“Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!” This the favoured sea shanty of the old sea dog who we meet in the “Admiral Benbow” and when our story of Treasure Island begins. We follow Jim Hawkins as he recounts his adventures from the finding of the map in the old buccaneers’ chest to the meeting of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Long John Silver. This charming ruthless and wondrous rouge sets sail with young Jim and crew across the Caribbean in search of the booty. Treasure and fortune mutiny and murder, land and sea adventures Treasure Island is the classic pirate story.
Robert Louis Stevenson takes marvellous command of this perfectly structured form with a subtle storytelling narrative which leaves each chapter on a cliff-hanger and drives the reader on compelled to plunder the narrative loot. The complex and unexpected relationship that matures between Long John Silver and Jim transforms the seemingly straightforward, rip-roaring pirate adventure into a intensely moving study of one boy’s growth into manhood. Jim learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage and honour and the ambiguous grey area between good and evil. A definite book for boys, but girls can enjoy it too! A favourite upon my bookshelf and a must read for everyone!