Book #36

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

When a mysterious sailor dies in sinister circumstances at the Admiral Benbow inn, young Jim Hawkins stumbles across a treasure map among the dead man's possessions. But Jim soon becomes only too aware that he is not the only one who knows of the map's existence, and his bravery and cunning are tested to the full when, with his friends Squire Trelawney and Dr Livesey, he sets sail in the Hispaniola to track down the treasure. 

This is a well loved story from my childhood, made all the more beloved by those adorable Muppets.

Jim Hawkins, a young man living and working in his father’s inn, becomes fascinated by a pirate who takes a room with them. This fascination soon turns sour as a host of pirates descend upon the inn and its new resident, sending Jim spiralling seabound to an island reportedly filled with treasure.

There’s something so gloriously exciting about this one, the voyage, the adventure, the secrets and battles. It’s a truly thrilling and nostalgic skip over the sea, a fairly wholesome quest for good overcoming bad. Jim’s growth from an innocent child into a young adult capable of strategic thinking and courage, is another great comfort.

Stevenson writes simply here, carefully placing plot and dialogue to build a picture of our location and situation. There’s nothing fancy here, no grand literary gestures, just a raw tale of treasure hunting told mostly from the mouth of the boy who experienced it. Stevenson made me feel as though I’d found some old documents and was reading a first hand account of a sea-faring kid.

Despite being unable to stop picturing Captain Smollett as Kermit the Frog, or lamenting the lack of Gonzo and Rizzo, I absolutely loved going back to the Admiral Benbow and seeing this gorgeous tale play out once again in front of my eyes.