I am a fully-motivated and crazy reader of avid proportions. A book is always at the ready no matter where I am, usually a fantasy of some kind or contemporary. (Nie zu viele Bücher!)
Landlubbers: Avast! Ahoy, me hearties.
How can anyone be unfamiliar with this story? It took me years, I admit, to finally read Stevenson’s book despite the few film adaptions I’ve seen and enjoyed. (My personal favorite thus far is Treasure Planet, and the most intoxicating urge to re-watch it has bubbled for weeks.)
As said by the world’s favorite Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, “We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and ‘X’ never, ever marks the spot.” Poof! What is that I heard? Only my impractical childhood dream of becoming an archeologist dying. Of course, “X” always marks the spot in the realm of piracy. It’s only a matter of whether someone gets there before you — sea adventures, rum, the disregard of hygiene, singing drunk, daily hangovers, knife fights, and I didn’t mention the best parts of all: a new vocabulary and treasure! Sign me up.
I am a little at odds, however. The first time I eyed the Treasure Island cover and began a sweep through the landscape of text, I thought it was boring. Boring! I read what felt like 100 pages in the course of a week, and I had gone nowhere except Admiral Benbow Inn. In reality, I read about 29 or so pages–if that, even–in the span of one month. Should I have not said that to spare myself embarrassment? If a twelve year old can read and love this book… Well, I have news for you: so can I. Or I can at least offer modest appreciation for its existence. Without it, there would be no Treasure Planet, God forbid.
I haven’t a clue what possessed me to stretch 29 pages through 30 days the first time around. Really. I happily finished Treasure Island in two days, but that’s not to say I clung to every word frothing with love. Paragraphs dedicated to navigation allowed a noose to strangle my interest as I skimmed. Jim, my dear, I do not care which direction this and that lies. Describe your general surrounding and it will all be okay. It goes with the book’s pirate theme, I understand, and I present no further quarrels than my tipsy attention. Except...
In film adaptions, I like the presentation of the camaraderie formed between Long John Silver and Jim. The bond is jovial and seemingly sincere, which makes it all the more fragile when Silver’s treachery punctures it. It felt like something was amiss, then, because I didn’t see a friendship blossom and weaken by reading the book. Instead, I found it halfheartedly told. Although dilapidated comprehension may be culprit, or even a different reading viewpoint, Jim’s narrative perspective felt limited at times in the depths and complexities of relationships. Because it’s told in past-tense, the rush and excitement, even peril, of this adventure read at a steady pace.
Simply, I was neither eager to put the book down, nor was I flipping through pages out of hungry anticipation. I like this story, sure, but I don’t find it likeable enough to love it or lacking enough to dislike it, either.