December Books 6) Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Certainly thirty years since I last read this, and I’m old enough to remember the 1977 BBC adaptation with Patrick Troughton as Israel Hands. A total Bechdel fail, with precisely no named female characters (I suppose Jim’s mother is Mrs Hawkins, but we’re never actually told that); note also that Long John Silver gives, as the reason for his wanting to leave Bristol, that his wife is a black woman, and is believed. And surely the bloke who actually found and dug up the treasure might have been entitled to a larger share of it? Or was he bought out with a block of cheese?

However, it’s still a jolly good adventure story, with plucky young hero having the good fortune to save the day for his elders and betters on several occasions. Long John Silver is actually quite a fascinating character and successfully plays several games at once, deceiving absolutely everyone (except, possibly, his wife; in retrospect, it’s clear that he is lying about his motivations for leaving Bristol). The shifting geography of power in the temporary human community of the island is well portrayed. I can see why this one has lasted.

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1 Response to December Books 6) Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

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