My rating: 2 stars
When I decided to read Treasure Island, I was expecting a story full of electrifying adventures, remarkable pirates and a compelling plot. Unfortunately, none of these things awaited me in the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. I felt bored while reading and had to force myself to finish it, hoping for a pinch of a thrilling sensation that never came. This is a story about how far men can go in search of a treasure but with no excitement whatsoever.
We are introduced to the story by Jim Hawkins, whose father is the owner of an inn. One of their clients is a sea captain, later revealed to be Flint, who has an unhealthy passion for rum. One day, after receiving the visit of a mysterious blind beggar, he collapses and dies. This is the second death in a short period of time, since Jim’s father, who was ill, had died some days before.
Afterwards, Jim and his mother open the captain’s truck and take some money by way of payment for his stay at the inn, and an oilskin packet. As they hear a group of people approaching, they leave the inn in fear. The uninvited visitors are searching for something that was in the captain’s possession: the oilskin packet which conceals the location of a treasure. Jim then goes looking for Dr Livesey and they decide to sail and fetch Captain Flint’s hidden treasure. They manage to acquire a ship and gather a crew. But on board is John Silver, working as a cook, accompanied by other pirates.
The story seems to have all the ingredients for a spectacular adventure, but ends up being quite bland. The actions and the descriptions are fairly detailed, but don’t convey much excitement. I really didn’t care about any of the characters, since I don’t think they were fleshed out. We are told that some are afraid, but I couldn’t feel that fear myself. I wanted to know more about the pirates’ lives and I wish they felt more real. Jim and John Silver have a few interesting conversations, but they stopped being engaging after a while.
The best thing about reading Treasure Island was to recognise the names of some of the pirates from the TV series Black Sails (which I really recommend). In fact, the show being a kind of a prequel to the book was the reason why I decided to read it in the first place, hoping that it would be as good.
My edition of the book came accompanied with The Ebb-Tide, which I started reading but didn’t finished, because after four chapters I was quite bored by both the characters and the plot. Maybe Robert Louis Stevenson just isn’t the author for me.