By Robert Louis Stevenson
Read By Alfred Molina
produced by Listening Library, 2007
Approx 7.5 hours
I've been on a "revisiting the classics" kick lately and I realized I had never read "Treasure Island." How could I have missed that? Wasn't it assigned in school? Maybe that's why, but anyway, now i have the chance and finding it in audiobook form was a Treasure.
This audiobook version has Alfred Molina doing the reading, and I say any guy that pulls off Doc Ock in the "Spider-Man" movie, has to be able to read a book. Well, not only yes, but aaarrrgggh, yes. Molina does a great job creating the complete ambiance of the story by creating different voices for each character. Molina's Long John Silver, was captivating.
As for the story itself, it's almost a coming of age story, but with pirates and treasure. Young Jim Hawkins, lives with his mom, who runs the Admiral Benbow Inn. A mysterious man of the sea takes up residence at the Inn and is constantly looking out for a one legged man. He even pays Jim to keep an eye out. The one-legged man never shows up at the Inn but other pirates do and eventually Billy Bones, or "the captain" as he is known to Jim, meets his end. Upon his death Jim and his mother seek to find the captain's secrets and discover a treasure map. The local magistrate and squire then set off to find this Treasure Island and put together a crew to sail the seas, bringing along Jim.
While they tried diligently to keep any questionable sailors from joining, it happens the ship's cook, Long John Silver, a one-legged man, has placed his men among the crew and are geared up to take over the ship when they arrive at the island.
Jim warns the captain and the "honest" men, but to no avail, Silver manages to take over the ship and seeks out the treasure. Jim soon discovers on the island a maroon who he brings back to the honest members of the crew, who have holed up in a stockade on the island. Jim also manages to recapture the ship and land her on the island where only he can find her.
Now to get back to the stockade. Once Jim arrives at the stockade, he finds Silver and his men. All the pirates will be hung for mutiny if caught and Jim uses this to get Silver back on the good side and they all eventually battle it out in the search of treasure.
Jim Hawkins seems the hero, after all he single-handedly gets the ship back and "converts" Silver, but Jim is just a young lad, so he has done some growing up fast. Learning the ways of men and the world.
In a classic adventure of piracy, treasure, the high seas and true humanity, "Treasure Island" definitely keeps you hanging on till the very end. So with a hearty "aaarrghh" I say, grab this book in either audiobook or whatever format you choose, and give it a good read.