing adventure stories ever written.One must take into consideration the fact that Treasure Island is one of those genre-defining works which has been rehashed and plundered by a thousand authors since, until it is ingrained in our culture as The representation of piratical life. Like Neuromancer, many of the tropes and plot points might seem unoriginal, but that's only because they have been copied so frequently that we are no longer capable of recognizing their origin.Yet, this isn't the case for all genre-defining works. The Virginian still stands out when compared with any other Western and The Moonstone remains unique despite all the Mysteries that have dutifully followed it. The difference is the author's verve and style, because even if later authors can copy his ideas, copying his style will prove beyond their skill. An author who is good enough to recreate another author's style already has a unique voice of their own.It's curious to compare this with Poe's sole outing in the novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, which has the voice and unpredictability Treasure Island lacks, but doesn't provide the same lilting tone or straightforward plot, leaving each as interesting artifacts in the genre, even if neither can claim to be a complete vision.But then, it is often incomplete visions that provide the greatest inspiration, since they illuminate flaws and pitfalls, providing an outline for later authors and a caution of what should be avoided. Few people have come away from a book they couldn't possibly outdo feeling inspired to create, whereas reading a flawed but entertaining book can be the perfect jolt to a prospective author. But then, a book that inspires other authors to write could hardly help being the influential anchor from which the rest of a genre depends, so such flaws end up serving a purpose, if inadvertently.What drew me to this book, more than anything, is my desire to understand the unique literary mind of Mervyn Peake, one of the most powerful authors in the English language. Peake often invoked this as a favorite book, and produced a powerful series of illustrations for it. In these illustratios, one begins to see what Peake took away from Stevenson, as an author.While this is, to some degree, a story about simple characters, particularly the narrator, it is also a very dark tale, particularly for a children's classic. The death and deceit of the tale come out in Peake's drawings, as does the grotequerie.This darkness is undeniably there, but truthfully, I barely noted it until I looked at Peake's vision. To some degree, Sea Stories always bear this kind of horror, a world of conflict, the unforgiving sea, headhunting cannibals, and death a cheap thing. Poe and Conrad each outdo Stevenson in unsettlement, but in different ways.Poe's tends to be more purely visual, as is always his obsession in writing. It is the languid, lingering description that Poe gives to the leering face of a gull-bitten corpse that drives home the darkness of this life.Conrad, on the other hand, gives us horror in the eyes of his characters. He doesn't shy away from the pure physicality of the unpleasant world, but where it lingers is in the mind's eye; visions which can never be erased, which will forever taint our everyday actions.But Stevenson gives us neither. His adventure tale holds plenty of fear, but when young Jim murders a pirate, gruesome as it is, it rarely lingers either as vignette or psychological crack. Of course, he had a different notion of the maturity of a ten-year-old than we do today, where childhood lasts into the twenties, but we don't get the psychological progression we expect from a man coming to terms with death.These moments and reflections are not entirely absent, but they tend to get lost in the fleeting, episodic style of the story. But I'm glad for Treasure Island, if only because it inspired Peake to expand upon this tale of a precocious boy drawn inexorably into a dark world of grotesque characters in his unfinished magnum opus, the Gormenghast series.

