Robert Louis Stephenson originally wrote this story for his nephew who had drawn a map of an I
island. Stephenson was inspired by this map to create the well known Treasure Island the pirates to go along with it. I really enjoyed this book, it is a proper adventure book, and I can see why it has lasted the test of time.
The story begins with Jim Hawkins, a young boy who lives with his mother in the Admiral Benbow Inn. A mysterious old seaman Billy Bones becomes a lodger at the Inn, and Jim is fascinated by him. He talks to Jim of a man with 1 leg and warns Jim that if he sees this man, Billy must be notified immediately. Unfortunately for Billy he has a slight drinking problem which eventually leads to him becoming very ill, during this time, he confides in Jim that he used to be a pirate with the infamous Captain Flint. Soon he is visited by a blind man called Pew who gives him a piece of paper and leaves, after which Billy Bones dies.
Jim and his mother search Billy's room and find lots of money hidden in a chest along with a package. They must then leave as the Inn is being attached by Pew and his men. Jim brings the package to the doctor and magistrate who he trusts and inside it they find a log of all the money stolen by Billy and the pirates and also a treasure map. And so the adventure begins. The magistrate and doctor decide they must go and search for this treasure and of course want to bring Jim along for the trip. They organise a boat and a crew, including Long John Silver the “ships cook” who just happens to only have one leg.
This was really a gripping read, made better I think by the fact that I knew that Long John Silver was more than the jolly cook he makes himself out to be. I was just waiting in suspense for the moment where he would give himself away and betray our heroes.
I really liked all the characters too. Jim was brave and adventurous and despite the fact that he kept running off and getting into trouble, I admired his bravery rather than being annoyed at his rashness. Even Long John Silver managed to get into my good books, even though he is the baddy of the piece, he is also kind of loveable. Part of this may be to try to win the crew and the captain over at the start of the voyage but I also think that this is a genuine trait, cheerful and jovial. He also seems to take a liking to Jim, and tries to take him under his wing.
It was an exciting, enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for some adventures on the high seas.