The Big Read

No.36 – Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson Read 11/1/14

After Christmas I was back on the wagon again with the classics and I also started my Goodreads 50 books challenge which in case you don’t know is were you try and read 50 books in a year. In fact you can set the number to how ever many you want but I stuck with 50 seeing as quite a few of the books on my to-read shelf are over 1000 pages long. To kick the year of I returned to my Kindle and went for what I thought would be a nice easy read in Treasure Island.

I was right. It was a nice easy read. Classic adventure story where young Jim Hawkins ends up in the thick of a mutiny with some of the most evil pirates ever to sail the seven seas ARrrh. It is one of those books that if you think about it too much starts to unravel rather quickly. Frankly it was beyond me how the captain didn’t see the mutiny coming as he had employed a load of pirates. But anyway it is great fun with battles and buried treasure and a half crazed Englishman marooned on the island.

What is most interesting to me is that this book had an overwhelming influence on the way we perceive pirates. Treasure map with X marking the spot? Happened first in Treasure Island. Peg-legged seamen with a parrot on his shoulder? Again happened first in Treasure Island. If you read it you will recognise almost every aspect of the story just because it has completely entered our societies conciousness. It is fascinating to me that a book I have never read can be so familiar.

I must admit that I love the plot as well. It is simple but it keeps you on your toes. It’s not fast paced or tense as a contemporary adventure story might be but it still compels you to keep reading. Although I enjoyed it as an adult I also think it would appeal greatly to children because it has that element of mystery and discovery which I knew I loved as a child. For me it is everything I expect from a classic, the story was enjoyable, I could see how it had influenced other works and so I didn’t have to drudge through it. Is it my favourite book ever written? No, but I enjoyed it enough to wish I had read it sooner.

Rating: 3/5

Would recommend to: get children into classics, or if you want to ease yourself into reading classics.

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