Friday, March 7, 2014

Lori Reviews Treasure Island

Title:  Treasure Island
Author:  Robert Louis Stevenson
Published:  Cassell and Company, London, 1883
Where I Got It:  I bought an old copy at a used bookstore ages ago, but finally read a copy on my Nook.

I was initially going to read Moby-Dick.  I told my boyfriend that I wanted to just read one book at a time and not pick up another book until I finished and that I was starting with Moby-Dick.  At some point on Sunday, after the grocery store, I realized that Melville just wasn't doing it for me.  I really wanted to watch Muppets Treasure Island, but Zach wasn't in the mood.  So I decided to start reading the book, figuring that this would be the next best thing.

In a way it was.

This book has been on my list for a very long time.  It's just one of those books that so many people seem to have read.  

There's a boy who finds a treasure map and convinces some rich, older men to finance a voyage to find the treasure.  The crew is pretty sketchy.  But things go well.  Until they site land.  Then there's a mutiny.  And some more stuff happens that I don't want to give away because I think you need to both watch the movie and read the book.

As I read the book I had a good time picking out which Muppet played which character.  Interesting tidbit--Miss Piggy's character is actually a man in the book and did not previously know Kermit.  It was a great adventure, which I kind of needed because we got snowed in on Sunday night.  Fortunately work was cancelled on Monday, which meant I was able to spend all bloody day in bed reading until I finished (reason number eleventy bajillion why I'm glad I have not procreated yet).

I think I would have loved this book to pieces had I read it about 16 years ago.  It's a book geared towards children, so that kind of makes sense, but it's also a story that you can still love as an adult (particularly if you read it as a child).  I still liked the book enough to give it 3.5 stars, but...

I spent a good part of the time asking Jim Hawkins what the hell he was doing!  He kept separating from the group of good guys and getting in these bad situations with the pirates.  You don't go off without telling anyone to get a little boat to board the massive ship (apparently with the idea of moving the ship around the island somehow) when there are pirates afoot.  But that is probably a detail you would overlook as a child.

Previously my experience with this book was the Muppets movie, which is fun and funny.  So they really glossed over a lot of the death that took place in the novel in order to make a family-friendly movie.  They really kill people in this movie.  Just pick them off with guns.  Go in commando style and kill them at night.  There was no Billy Bones-esque keeling over when he got the spot (Billy Bones actually dies of a stroke in the book).  That was a bit surprising to me.  But back in 1883, you wrote kids books that dealt with some darker themes, so it was not terribly out of place.

All in all, I liked the book.  If I had any, I would read this to my own kids.  But it is not the Muppets movie.


  1. I own a copy of Treasure Island too, and I've yet to read it. But I have watched different movie versions and I really like the relationship between Jim Hawkins and Silver. I've never watched the Muppet's version of this, so I'll definitely put that on my movie list!

  2. I LOVE THE MUPPETS VERSION. I'm not gong to lie I read the abridged version shortly after seeing it. And I hated it I was so confused, and I found the writing quite boring. I still haven't read the full version, but looking back on it I probably should because I most likely hated it because a) the abridged version was bad and b) At that age my reading skills weren't developed enough even for the abridged version

  3. When my brother read this as a kid, he didn't understand what "thundering apoplexy" was (that's the wording used to describe Bones' stroke), so he thought Bones was struck by lightning. :)
    My favorite film version stars Charlton Heston as Silver, and a very young Christian Bale as Hawkins.

  4. This is a book that I keep meaning to read. It is such a short book, I should just read it some snowy Saturday afternoon.


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