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Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island

29 Dec 2011 · 2 Comments

I’m keen to read Sara Levine’s Treasure Island!!! and I thought I should probably acquaint myself with Stevenson’s classic first, to catch any references there might be. I’d never read any Stevenson before; his prose was a bit richer than I was expecting, with some evocative and economical descriptions, particularly of his harsh and unlovely treasure isle. The plot was plenty snappy, with captures, escapes, crosses, double-crosses, skullduggery, and skullbashery. The sailors’ language, for all that it’s basically G-rated, was colorful, vivid, and sometimes pleasantly difficult to parse. (Among other things, Stevenson seems to assume I’m more conversant with sailing terminology than I am.) It also gave me a slightly different perspective on the relationship between nautical discipline and the threat of mutiny. I liked it.

needs more demons? avast!

Tags: s-author · t-title · young adult

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim Walters // 29 December 2011 at 17:12

    One of my all-time favorites, and you’ve described why quite well. The only thing I would add is that the characterization is also really evocative and economical–even the most minor characters feel human.

    Mervyn Peake’s illustrations for it are amazing:

  • 2 random // 30 December 2011 at 08:17

    Yes, agree on the characterization as well. And I haven’t forgotten your typography recommendation either, I had just had the other book already in my library request queue. Not very far in, but so far Treasure Island!!! is pretty awesome.

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