Written by Robert Louis Stevenson
Publisher: London: Cassell & Co.
First Edition: 1883
My Edition: e-book
Original Language: English
Wow, you guys, I am so sorry it has been so long since my last post! I actually finished this book about two weeks ago, but life just got in the way and I didn’t have time to write (or rather, I didn’t make time to write), so I’m sorry.
Typically, I would really like this kind of adventure story. Maybe it was just my frame of mind while I was reading it, but I didn’t enjoy it too much. I was starting a new job and stressing out about that whole fiasco. So maybe this legendary story was tainted for me. Bummer.
I did, however, enjoy the history behind the book and how it has affected our view of “entertainment pirates” today. For instance, the classic pirate with one wooden leg and a parrot on his shoulder would be Stevenson’s Long John Silver. The classic pirate song “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” was also Stevenson’s imagination. The pirate being stranded on an island with just a single shot in a pistol – who doesn’t love that old story?
Being a Navy Wife, I loved seeing nautical words that I hear on a daily basis in the story – words such as “forecastle”, and knowing it was pronounced like “folk-sul”. Actually, because of this fun little anomaly, I had a really great conversation with my husband about it and learned quite a bit about nautical terms and their history. It was pretty fun.
There were a couple of things in the book that really stuck out to me. One was the theme of a kind of “coming of age” story about young Jim. There were a couple of turning points for him. There were some where he learned his own character – like he was learning things about himself he would not have otherwise known.
I was now, it seemed, cut off upon both sides; behind me the murderers, before me this lurking nondescript. And immediately I began to prefer the dangers that I knew to those I knew not. (Location 997)
He himself slept peacefully and snored aloud, yet my heart was sore for him, wicked as he was, to think on the dark perils that environed and the shameful gibbet that awaited him. (Location 2061)
This grove that was now so peaceful must then have rung with cries, I thought, and even with the thought I could believe I heard it ringing still. (Location 2293)
I have to make a quick comment about Long John Silver. He was by no means the typical children’s book antagonist.
Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hours out, ye’ll laugh upon the other side. Them that die’ll be the lucky ones. (Location 1374)
At times I wanted to smack the living daylights out of him, and others I just wanted to laugh. He was an extremely entertaining character, and definitely part of the comedic relief of Treasure Island.
As for the story itself, I did enjoy the adventure. The stealing, the zeal for treasure, the salt-coated skin, and the baking-hot days… I felt like I was there. This one was on my list of must-reads, and now I know why. It is the foundation for all of our beliefs of pirates. I’m glad I’ve read it, but I will most likely never read it again, unless to my future children.
Happy reading, friends. :)