Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593082475
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 11,162
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), a Scottish author of novels, poems, and essays, is best known for the classic books Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson remains popular for his celebrated contributions to the adventure and horror genres.

Date of Birth:

November 13, 1850

Date of Death:

December 3, 1894

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Vailima, Samoa

Education:

Edinburgh University, 1875

Read an Excerpt


From Angus Fletcher’s Introduction to Treasure Island

If we go back to the origins of adventure story fiction, we discover that the heroic quest remains its principal myth. Quest-romances take many different forms, whether it be the search for the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend, for the Golden Fleece (as in the Argonautica, the ancient epic of Jason and the Argonauts), for the safe return home after perilous Homeric wanderings, as in the Odyssey, or for a wide range of ends both material and spiritual. What is important is that, once established in classic form, the great adventure stories render all readers, of any age, essentially children at heart. The quest gives us our dream of success, and when we tire of daily labor in making a living, it returns us to that time of the dream. Thus for Treasure Island the questing dream comes out of a long preceding history. Besides two early travel books based on journeys in France, Stevenson told stories in homage to the Near Eastern tradition of loosely woven adventures: his New Arabian Nights (1882), in which the exotic nature of travel to distant lands is imagined as occurring in stories set in Europe. This art of romance thrives on the incredible voyage, the sailor’s yarn (in his day perhaps more fashionable than any other type), the tall frontier tale, including exotic or utopian settings that could never actually exist, because romance demands almost complete power to overcome all human obstacles. The mode of romance therefore demands freedom to imagine. Yet the tradition seems to mix realism on some level with such unreal situations for the hero. In Robinson Crusoe (1719) Daniel Defoe mingles fact and fiction liberally. The same mixture appears in Arthurian lore, while with the rise of the modern middle classes a new kind of romance arises around the quest for material success.

By Stevenson’s time Protestant beliefs and secular technology had long since fueled the rise of capitalism. Robinson Crusoe, while it inaugurated the realistic tradition of the novel in England, makes a continuous critical commentary on mercantile capitalism and its value system, especially as they derive aid and comfort from Protestant Christianity. Crusoe, whose name plays on the name of Christ, is in effect a marooned capitalist, who must rebuild his fortune, by returning his commercial skills to their most primitive beginnings. In this process Crusoe learns who he actually is. Such a quest is tied to the science of counting up supplies, enemies, distances, and even dreams, all of which become the very stuff of realistic modern fiction. Typically the castaway begins his lonely sojourn by surveying what is left to him from the ruins of shipwreck—that is, making the inventory of tools available beyond mere life itself. To be sure, virtually all the major novelists comment, directly or allusively, on the nature and sources of wealth, often indicating how these derive from imperial expansion. Scholars have found these middle-class indicators in what might seem the strangest places—for example, the novels of Jane Austen. Character and commerce seem not so secretly linked. Yet how could it be otherwise, since the bourgeois novel attempts an accounting of life? At the end of the nineteenth century, Henry James claimed for the novel that its function was to provide genuine “criticism” of the way we live, to provide a kind of narrative philosophy, storytelling endowed with serious levels of meaning, suggesting profound and often obscure themes. Stevenson’s essay “A Humble Remonstrance” (1884; see, in “For Further Reading,” The Lantern-Bearers and Other Essays) countered James’s critical principle by favoring romance. There is no way, the essay claimed, for the novel to “compete with life.” Instead the novel should maintain its exhilarating imaginative independence from the crude facts of existence, drawing upon those facts solely as a resource for delineating passion. (The saame article faults the distinguished American novelist and editor William Dean Howells for a similar dependency upon the new naturalistic style.) Stevenson wanted to keep the idea of treasure somehow pure. With Henry James, whom Stevenson so much admired and who became his valued correspondent, the idea of a treasure sought by adventurous quest took on an ironic aspect. James’s critical gaze, enhanced by his own obsession with wealth, led him to analyze the typical methods of acquiring it, such as real estate speculation in the value of houses or New Englanders piling up industrial wealth or European princes marrying American money. In these late novels and stories James’s critical conceptions collide with material obsessions, and the results are often obscure, even uncanny, as in The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, and The Golden Bowl.

