Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treasure Island

Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson
audiobook: 5.8 hours

*** About the Book ***

For those unfamiliar with the story: Jim Hawkins, the son of an innkeeper, comes into possession of a treasure map when an old pirate dies in the inn. Being fatherless, Jim trusts his map to the local doctor who decides to provision a ship to find the treasure. The cook hired for the journey turns out to be a famous pirate, Long John Silver, and he plans a mutiny in order to get the treasure for himself. Jim overhears Silver's plotting and helps the few loyal crew members to escape. And I can't tell you more because that would ruin the adventure.

*** Why I Listened To It ***

This book was a favorite of mine when I was in middle school. I didn't intend to revisit it until I started reading SILVER. Then I realized that I really didn't remember the details of the book and that they might be help me appreciate SILVER if I did remember them. So I downloaded the audiobook from the library and started listening.

*** My Thoughts ***

Wow, I really DIDN'T remember a lot of the details! I've clearly been influenced by The Muppets Treasure Island movie and other adaptations. I forgot that Long John Silver really was a violent pirate at the start of the story, despite his kindness to Jim. I also forgot all about the loyal sailors being trapped in the fort on the island, and Jim finding the marooned Ben Gunn.

Although I did enjoy revisiting this book, I didn't love it quite as much as I did when I was a kid. It DID give me the background I was looking for to help me with SILVER though, and that's all I really wanted.

As a side note, the narrator of this book was Ralph Cosham. He did a good but not great job. I think the book would have been much, MUCH better had the narrator been closer in age to Jim Hawkins - a young teenage narrator would have added a lot to the telling.

*** Your Thoughts ***

Have you read TREASURE ISLAND? Seen the movies? What is your impression of Long John Silver?


Nikki Thornton said...

Liked your post. Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.

Amateur Reader said...

Long John Silver is surprisingly complex isn't he? And since he is not a simple villain, I found him hard to pin down. The whole book was a little more complex than I had expected. That's part of why it is still read, I suppose.

I think you're right about the audio narrator. Jim's voice is nothing fancy, but on the page he really sounds like an adolescent. The audio narrator should literally sound like an adolescent.

Heather J. said...

Nikki - Thanks for stopping by.

Amateur Reader - Have you read SILVER? I just finished it this morning and I must say, it gives a very different view of LJS ...

Amateur Reader said...

No, I haven't. It's certainly a promising idea for a novel.

GMR said...

Oh, I loved that movie! **sings** We have cabin fever! We have cabin fever!**stops singing**
Treasure Island (in my opinion) will forvever remain a classic to be enjoyed generation after generation. It truly is one of those books that readers of all ages can appreciate and enjoy the adventure. Although I've never done an audio version of it (much prefer my hard copies), I'm glad to see that it worked out well for your "research", even if the voice chosen wasn't necessarily the best pick (see, that's why I don't do audiobooks generally...).

Long John Silver strikes me as a character that would love to do good, but simply can not due to his practiced tendencies (okay, that sounded kind of snooty...basically, he does bad things out of a habit he won't break).

Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

Heather J. said...

"Long John Silver strikes me as a character that would love to do good, but simply can not due to his practiced tendencies" And in SILVER you get a completely different view of him - it's really quite cool!

Rebecca Reid said...

I read this first as an adult and I loved it! Silver sounds interesting...

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