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.