By the author’s own account “the seed” of his novel came from the idea of a treasure chest he found in another adventure story, Charles Kingsley’s At Last (1871). As a goal of acquisitive good luck and daring, treasure in general provides the motive, indirectly or directly (consider Rider Haggard’s immensely popular novel King Solomon’s Mines) for all sorts of adventures. The nineteenth century saw a new world of yearning popular literature, much like Hollywood movies and television shows today. Sentimental romances, “penny dreadfuls,” and “shilling shockers” enthralled large masses of readers. The fossilized popular novels of this earlier date now sit moldering on the storage shelves of pre-electronic libraries, their desiccated pages exuding a dismal smell. Once great in number and acclaim among the young, they saved many a tedious day from misery. The adventure novels of G. A. Henty (1832–1902) appeared in more than 150 volumes. In twentieth-century Britain, Henty was displaced by the more up-to-date Percy Westerman (1876–1959; at school youngsters called him “Percy Piffler,” to show they knew their author), who wrote more than 100 such books. In the United States, to match such prolific output one would look to the 135 “dime novels” of Horatio Alger (1832–1899), again showing how the market of books for the young continued and still continues to put a premium on production. This literature multiplies mainly because it lacks any serious, thought-provoking realism about the hazards of either romance or adventure. The book cannot be read fast enough! Sentimental romances and the adventure stories are of course the same commodity, masked by gender difference. If the novel is to work, it must on some level achieve an illusion of escape, and also of achieving a goal at the same time.

