This book was originally my younger brothers; I remember him reading it when we were kids and he liked it, and I always wanted to read it. Recently my parents have been cleaning out all the children’s rooms (mine, of course, was the last they got to because it was the most packed). They recently gave me many boxes of stuff that I needed to take with me back to my apartment, and one was a box of books with Treasure Island in it. The stars aligned, as they say, so it was time to read it.
Treasure Island is the infamous tale of pirates, treasure, open sea, and adventure. The book was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published on 23rd of May 1883.
What very much struck me about this book were two things. The first was that almost every pirate book/movie/play I’ve seen in my life seems to have drawn on Treasure Island. Most notably, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has based much of its writing on the classic children’s tale. That’s not to say Pirates of the Caribbean stole the story, I think it quite the opposite actually. The movies were almost an homage to the original. The story focuses on pirates, the relationship of the ‘men of England’ with pirates, buried treasure, mutiny, adventure, big boats, and more. Even the ‘black spot’ makes an appearance. And perhaps the most similar quality of Treasure Island to the movies is Johnny Depp himself. The character he plays, Jack Sparrow, is very similar in personality to Long John Silver, the main pirate of Treasure Island. While Depp has certainly put his own (very unique) spin on the character, the essence is still there. Silver was forever flipping his allegiances from pirates to Englishmen (both in secret and not) depending on how his fortunes were fairing. Sparrow is very much the same way, turning his back on whomever and whenever in order to get the best possible outcome for himself.
The second thing that struck me about this book was that it was for children! It includes so many dark scenes and themes you’d not expect it to be for children.
It’s a classic piece of literature; I highly recommend reading it.