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Treasure Island!!!

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Overview

When a college graduate with a history of hapless jobs (ice cream scooper; gift wrapper; laziest ever part-time clerk at The Pet Library) reads Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, she is dumbstruck by the timid design of her life. When had she ever dreamed a scheme? When had she ever done a foolish, overbold act? When had she ever, like Jim Hawkins, broke from her friends, raced for the beach, stolen a boat, killed a man, and eliminated an obstacle that stood in the ...

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Treasure Island!!!

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Overview

When a college graduate with a history of hapless jobs (ice cream scooper; gift wrapper; laziest ever part-time clerk at The Pet Library) reads Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, she is dumbstruck by the timid design of her life. When had she ever dreamed a scheme? When had she ever done a foolish, overbold act? When had she ever, like Jim Hawkins, broke from her friends, raced for the beach, stolen a boat, killed a man, and eliminated an obstacle that stood in the way of her getting a hunk of gold?

Convinced that Stevenson's book is cosmically intended for her, she redesigns her life according to its Core Values: boldness, resolution, independence and horn-blowing. Accompanied by her mother, her sister, and a hostile Amazon parrot that refuses to follow the script, our heroine embarks on a domestic adventure more frightening than anything she'd originally planned.

Treasure Island!!! is the story of a ferocious obsession, told by an original voice-intelligent, perverse, relentlessly self- extricating, and funny.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Levine’s first novel, an unnamed 25-year-old heroine, ambivalent about her boyfriend and unhappy in her job at the Pet Library (lending furry or finned companionship in lieu of books) adopts Treasure Island as a roadmap for life. Taking the book’s “Core Values” of “boldness, resolution, independence, horn-blowing” to heart, she stops cleaning up after the pets, uses her boss’s life-savings to acquire a parrot, and generally makes a huge pill of herself to everyone around her. With its three exclamation points, the novel promises irreverent fun, and certainly has an absurdist zaniness and charm, especially in the beginning. But instead of sympathizing with a slacker’s efforts, however misguided, to change her life, we grow increasingly restless as it becomes clear that the main thing she’s resolute about is never noticing the effect she has on friends and family. The way Levine’s (Short Dark Oracles) narrator presents her actions and the cavalcade of misfortunes they bring as justified will make readers wonder if the author is sending up memoirs or 20-something self-involvement, but it doesn’t feel like a sendup, and it’s hard to get behind this heroine, who seems less humorously deluded than tiresome. (Jan.)
New York Times Book Review

"Levine is a wonderful storyteller with a vibrant voice. “Treasure Island!!!” is a rollicking tale, shameless, funny and intelligent."

The New York Times

"An absurdist comedy of suburbia."

The Washington Post

"Levine sports an original, brutally witty voice."

The Boston Bibliophile

"I laughed my way through...this addictive little pageturner."

Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Levine's subtle insight about the egocentric nature of our society is knife-sharp."

Time Out Chicago

"Levine...is a tremendously funny writer."

Library Journal
Boldness. Resolution. Independence. Horn blowing. These are the key qualities attributed to Jim Hawkins, protagonist of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, by the hapless, unnamed, 25-year-old female narrator of this debut novel by Levine. The underemployed slacker becomes ludicrously obsessed with Treasure Island, seeing in the novel a model of behavior that will permit her to throw off the shackles of her banal existence, starting with her part-time job in an animal-lending "pet library." Her first act is to steal cash from her employer to purchase a parrot that will sit on her shoulder spouting appropriate words of encouragement, Treasure Island-style, but that soon becomes her nemesis when it requires care and proves difficult to train. Our empathy-impaired narrator confuses irresponsibility with bravery and selfishness with self-sufficiency, and this results in a hilarious sequence of minor catastrophes befalling her friends and family, a circle of comically inept enablers. VERDICT Though it is hard to conceive of, let alone root for, such a morally bankrupt and emotionally stunted character, this highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained in spite of (or more accurately, because of) its toxic narrator. [See Prepub Alert, 9/12/11.]—Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY
Rebecca Barry
Levine is a wonderful storyteller with a vibrant voice. Treasure Island!!! is a rollicking tale, shameless, funny and intelligent. In her strong-willed protagonist, Levine has created a quintessential unreliable narrator, one who sees other people's flaws perfectly and almost never her own, who feints and dodges nimbly around her deep feelings and questionable mental stability like a sailor dancing the hornpipe.
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"Levine is a wonderful storyteller with a vibrant voice. 'Treasure Island!!!' a rollicking tale, shameless, funny and intelligent." - The New York Times
"A hoot." - Kirkus Reviews
"This highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained." - Library Journal
"...irreverent comic novel of self-empowerment..." - O Magazine, "16 Books to Watch for in January 2012"
One of NPR's Great Summer Reads. - NPR
"...bitterly funny...Levine sports an original, brutally witty voice..." - The Washington Post
"...wild, funny, rambunctiously surprising..." - Los Angeles Review of Books
"...very funny...a crackling satire of our hapless society...Levine is best and beautiful as a subtle satirist...unstoppably funny and not a little frightening." - San Francisco Chronicle
"...an engaging read. Levine's subtle insight about the egocentric nature of our society is knife-sharp..." - StarTribune
"...tremendously funny...It's rare to find a protagonist so intensely unlikable and yet so entertaining as our 25-year-old narrator..." - Time Out Chicago
"Hilarious, fast-paced and exhilarating...a strikingly original creation that reads like a collaboration between Vladimir Nabokov and Jodi Picoult...a ruthless satire of over-entitled 21st-century youth..." - The Globe and Mail
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609450618
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/7/2011
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 678,809
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Levine teaches at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Nerve, Conjunctions, Necessary Fiction, Sonora Review, and other magazines. She won a 2008 Bridport Prize for Fiction, a Special Mention in The Pushcart Anthology, and three citations in The Best American Essays. Her writing has been anthologized in Best of Fence: The First Nine Years and The Touchstone Anthology of Creative Nonfiction: 1970 to the Present.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    I am First!!!

    It actually sounds pretty good. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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