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Treasure Island 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 662 reviews.
Cassandraa22 More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite adventure stories, for anybody who enjoys action, adventure, and thrill, they should definitely buy this book. This book was so excellent I had to pass it on to somebody else so they could enjoy it just as well. I highly recommend it!
Garfield78 More than 1 year ago
I felt this was a rather good book that seemed to really start the pirate tales that have gone through to the Pirate of the Caribbean movies. I thought that the intro was also good and did explain where Stevenson got his ideas for the book, and much better than the intro for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I felt gave the ending away too early. I was hoping the book would be a bit more exciting, but there was enough action throughout. I have read better books, but I have also read worse, so that is why I gave this book 4 stars.
Nazire More than 1 year ago
The Treasure Island is a fascinating read. It has such original characters that has been reinvented throughout the decades. Anyone who likes sea voyage, pirate stories will love the beginnings of such stories in Stevenson's cleverly portrayed novel. The characters are fun and interesting, the plot is actionful there is always another secret to solve in the story.
tfm1066 More than 1 year ago
The novel is, of course, a classic adventure story. Unfortunately, this edition is poorly done. Among other flaws, it lacks an illustration of the treasure map, which is critical to the story. Instead of traditional quotation marks, it uses some odd invention that is distracting. I took the book to my local B & N store, where the clerk agreed with my negative assessment of this edition and where I quickly found an excellent version of the book. I bought it and gave it to my grandchildren, as was planned. The story's book was actually less expensive, too, so this all ended happily. But ditch the edition I ordered online. It is substandard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jim, the protagonist, is just a boy, that works at the Admiral Benbox Inn, but he can see that Billy Bones is a nervous man, always alert and watching for stangers arriving at the inn. And he has the right to be nervous, because he possesses a map drawn by Capitan Flint, the most feared pirate to ever roam the high seas.
Well, Flint died, but there's plenty of men who served with Capitan Flint still alive who feel they deserve a fair share of the treasure. The map, though, ends up with Jim Hawkins. (it's a near thing, read the book to find out how that happens). Jim confides in the local doctor and squire, who work together to acquire a ship, a crew, and provisions to sail for Treasure Island. There is a weak link though, because although Squire Trelawney is well-intentioned, he has a big mouth. By the time the Hispaniola is ready for sea, she is boarded by the old murderous mob who sailed with Flint!
There's a scene in the book where Jim, hiding in a barrel on deck, discovers that mutiny is planned. The numbers suggest that the pirates are going to take over the ship and make this journey their own, taking all the treasure for themselves. There are nineteen mutineers and seven honest men, including Jim, aboard the ship.
And now....this book will have you pining to see what happens next. This is a fantastic story of double-crossing and deceit, bravery and cowardice. I don't know how things would have turned out if Jim hadn't been involved. For it is he who finds Ben Gunn, marooned on the island, half-mad with isolation. And it is Jim who single-handedly steals the Hispaniola from under the very noses of the pirates and sails her round the island to a secret beaching place.
And do you know what happens to Long John Silver, the greatest double-crosser of them all? A true classic my dad read to me when I was young.
MacT9997 More than 1 year ago
Not An Ordinary Treasure Hunt By Mac Treasure Island By Robert Louis Stevenson 304 pgs. $4.45. (Young Adult; ages 13 and up) “Reading” is usually something a teenager doesn’t want to hear. But when you read Treasure Island, your mind goes off into to a great land where it is just you and the book. Robert Louis Stevenson created a fiction novel that makes you think. It makes you want to know what is going to happen next. You are more focused on finding the treasure in this book. What starts off a little slow turns into a great adventure on which you will embark with the protagonist named Jim. Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish author, wrote “Treasure Island” in 1884. Even though this book has some age on it doesn’t mean it is not good. “Treasure Island” is a classic for many reasons. “Treasure Island” is a book that will take you on an adventure that you will never forget. It starts off with a young boy named Jim. Jim and his parents own a Inn near the ocean. Jim helps out at the “Admiral Bow”. Jim met one “customer” one day that would change his life forever. They called him Captain. Captain was an odd man that created the story. The Captain’s personality was spine chilling. They said he was a mean man. He showed it when the book described this, “The old fellow’s fury was awful. He sprang to his feet, drew and opened a sailor’s clasp-knife, and balancing it open on the palm of his hand, threatened to pin the doctor to the wall.”(17). That just got the book started. There was more to come. Jim, the protagonist, was a very adventurous kid. He had to grow up fast when he learned he had to embark on a journey with a crew of older men. It took them to Treasure Island. The story got a lot more intense as it went on. It even pushed Long John to the edge. He said, “That’s enough, cap’n,” shouted Long John ,“A word from you’s enough. I know a gentleman, and you may lay to that.” (336). Tension gets high when treasure is put on the line. Long, the captain of the crew, wanted to find that treasure. Jim meets tons of people on his journey. He makes friends and enemies. He learns from mistakes. Jim learns that he can put himself apart from others and still accomplish things. As you read this book, you have to remember Jim is not an adult. He is just a really mature kid. The kid shows in him at times when he is a little too curious. He knows he can do what the other crewmembers can. Jim will prove to the people that he is not a little kid anymore. Keep reading this wonderful novel to find out what happens next. You will not want to put down the book once you start. This book will keep you guessing. There is something awesome happening in “Treasure Island”. This adventurous book will make you have chills running down your back. This book has you on the edge. This book shows you the build up to adventure, the adventure, and what happens after the adventure. When you start the journey to Treasure Island, you will be in your own world with Jim and his shipmates. This book would be a 4 out of 5 stars for me. I like it but I really don’t love pirate adventures. This is still a great read and I recommend it to anyone that loves adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very awesome I love Robert Lious Stevenston
