Wednesday, March 27, 2013

treasure island

Treasure Island is one of those books that I was probably supposed to read at some point in my life, somewhere around junior high school, I would guess, but just couldn't get into. Now that I've read it, it may have the been the Buccaneerese a lot of the dialogue is written in, that may have turned me off. I ended up having to sound out what Stevenson was writing to figure out what the pirates were saying. There's a point where adherence to authenticity begins to get in way of communication; Me t'inks mon Stevenson mayep crossed that there line. Here's a taste;

"There ain't a thing left here," said Merry, still feeling round among the bones; "not a copper doit nor a baccy box. It don't look nat'ral to me."

I don't know a lot about Robert Louis Stevenson, so lets have a look-see on the internets. I'll be right back...

Ah, here we are. Miss me? I am reminded, tho perhaps I should make pretend that I'd not forgotten, that Stevenson is also well known for both Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped both published in 1886. Stevenson was also quite the essayist, and wrote a fair bit of poetry. Born in Scotland in 1850, and died too young in 1894.You can find more clicky clicking on the link there.

Another reason Treasure Island isn't a great story for young people: it isn't a great story. As a story, I'd call it fair to midlin. Now, that may be because a hundred and thirty years has gone by and tastes have changed. I can imagine a time when a story like this was quite exciting to a young male reader who could see himself in Jim Hawkins's place, but today its reads a little slow. I will say that the characters are nicely developed, and their interactions seem pretty genuine. spoiler alert Maybe what I missed, was the treasure in Treasure Island. Treasure Island is not about an island full of treasure, its about the characters in the story. The treasure is just what drives them together, and provides the fuel for the conflict and drama in the story.

I would read this if you feel obligated, or if its assigned to you in junior high school, or maybe its talk like a pirate day and you need some pointers.

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