The Black Arrow
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
2.5 of 5 Stars
We follow the adventures of Dick/Richard Shelton during the War of the Roses, the war between the Houses of York and Lancaster in Merry Old England.
I first saw this children’s classic on some list of “Classics to read”. My only real connection to Stevenson is Treasure Island, but even that is more of the movies. I mean, who can forget Muppet Treasure Island? I still love that movie. And Treasure Planet was a good Disney movie too.
Sadly, this mess of a book does not do much for Stevenson’s reputation with me. Shelton is a stupid young man who does one dumb thing after another and yet everything works out in the end.
You want to know how stupid he is? After being alone with someone all night, he still thinks they are a young boy. Instead of the girl he ends up marrying. He meets “her” as her for all of 5 minutes and suddenly she’s the love of his life and sets him off on several escapades to rescue her, most of which end in disaster for those around Dick.
He is a typical upperclass dickhead. People die for him, around him and because of him, and it means nothing to him.
Part of all this is that this is really a children’s book. So everything is simplified. But it is simplified to the point of destroying the potential of this story.
I plan on reading Treasure Island next year and I hope it fares better than this!
crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com