If you’re wondering why this review is supported by the picture of an old building, it’s quite simple. The picture shows ‘Treasure Island Cottage’, which is situated in the tiny, but beautiful village of Braemar amidst the Scottish Highlands. I had the good fortune to rent the cottage for a week in October 2013. On the front of the building is a plaque, assuring the visitor that the great Robert Louis Stevenson wrote part of the book whilst he lived there.
I first read Treasure Island away back in … 1966,the Football World Cup year when England won the tournament. I was 14 then, and wasn’t interested in English football, which is just as well, because my father would have disowned me. I digress.
If the task of the writer is to suspend belief, and whisk the reader to some other place and time, then RLS has succeeded with this timeless tale of adventure, mutiny, treasure hunting, and summary justice.
Did I read this book again at the age of 60 to see if I could learn anything to aid my writing? No, I read it quite simply, because I remembered I enjoyed it for the escapism and pure entertainment it gave me as a teenager. It provided those same things for me all over again.
The characters are well-drawn, and come to life as the story unfolds. The twists and turns are as good as any modern author could produce, and even if there is no intention to learn anything; I think all writers could learn from reading it – as adults.
There is no problem with the dialect, because the way the characters express themselves becomes part-and-parcel of bringing the tale to life. Sufficient imagery is provided to have the reader believe they are observing the events, but nothing over the top.
It’s a wonderful tale which I would recommend to any who have yet to read it. As much as I tried to make the pleasure of it last, I read it in two days.
I have a yearning now to read ‘Kidnapped’, which I last read all those years ago when I went through my first phase of admiration for Robert Louis Stevenson‘s work.
10 thoughts on “Treasure Island – a review”
A great review of a timeless classic!
Hi Paul. Thanks mate. It is a superb story, and I think by some point in he weekend when I’m taking a break from my present novel, I’ll start reading ‘Kidnapped’ – again.
I’ll be over at the weekend to check you out.
Shamefully, I have to confess I’ve never read this. It’s one of Gary’s (t’other half) favourites from when he was a boy. Like you, he says he was totally absorbed in the plot and characters from start to finish. I really need to give it a go. By the way, the cottage is gorgeous.
Sal, how can you admit such a thing. You’ll be telling me next that you haven’t read ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, or ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ …
Hope all is going well with you. I went to your blog and found myself on Storgy – so I assume that was intended.
How is life at RW?
I have read Tess. The gatekeeper got on my nerves in Lady C. All that dialect. Readwave! I think it’s 6 months since I last went on. I’m thinking of deleting my account. And my blog. It seriously needs updating. I’m doing the last (script) module of my writing course and it’s taking over my life. Only another month to go and then FREE. Free to do what I wanna do. Free to do what I wanna be. (Name that tune.) My neglected novel calls. Thanks ever so much for reading and commenting on my latest story. I did respond. See you soon 🙂
Thank you for that beautiful photo. It makes Robert Louis Stevenson come to life. I’ve read and love his stories. They catch your attention immediately and just pull you along in travel and time. Thank you for helping me to remember my love of these stories.
Thank you once again for stopping by Marlayne. Living in that cottage, in that beautiful area was surreal for me. I walked in woodland, on hillsides, riverside paths and in local areas that RLS would certainly have walked. Each day to go back to that little cottage was incredible.
Nice review! It’s great to hear your personal history with this classic. 🙂 Thought you might be interested in my short film Death Is No Bad Friend about Robert Louis Stevenson in San Francisco: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/death-is-no-bad-friend/x/1089930 Best regards, G. E.
Thank you for stopping by G.E., and for the link. I’ve been to check out your short film and was very impressed. My thoughts were left in the appropriate place, with a small token of appreciation. I wish you and the team the very best of luck.
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