Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Treasure Island Review Part One

Amanda Panda here!

Okay, so apparently there are six parts to Treasure Island. And, after some confusion (on my part) we decided to do a review-thing for each one.

So, here it goes.

First of all, the reason I wanted to read this book is because one, Stevenson wrote Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which I loved, and two, J.M. Barrie references T.I. several times in the novel version of Peter Pan. And, I’ll admit it, if Barrie likes something then I’m going to like it too (don’t ever make me choose between Peter or Harry because the decision will make my head explode).

Okay, now. Down to business. The first part is promising. I was having fun. All the brilliant pirate tropes are there – the man with one leg, the drunkard, the secret chest. I can see where Pirates of the Caribbean got a lot of their inspiration.

I’m still trying to figure out how to think about the black spot. And the blind man that gave it to Billy Bones, well, he was freaking creepy. Billy Bones is a Gollum character – one whom Jim begins “to pity.” And speaking of Gollum, Jim is a Frodo character. All the normal plot set ups are there – the story gives its main character an object that catapults him into adventure. Thus, you know where the story is going. (And yes, I’m going to be referencing LOTR a lot in this blog. It applies to everything).

The only bad thing about it so far is the lack of strong female characters. Granted, I did not expect this from Stevenson. So far, I’ve gotten what I wanted. I give it four out of five peg legs. Let’s see how the score changes as we go along, matey!

                                                                                  ~ ~ ~
Hel's Turn!

To start off with, let me apologize for the format/font issues our blog is having right now. We are still trying to figure out the best way to make a distinction between Panda and myself, but copying and pasting fonts into blogger isn't working so well!

Anyway, to get to the review of Part One...

I was thinking much the same as Panda. She tends to be on my wavelength a lot. However, I am not a huge Barrie fan like she is. I loved  Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but I honestly had no clue that it was by the same author. I don't pay much attention to author names. So I wasn't looking forward to this book very much, even though I love pirates. But so far it's been good.

I really like the character Pew. I think he was entertaining and well defined. (I especially like the part where he gets run down by the horse; made me laugh a little). The other characters seem a bit wishy washy in their personas. In novels where the personalities are well defined, you can get to know a character and predict their reactions in given situations. This isn't the case here, and I suppose it often isn't in classics. Take Billy Bones, for example. I can't decide if I like him or not. My opinion is probably influenced by Jim's view of the pirate, as he too fluctuates between loyalty and hatred. I do agree that Pirates of the Caribbean got a lot of inspiration from this book.

I'm curious about the black spot as well. It remind me of the Death Eaters mark in Harry Potter, which appeared whenever Voldemort wanted to summon his minions. 

Stevenson was on a roll during the squire and doctor monologue after Jim handed over the treasure map. The conversation was witty and entertaining. Here's a brief clip:

" 'That we shall soon know,' replied the doctor, 'But you are so confoundedly hot-headed and exclamatory that I cannot get a word in' " (pg 33).

I hope this sort of dialogue continues. 

Amanda and I both listened to a CD of real-life pirate music (collected and produced by Johnny Depp) called "Rogues Gallery". So now we leave you with a sampling from the CD: Baltimore Whores.

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