Melissa Rudder's Reviews > Treasure Island

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
824216
's review
Feb 03, 2008

liked it

Even though Treasure Island might be Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous work (it's in a close race with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), it is my least favorite of the three I've read. It is, of course, full of adventure and extremely significant in the way that it's influenced the cultural representation of pirates, but, while I wanted to know what was going to happen next, I never really felt for the characters. It was curiosity, not suspense, that kept me reading. Which is ultimately less fulfilling.

I imagine that Stevenson, who apparently came up with the tale of Treasure Island initially to entertain his stepson, made Jim Hawkins an undefined character so that readers could put themselves in his place. Jim, as far as I could tell, is void of any real defining character traits, aside from those that further the plot. He is curious enough to get into scrapes and courageous enough to survive them. I think if I could have cared for Jim as a person instead of one of those cartoon paintings that you stick your head in and take pictures of at the fair, I would have felt more invested and anxious about the tale's resolution.

Most of the characters in Treasure Island are shadows, which does indeed make Long John Silver all the more interesting. Charismatic and fierce, he is an exciting villain. I actually wanted to join his side but I wasn't quite sure if I could trust him.

I'm glad I've read Treasure Island. I feel bad that it has taken me so long to read a book that so heavily influenced the vision of pirates I know and love today. So, I suppose, if I'm recommending Stevenson books, I would say Treasure Island for cultural significance, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for freaky Freudian psychology stuff, and, if my memory serves me correctly, Kidnapped for adventure and suspense.
7 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Treasure Island.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 3, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
February 8, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Mighty Mike For my money, I would argue, and I would argue..Treasure Island is still one of the all time great action/thriller/Suspense novel of all time..


Melissa Rudder Have you read Alexandre Dumas? He is my hero of action, intrigue, and suspense.


Kristen I loved Treasure Island, I just wish I had been younger when I read it... late teens or so. I have yet to read Kidnapped, thank you for reminding me, I'll have to see about digging that one out!


back to top