Jason Pettus

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write essays on whether or not they deserve the labelEssay #32: Treasure Island (1883), by Robert Louis StevensonThe story in a nutshell:Inspired by a doodle from his step-son and originally written as a rainy-day family diversion, the slim 1883 children's book Treasure Island (originally published serially in 1881 and '82) was not only the first novel of sickly genre author Robert Louis Stevenson's short career, but eventually one of his most famous. Essentially the tale of young adventurer Jim Hawkins, the story opens with him as a dutiful mama's boy off the southwest coast of England, helping to run a family inn that sees little action because of being located much more inland than most of the other local sailor-oriented hotels. Ah, but this is exactly what brings the drunken, scary Billy Bones there, where it becomes quickly apparent that he is on the run and in semi-hiding from a whole crew of mysterious, nefarious characters; and when they finally show up after Bones' alcoholism-related death, the family realizes that they are in fact pirates, on the hunt for a treasure map that Bones stole from a recent mutinous voyage that went horribly, horribly wrong. This then convinces a group of local Victorian gentlemen and family friends to go after the treasure themselves, eventually buying a boat and hiring a local crew to take them to this far-off tropical island; but little do they realize that the sailors they've hired are none other than the surviving pirates of the former mutiny, led by the charismatic yet psychopathic one-legged "ship's cook" Long John Silver, who plan on turning on the ship's owners once actually reaching the island and retrieving the treasure they were forced to leave behind during their last voyage. The rest of the book, then, is essentially an adventure tale, full of all kinds of legitimate surprises that I won't spoil here; let's just say that a lot of swashbuckling takes place, that many details regarding ship-sailing are faithfully recorded, and that the day is eventually saved by our fast-thinking teenage hero Jim, no surprise at all for a book designed specifically to amuse fellow teenage boys.The argument for it being a classic:Well, to begin with, it's arguably the most famous pirate tale ever written, and in fact established for the first time many of the stereotypes now known within the genre, including one-legged buccaneers, treasure maps with a big 'X' on them, shoulder-sitting parrots squawking "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!," and even the very idea of British pirates being associated with exotic tropical islands in the Caribbean, an association now so strong that it's almost impossible to separate the two; and of course it's also the novel that created the unforgettable Long John Silver, now a thoroughly ingrained part of our Western culture at large. Add to this that it's simply an incredibly thrilling tale (rumor has it that England's Prime Minister at the time stayed up until two in the morning to finish his first reading of it), that it still holds up surprisingly well even 126 years later, and that it's also of immense importance to fans of Stevenson, a prolific author whose genius is just now starting to be widely recognized, after being dismissed by the literary community for almost a century as a frivolous "kiddie writer;" and now add to all this that Treasure Island is a surprisingly sophisticated examination of the era's ethics and moral code as well, taking an unblinking look at the "Victorian Ideal" as manifested in different ways among the stuffy gentlemen "heroes" (unable to improvise in changing circumstances, much to their detriment), the anarchic pirate villains (who almost kill themselves off just on their own, through drunkenness, ignorance and jealousy), and the ruthless yet principled Silver who straddles both these extremes.The argument against:A weak one at best; like many of the genre prototypes of the late Victorian Age, one could argue that this is simply too flippant a tale to be considered a classic. But we already established a long time ago here at the CCLaP 100 that genre stories are indeed eligible for "classic" status in this series, making this argument inapplicable in our case.My verdict:Holy crap! What an incredible book! And what a refreshing change in this case to not have to add my usual caveat to statements like these regarding late Victorian genre experiments: "...you know, for a century-old children's story that's kind of outdated and that you need to take with a grain of salt." Because the fact is that Treasure Island to this day still reads as fresh and exciting as the day it came out, which is a real testament to the writing skills of Robert Louis Stevenson (who I was already a big fan of before this essay series even started, because of his superbly creepy and also surprisingly relevant Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); what a shame that this illness-plagued author ended up dying at the age of 44 in the prime of his career, instead of surviving to pen the truly mindblowing mature works I'm convinced that he had been capable of. And it's exactly for the reasons that his fans bring up that this book remains such an amazing one, and how it is that it can still easily be read for pleasure instead of having to force one's way through for historical purposes; because it is indeed not only a thrilling adventure tale, not only written in a style that largely rejects the purplish finery of the Victorian Age in which it was created, but is also a deceptively complex look at the entire nature of "gentlemanness" that was so prevalent at the time, gently poking holes in the entire notion of what it means to be a Refined Citizen of the Empire, even while acknowledging that a complete disavowal of these gentlemanly standards is even worse. There's a very good reason that Long John Silver has endured so strongly in our collective imagination over the last century, when so many other fictional pirates have fallen by the wayside, because he turns out to be a surprisingly complicated character worth coming back to again and again, a vicious killer but with a consistent internal moral code worth perversely admiring; it's but one of many reasons that I confidently label this book a undeniable classic today, and highly recommend it to anyone on the search for the best of 19th-century literature.Is it a classic? Absolutely

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