Ria Megnin More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone interested in pirate literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an ok book but it is kind of confusing but all in all it is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Classic Literature novel by Robert Louis Stevenson is really good book has shown the  adventure and the action. Stevenson created delightful story of an amazing treasure hunt. As this novel takes place way back into the eighteenth century, the adventure started from a young  boy named Jim Hawkins having a mysterious treasure map from the most feared pirate to ever roam the seas. On this voyage, the author draws attention with rumors of betrayal among the crew. Jim discovers that mutiny is planned and is the hero of the pirate tale. I will recommend to read this book especially  the people who like action, the pirate adventure, and sensation. This has enough action for the reader to keep the interest of what happens to Long John Silver, the greatest double-crosser of the pirates in the ship "Hispaniola". I read this book back in middle school and got really fascinated. Now that I read it again, I love this classic even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not buy because there is a different book called 25 children books that is $3 and has 25 other stories includeing this title!
Cliffnote More than 1 year ago
A classic. Loved it.
BaltimoreReads More than 1 year ago
The popular image of a pirate has come to be a peg-legged, grammatically-incorrect, rum-fancying gold-seeker, usually of the selfish and corruptible variety (possibly with a parrot perched on the shoulder). Everyone knows a pirate cannot be trusted, because they are either risking their life for gold, or risking the lives of others for their own safety. This universally accepted pirate lore is largely indebted to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, a classic novel starring the young Jim Hawkins and his quest for treasure on an abandoned island. The story begins at Jim's home, the Admiral Benbow Inn, where his father is slowly passing away and a dilapidated old seaman has made himself at home. "The captain," as everyone calls him, steers clear of any obvious seamen, and warns Jim of a one-legged sailor. When Jim's father dies and strange and unwelcome men come knocking at the inn in search of the captain, the boy finds himself in the midst of an epic and dangerous adventure aboard The Hispaniola, a ship sailing toward the legendary island where Captain Flint buried his treasure. Treasure Island remains a cherished story to this day for many reasons. For one, Stevenson expertly crafts the protagonist, Jim Hawkins. Jim is a smart and resourceful young man. He has just lost his father, his mother is an ocean away, and the threat of death is around every corner, and yet he does anything but curl up and hide. In fact, his biggest fault is his undying bravery - his tendency to act before really thinking things through, but always in the best interest of his friends. Luckily for Jim and his comrades, such as the intelligent Dr. Livesey and the hardnosed Captain Smollett, his foolhardy actions often work out for the better. As Jim survives close shaves with the treacherous ocean and the backstabbing pirates, readers can see him evolving from a sad and scared young boy into a confident and honorable young man. Another gem within Stevenson's tale is the duplicitous Long John Silver, the peg-legged sailor that is a respected sea-cook one second and a mutinous captain the next. Silver is the ultimate pirate, always conniving and talking his way toward both treasure and survival. One never really knows whose side Silver is on, though it can be certain he is always doing what is best for himself. Stevenson gives Silver the ability to turn words and manipulate his fellow buccaneers - so well, in fact, that I often found myself wondering just what his intentions were. Was Silver really all that bad? Could he get any worse? Treasure Island is filled with mystery, deceit, yo-ho-hos, and bottles of rum - a true pirate's tale complete with plenty of action to keep the pages turning. From Captain Hook to Jack Sparrow to the popular Muppet's Treasure Island, bits of Stevenson's timeless story live on to this day. If you are interested in reading where the world of piracy and treasure-hunting first came to form, X marks the spot on Treasure Island - you're sure to find what you're looking for from the first sentence to the last. Check out BaltimoreReads on wordpress!
brose72 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
The story of Jim Hawkins, a young boy who takes to sea to find his fortune and encounters more than he bargained for. One of the great must-read stories from my childhood filled with unforgettable characters and character building adventures. The illustrations by Milo Winter from 1915 reprinted in this much later edition are no match for those of N.C. Wyeth that fueled the imagination of my youth, but they still get the message across.
bryce_babe on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is a book that I read for school. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, it was easier to understand what was going on. I would recomend it to anyone who is looking for a challenging book to read.
GBev2008 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is the first time I've read this book and I loved it. I had to do a lot of looking up of nautical terms to get a picture in my head of what was going on, but the story is gripping and well told. I'm also a fan of colorful dialogue and this is a great one for that. (It's also the obvious inspiration for all stereotypical pirate lingo still used today.) And I also wouldn't call this "Juvenile Fiction." Most kids today wouldn't understand a word of it...and you may lay to it!
