Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

I chose to read this book for the R.I.P challenge, a challenge that celebrates " things that go bump in the night; that favorite detective that always gets his man, or woman, in the end; that delicious chill of a creak on the stairs, of the rogue waiting in the dark, of the full moon and the flit of bats wings".

I've been saving Treasure Island for this time of year and it turned out to be a fun read. First published in 1883, the novel details a young man's journey to Treasure Island aboard The Hispaniola. He is accompanied by other sailors, who are in search of a treasure, and eventually turn against one another to create a battle between good an evil - the evil which is represented by the carefree, reckless pirates who are in conflict with the virtuous and upstanding Englishmen.
This novel is less of an adventure story and more of a "coming of age" narrative. We watch the young man Jim cry for his mother at the start of the novel and evolve into a hero by the close of the novel, developing a strong sense of self.
I clung with both hands till my nails ached, and I shut my eyes as if to cover up the peril. Gradually my mind came back again, my pulses quieted down to a more natural time, and I was once more in possession of myself.
As mentioned above, Stevenson also explores the relationship between good and evil and implies that they are inextricably linked together, as no one can be fully virtuous or fully immoral. Even those who seem intrinsically debauched can always have a layer of morality buried deep down, as demonstrated by Long John Silver.

I'm happy I read Treasure Island but I've got to say I enjoyed Stevenson's later work, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) much more. I'm not sure one is better than the other, it's just that the type of suspense and detail in the latter appeal more to me.

Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2005 (1883)


  1. I've read this book before I was 12 and I still remember it, that's how much of an impression it made on me. I must read it again .


  2. I've never read Treasure Island or Jekyll and Hyde and I really need to fix that. I'm intrigued to hear Treasure Island is more than just an adventure tale (which I always assumed). I'll probably check out J&H first because it seems closer to my taste and I already have it.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. Hey! I'm hopping by. Your blog is very cute! I don't see much young adult which is usually the only blogs I follow, but I have decided to follow you anyways. Have a great weekend!

    p.s. I love how the comments instead of comments are morsels of love :P
    Angela Z

  4. I haven't read this in years either, but I remember it like I had read it yesterday. My grandmother (long dead now) gave me a beautiful illustrated hard-back edition that I read about twenty-five times in a row. I think my parents had to finally encourage me to read something else. I still have that edition sitting proudly on my shelves now.

    If you like Stevenson, I encourage you to check out Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, Waverly, and his long poem The Lady of the Lake), and R.D. Blackmore (Lorna Doone). Happy reading! Cheers! Chris

  5. I had a copy of Treasure Island since I was a little kid, and read it over and over again. Unfortunately, haven't had the cause to pick it up now that I'm a little more "grown up", but I liked how you talked about the relationship of good and evil. That really wouldn't have occurred to the 12-year-old me, so I think you've convinced me to pick it up pronto.

  6. I had no idea so many people read this as a child. I think I would have really liked it when I was young.