Peoples of the HKMS,
I am almost finished with the Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson (Russian translation). It is a classic that everyone must read. Today, it is a pretty popular classical book (almost on par as the Three Musketeers). The Russian version of the book is 200 pages long, while the english may be a bit longer than that (the Russian version that I’m reading has small text). It is the book that started the trend of pirates having a jolly Roger as their flag. It is a realistic fiction book, but, because it is so old it is considered a classic.
I read the book, because my parents and my grandparents always told me that I must read treasure island. I watched films and cartoons (Soviet) of Treasure Island, but I never read the book, but in the end I decided that I must read that classic novel. I also read it because of my big love for antiques and generally old school things. So this classic book satisfied my hunger for more old school things.
The book starts with the narrator (main character) explaining that Dr Livesey and Squire asked him to write a book about what happened on the treasure island. He starts then the actual story with the old pirate that came in into their Inn called “Admiral Benbow.” Later the pirate started scaring off people and the father of the main character became deathly sick. Later, an old pirate “Blind Pew” came in into the inn and asked for the other pirate, whom he called captain. He came to the captain and gave him a black spot, a round, black mark that says on it when you’re going to be killed. Later that day, the captain dies from drinking too much alcohol. Jim, the main character, and his mom raid the captain’s chest after his death. They take things as fast as possible, before the other pirates arrive and kill them. They quickly go into the village and ask the people to help them, but only one man agrees to go and call the guards. Jim and his mom came back too late to the Inn, the pirates were already coming. They hid under a bridge and watched what was happening. The pirates were destroying and raiding the Inn. Blind Pew was their leader and he kept telling them to find papers from the captain. They told him that there are none and he got angry. Then they had heard the guard coming and started running away. Blind Pew was not fast enough and was killed by a horse man. Jim asked the guards if they could take him to Dr Livesey, and they said that they were coming there too, so they took him with them.
When they came to the Doctor’s house, he wasn’t there, so they instead went to Squire Trelawney. In Squire’s manor there was the doctor and Squire himself. The guards reported everything that happened to them and Jim told them about the papers. Doctor looked at the papers and told Squire and Jim that this was a map of Captain Flint’s hidden treasures. Squire immediately went to Bristol to find a ship and crew. He found a man called Long John Silver, who promised him a crew and a ship. Later Jim and his companions gathered on the ship. They met the captain of the ship, and he told them that the crew was suspicious and that everyone knew about the treasure. Later they left the port and went into the open Sea, but nothing happened so, everyone became relaxed, until later, Jim, heard that Silver was talking other crew members into joining his pirate team. He reported everything to the Doctor, Squire and the captain, and they started planning on how to escape alive.
The pirates are leaving the ship to inspect the island, and Jim went with them, but as soon as they boarded land he ran away. On his way he found a man by the name of Ben Gunn. Ben Gunn told Jim that he knew about the treasure and that he was abandoned by pirates here long ago.
Afterwards the Doctor tells about how he and his group escaped the ship. While the pirates were on land, Doctor Livesey, Captain Smollett and Squire Trelawney were packing up supplies to carry it to the fort on a hill on the island. The first couple passages were successful, until the pirates noticed, and started shooting at them from the ship. Soon enough they were hiding in the fort on the hill. Captain Smollett then produced a British flag from his pocket and put it on the fort’s roof.
Jim saw the fort and the flag, and asked Ben Gunn if it was to be trusted. Ben Gunn then explained, that pirates would never put a flag of a country on their bases, they would put their symbol instead, the jolly Roger. At first Jim was hesitant, but afterwards he gathered enough courage to enter the fort. He met his old friends and they fully finished setting up the base.
Later, Long John Silver came to the fort, and asked for a trade. The captain refused. Seeing that the captain won’t agree to the trade, Silver became angry and said that his men will be here within an hour.
And within an hour they came. The battle was bloody and killed Squire’s servants and a couple of pirates. Thankfully the pirates lost the battle. Captain was hurt, but it wasn’t a mortal wound. It was evening and Jim could not sit around doing nothing. While his group was distracted with the hurt captain, he ran off to steal the ship from the pirates.
He started looking for the cave where Ben Gunn hid his boat. Jim found his flimsy boat and proceeded to go after the ship. The ship was parked safely in place, all he needed to do was cut the rope that connected the anchor to the ship. It was hard to get to the ship, considered that, Ben Gunn’s boat was very flimsy and it was hard to control. After Jim cut the rope, the waves sucked Jim in his little boat and the huge ship into the open sea. He then had the ingenious idea of climbing the ship and parking it on the northern part of the island on a shallow piece of land. He climbed the ship and found that the two pirates who were guarding the ship had a fight and that one of them was dead, and the other one heavily injured. He helped the injured pirate, and the pirate helped him get to the northern part of the island.
When Jim hid the ship, he was attacked by the pirate. He defended himself until he could reload his pistols. After he reloaded the pistols he shot the pirate, and made haste for the fort. I do not want to spoil any more for you so I will stop here.
I was surprised that the author killed so many good characters. Like for example, during Jim’s run, before he met Ben Gunn, he saw how Long John Silver, cold bloodedly killed a non-pirate sailor. Also, while Jim’s group was defending the fort, the pirates killed all of the Squire’s servants.
I liked the way the author made the story be narrated by the main character, and that it wasn’t in the usual “Story time book.” It was more like the main character was writing a diary. It is very diary like style and not very hard to read, thanks to that style.
The main character is a brave, courageous, and energetic young boy, who is probably in his early teenhood years. He does a lot of things that are rushed and very risky, but it in the end they saved his team’s life and his own.
Page 110 “Captain — said Squire — I think they’re shooting at our flag. Maybe it will be better if we put it down?
–Put it down? — angrily barked the captain — No, sir. Anyone can take it down, but not me!
And we agreed with the captain.
The proud Sea tradition does not let you put down the flag during a battle. And also, it’s good politics, by putting up the flag, we tell the enemies that we are not afraid of them!”
In the scene above, Captain, Squire and Doctor set up the base at the fort. They put a british flag on the roof, and the pirates started bombarding them from their cannon. I really liked how proud the captain is of the English flag. It tells me that they’re brave and they won’t give up their traditions.
If I’d like to rate the book, it’d be 9/10. I’d want to give it 10/10 but it sometimes becomes repetitive, that’s why I gave it 9/10. It’s a really good book, so I really recommend you to read it.