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Book review – Treasure Island

Book title – Treasure island

Author – Robert Louis Stevenson

Format – Hardcover

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic pirate adventure treasure island begins in the west of England, where an old sea captain is drinking his life away at the Hawkins family’s inn, the Admiral Benbow. Among the old captain’s things, young Jim Hawkins discovers a map showing the location of buried pirate treasure. When Jim shows it to the local squire, the squire buys and outfits a ship and, with Jim and the local doctor, hires a crew and they all set sail on the Hispaniola to seek the treasure. Once the party is at sea, Jim learns that at least some of the crew are former shipmates of the captain: pirates who will do anything to get their hands on the map and the treasure.

It is one of the most well-known books which defines the classic adventure story. Treasure Island comes complete with a lionhearted young hero, ruthless pirates, mutiny, and buried treasure. Though some of the language in this 1883 novel can seem old-fashioned, and occasionally racist, there’s plenty of suspense and swashbuckling battles to keep readers engaged. Equally appealing is the way the author develops characters and the relationship between Jim Hawkins and the one-legged Long John Silver.

From the moment young Jim Hawkins first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle, the novel creates scenes and characters that have fired the imaginations of generations of readers. Written by a superb prose stylist, a master of both action and atmosphere, the story centres upon the conflict between good and evil – but in this case a particularly engaging form of evil. It is the villainy of that most ambiguous rogue Long John Silver that sets the tempo of this tale of treachery, greed, and daring. Designed to forever kindle a dream of high romance and distant horizons, Treasure Island is, in the words of G. K. Chesterton, ‘the realisation of an ideal, that which is promised in its provocative and beckoning map; a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas.’ G. S. Fraser terms it ‘an utterly original book’ and goes on to write: ‘There will always be a place for stories like Treasure Island that can keep boys and old men happy.

I love this exciting book and the way it describes the amazing life and thrilling story of the crew, the boy and the pirates. It’s a gripping story which has also been adapted into the famous movie series of Pirates of the Caribbean series among its many adaptations. It is timeless and for all ages which I remember discussing over the dining table for days. Rating it a 4.5 out of 10 I’d say this is a one hell of an adventure story and a must read!

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