Treasure Island (Classic)

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Jim Hawkins, young boy at a boarding house, ends up with a treasure map. A good friend, a doctor, believes it is real and thus an adventure to recover pirate treasure is started. And pirates come back into the picture before all is said and done!


My Thoughts:

After reading Stevenson’s Black Arrow last year and being sorely disappointed, I was hoping this would redeem him. It certainly did.

It started out very fast paced and suspenseful. Jim at the inn with an old drunk who turns out to be a pirate, who other pirates are after, makes for a good time. An attack on the inn, Jim fleeing, taking refuge with the doctor, it was a good beginning.

Then you have the sailing to the island and all the whoop de whoo with just about all the crew being former pirates. The adventure ON the island after the mutiny and whole working out of justice as the pirates fall prey to their own piratical nature.

And through it all, Jim the scamp, the wonder hero, the all round British boyo, is central to everything.

This is very much a boys adventure fantasy. I enjoyed it quite a bit and can see why so many spinoffs [Disney’s Treasure Planet and the Muppet Treasure Island being the most recent in my mind] exist. It is simply a great story.


Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Author: Robert Stevenson

Treasure Island

The Black Arrow



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.


My Thoughts

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!

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