Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson
Read by Frederick Davidson

6.85 Hours 12/12/1993 unabridged
Format: Digital Rental (6Tracks)
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Perhaps Stevenson’s best-known work, this adventure novel set in the eighteenth century is inspired by the actual exploits of pirate Captain Kidd and the search for his buried treasure. For pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow inn, to the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropical island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled young and old for more than a century. Stevenson’s romance is noted for its swift, clearly-depicted action, its memorable character types—especially of Long John Silver—and its sustained atmosphere of menace. A story of a classic battle between good and evil, it illustrates one young boy’s rite of passage into the dangerous world of mature responsibilities.

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Summary

Summary

Perhaps Stevenson’s best-known work, this adventure novel set in the eighteenth century is inspired by the actual exploits of pirate Captain Kidd and the search for his buried treasure. For pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow inn, to the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropical island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled young and old for more than a century.

Stevenson’s romance is noted for its swift, clearly-depicted action, its memorable character types—especially of Long John Silver—and its sustained atmosphere of menace. A story of a classic battle between good and evil, it illustrates one young boy’s rite of passage into the dangerous world of mature responsibilities.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime. With its dastardly plot and motley crew of rogues and villains, it seems unlikely that children will ever say no to this timeless classic.” Amazon.com, editorial review
Treasure Island…must have been the first book I ever read from start to finish, with unforgettable characters, Long John Silver, Blind Pew, Ben Gunn...The Black Spot still terrifies me.” Sting, multi-Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and musician
“I don’t know of a more gripping tale of derring-do on the high seas, with its desperate search for hidden gold on a tropical island.” Independent (London)
“A rereading of Stevenson’s novel after all those years says nothing to me so much as that good books—and Treasure Island is a very good book—really have lives of their own, entirely apart from movies and other adaptations of them.” Washington Post
“Treasure Island is a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas.” G. K. Chesterton

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Hats Off to Downpour (and Frederick Davidson)

For putting classics like this and Red Badge of Courage up for sale as weekly specials. Thanks to this prudent policy I now, finally, have this classic under my belt--a classic I should have mastered back when I was somewhat younger than I am now.

And what a classic. What a story. What a narrator. Everything Frederick Davidson does, from R. L. Stevenson to P. G. Wodehouse to works of history and serious fiction is definitive. His ability to add the right nuance, the perfect inflection, into every speech or chunk of narration is remarkable. (Suggestion to Downpour: put more of Mr. Davidson's Wodehouse performances up for sale. Please.)

It was actually Wodehouse's work that made me realize I had to listen to Treasure Island, it being one of those works of late Victorian vintage which figured largely in Wodehouse's boyhood and, ultimately, into the vocabulary of his myriad characters.

A note: a British used bookseller in St Louis urged an old copy of Treasure Island on our then-11-year-old son not long back. He took a good go at it, but was defeated by the mid-18th Century English sea dialects and ocean-going terms for all the parts of a square-rigged ship--not to mention all the unique terms for handling same. As with the Aubrey/Maturin novels, those terms and locutions don't hang one up as much in recorded book form; one can glide past them with a general sense of what they mean and get on with the amazing story.

And it's a story that very much deserves to be gotten on with. I was prepared for some cringe-making hokum--after all, every stereotype of piracy and the Spanish Main, evident in everything from Halloween costumes to episodes of Spongebob Squarepants pretty much originates with this book. And there is certainly enough 'Avasts" and 'Shiver me timbers" to go around. But it's all outweighed by the mystery of the treasure, the drama and pace of the action, and the listener's delight as young Jim Hawkins transforms from a young teen still attached to his mother to a young man capable of many feats of daring.

We've reached the point where those piratical stereotypes have taken on a life of their own in the popular imagination; it was good to get back to their source and find a far more psychologically nuanced, morally complex and artistically satisfying tale than I expected.
by PastaReader 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Can't been Classic

Very well narrated and come on, it's treasure island. Like the classic pirate treasure hunt story. If you can't dig this then walk the plank.
by Jack Vincent 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

This Adventure Was Great !

What can I say but after all the years and the movies , the plays , the TV shows to hear the original book done so wonderfully was quite the surprise. The story of course is a classic , but the reader does such a wonderful job with the dialogue and the accents that I felt as if I were in the mix :) Great book , great audio give it a go you'll be glad that you did .

Author

Author Bio: Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) was born in Scotland. He studied engineering and law at the University of Edinburgh and then began writing while traveling in France. The publication of Treasure Island in 1883 brought him fame and entered him on a course of romantic fiction beloved by young and old alike.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 6.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English