Monday, April 19, 2010

Classic Review - Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (3/5 stars)

I have tried to read Treasure Island numerous times.  A couple times when I was younger and once as an adult.  Every time I found it to be a bit boring and ended up not finishing it.  This time I was determined to make it through it.  I made it, and the book was okay but I think compared to modern day adventures the adventure in this book was pretty tame.  I read this on my Amazon Kindle

I think everyone knows the basic story.  A young boy and some companions form a company of sailors and take off to find buried treasure on Treasure Island.  Ends up part of the company are pirates and mutiny upon landing at the Island.  Struggles on Treasure Island commence between the loyal sailors and the pirates.

The writing style of this novel has definitely aged with time.  It isn't horrible to get through; it's pretty readable and the beginning of the story really grabbed my interest.  As time goes on though the story gets bogged down with description and predictability.  This isn't a story where characterization or action scenes are a strong point.  It is an excellent adventure in the sense that they end up on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere; the struggles they face though are more related to dealing with the pirates than dealing with any trouble the Island throws at them.

Maybe this story is just too well known, but for some reason I found it very predictable and this made getting through the lengthy descriptions even tougher.  This book does do a wonderful job describing pirates and personifying their characters, but it isn't much fun.

I think younger readers will find the story tedious and boring, they may also struggle with the stilted language.  Older readers may appreciate the lush descriptions, but will ultimately find the action scenes lacking and the adventure to be not quite as adventurous as in modern day works.

Overall an okay novel.  Not as exciting and engaging as I had hoped for.  Now I can say I read it and move on.  I don't know that this is one I will read to my son when he gets older, I think it would bore him.  When compared to other classic novels I have read this year, this was my least favorite.  I found both "The Left Hand of Darkness" and "Pride and Prejudice" to be more engaging and interesting.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
Treasure Island (Puffin Classics) 

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