LibraryLou on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I can remember trying to read this as a child but found it quite hard to get into, but trying again later on when I was older I loved it. I re-read it again recently and once again became totally absorbed. I love Pirates!
siew on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I finished reading this for the first time recently; I never was interested in it as a child, even though I always had a copy in my collection, and it wasn't until as a uni student being introduced to the other writings of Stevenson that I became enchanted with his narrative styles, his wonderful plots and the way in which he can draw you into a different world full of the most unique characters.Treasure Island proved no different, it was utterly absorbing from beginning to end, except for maybe where Dr Livesley took over from Jim Hawkins. I thought maybe the end was a bit abrupt as well, but the body of the writing was some very fine children's writing.
reading_fox on LibraryThing 3 months ago
The Classic boys adventure story, probably not the first, written in 1893, but one of the best. Women are scarcely mentioned. The imfamous Long John Silver's wife gets a passing line. Protagonist Jim Hawkin's mother features briefly in the opening chapters, refusing to take more than her due, and then fainting under a bridge. The story must surely be known to everyone - and who has not dreamed of finding themselves in such a situatio - Jim Hawkins discovers in the chest of a dead pirate, a map marked with three Xs where the treasure of old Captain Flint has been buried. The local squire and doctor - and it is for such insights into 1890s life that this tale has most appeal for older readers - fit out a ship and go to claim the bounty. Amoungst the crew is peg legged Lohn John Silver, cook, and it transpires, ex-quatermaster of old Flint himself. The crew mutineys at sight of the island, and only through the foolhardy, but ultimately lucky 11yr old Jim Hawkins's actions is the day finally saved. In many ways an improbable story, but allowing for the ability of 11yr olds to achieve any task, it is a well crafted tale, and certainly an enjoyable read although the ending is never in any doubt. The World's Classics edition I have provides commentary on the differences between the first seralised version and the later book form, as well as insights into the genuine history surrounding many of the names. Much of the colloquial lingo remains obscure terms such as "duff" never being explained. This does not detract from the delight - one for all children, including those who have never grown up.
HippieLunatic on LibraryThing 3 months ago
As a mother of two boys, I felt that I should read this classic. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it very much. It wasn't that women aren't present. It wasn't the language (though I did have some issues with getting into the style). It was the pace.For what is heralded as a boys' pirate life book, this had very little action. It felt as though the prelude was given all the pages; the story I would have been interested to read was given only a breath. Now, I love character development. I will argue that knowing the character is generally more important that knowing the plot of any given book, but Treasure Island seems to max out on this theory for me.
thequestingvole on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Treasure IslandTreasure Island is a great book and like many great books, grew out of a small act. Stevenson's step-son was drawing one day and his step-father looking over his shoulder, saw that he was drawing a map. They spent the day naming the places and colouring it. And from the map came the book.It is a simple story told by a boy on the cusp of manhood and therein lies its power. Jim Hawkins is a boy telling a story to other boys and his nature is reflected in the telling. There is no navel gazing or reflection in him, he doesn't agonize over killing or worry about the morality of taking buried treasure. Unlike his contemporaries in Victorian fiction, whose scruples often verge on the priggish, Jim's moral compass is personal, his loyalty to his mother and to his friends. His is a conscience rooted in the eighteenth century, his goals are clear and their simplicity and single mindedness drive the story forward.But even in this celebration of the 18th century love affair withlaissez faire capitalism, Stephenson finds a place for evil. It is a grinning, grubby, chatty evil, far removed from the starkly painted moral monsters of children's fiction. Long John Silver is a murderer, a pirate and a scoundrel, but he is also charming, capable and a leader of men. Jim enjoys his company despite himself. Though Jim hates Silver for his cruelty, he admires him for his daring as all boys admire those who defy parental or scholastic authority with panache. In some ways there is little to choose between Long John andJim, both pursue the treasure, Long John is simply willing to use brutal means to obtain it.The Jim we meet at the beginning of the novel is a boy, bound to his mother and weighed down by childish things. By the end, he has encountered dangers, both moral and physical, and survived. He has mastered new skills and entered man's estate. For the rest of us, reading Treasure Island could be considered a vital part of that passage.
hansel714 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!Drink and the devil had done for the rest--Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!"Sing the buccaneers from Treasure Island (and you thought it originated from Pirates of the Caribbean). Treasure Island is about an adventure of a tavern boy seeking, well, treasure. Unlike Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde, I find myself engross in the story despite having read it as a boy in the abridged version. The sentences are really quite dynamic like: "One more step, Mr. Hands, and I'll blow your brains out! Dead men don't bite, you know." Like Oliver Twist, this is not a children's book. I have quite a difficult time knowing the nautical terms like dooty, coracle, skiff, schooner, yaw, catspaw, scupper, mizzen. But once you get that out of the way, there is blood, gore, violence, lies, deceit, duplicity. This is the original for Pirates of the Caribbean and much better.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Read it!!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago