Friday, 9 September 2011

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is a book I thought I'd read. But when I started reading it to Billy I realised that I hadn't. The characters are so familiar, and I suppose I must've caught bits of the film adaptations. I thought that most of the action took place on the voyage to the island, but it is the island itself which is the centre of the adventure.

The story starts at the Admiral Benbow Inn, where Jim Hawkins lives with his mother. A fierce old seafaring man comes to stay there. This is Billy Bones, and he is carrying a treasure map which his former colleagues are anxious to get their hands on. However it comes into the possession of Jim and so begins the adventure.

The local squire, Mr Trelawney finances an expedition to recover the treasure. Enthusiastic, but a little naive, he goes to Bristol to recruit a crew. Unknowingly he recruits several of Billy Bones' old friends, including the infamous Long John Silver. One of things that surprised me was that Silver was not an out and out baddie - in fact he was a bit of a charmer. And he could switch sides very easily if it suited him.

Once on the island it is no easy matter to find the treasure. We meet Ben Gunn, marooned on the island years before and driven half mad with loneliness. Jim has an epic fight with Israel Hands for control of the ship, the Hispanola and there is a shoot out for control of the stockade on the island.

It is a brilliant adventure story. I read that there is going to be a new film made with Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. It was a bit difficult to read out loud. I wasn't sure how to pronounce some of the ships jargon. And I have the worst pirate voice in the world.


  1. I am embarrassed to say that I have never read this classic. Of course it is such a famous book and now you have inspired me -- I must read it! So wonderful that you shared it with your son.

  2. Hi Sunday, yes it's one of those stories that we all think we know! I have to admit that as a child I tended to read 'girl books', so I'm enjoying getting to know the 'boy books'!