Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of Treasure Island

Book description

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host…

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Why read it?

15 authors picked Treasure Island as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In my humble opinion, this is the greatest adventure tale in the English language!

Robert Louis Stevenson practically invented pirates for the modern world, particularly his chief antagonist, the crippled but formidable Long John Silver. Highly intelligent, cunning, crafty, ruthless, yet somehow appealing, Silver set the standard for all pirate heroes to come.

Whenever I get bogged down studying pirates, I turn to Treasure Island to remember what it is to enjoy my subject!

From the very first time my mother read this story to my siblings and me as youngsters, I was hooked. The excellent 1990 adaptation featuring Christian Bale and Charlton Heston also served to fuel our youthful imaginations and we spent countless hours play-acting the story together on our farm. 

This tale, full of twists and intrigue, features a fascinating group of characters pitted against perhaps the greatest villain in all of literature, Long John Silver; a wily, cunning man who you both root for and against throughout the novel. The adventure keeps going at a breakneck pace as we follow…

I know, I know. But this is essential stuff. The grandfather of the genre.

There might be no truly fantastical elements here, but the list doesn’t demand it – what we have is an iconic pirate adventure, such that spurred the imaginations of generations, as well as all those books, films, shows, and games we’ve come to love.

Give thanks to Treasure Island for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and Black Sails, and the legendary... Muppet’s Treasure Island.

If you haven’t read it, then please do explore this incredibly influential tale of buccaneers and buried gold. Treasure maps dotted with an…

Treasure Island is my favourite childhood story. I used to dream of finding hidden treasure on some distant tropical island. My mother would wax lyrical about the Isle of Man, she had many holidays there in the 1920s and 1930s. She called it her ‘treasure island’ and told me about its clear harbour water and golden sands. Well, for those who don’t know, the IOM is a small island in the middle of the cold Irish Sea. Talk about a disappointment when I visited the island. It was freezing cold, wet, dismal, and its capital city Douglas was in the…

Simply the greatest adventure story ever. Jim Hawkins is about 12 years old and possessed of great personal character when he embarks on a journey filled with sailing ships, pirates, deserted islands, treasure, mutiny, and murder.

Between film, TV, theatre, video games, and radio, there have been several adaptions—including sequels and prequels. I’ve read and viewed many of them, but for me, the original novel is the most masterful and remains the most exciting.

It touched me as a child, again as a teenager, and still thrills me as an adult. I also love reading passages aloud to audiences. It…

By picking Treasure Island I’ve given the game away about my inner-self. This adventure story with a capital ‘A' is for every young boy or man, like me, who just will not grow up. Pirates, buried treasure, mutiny, desert islands with one adventure after another. What more can you ask? All told without the grunts and groans of unnecessary sex, gratuitous violence, or gadgets. I didn’t know this until recently, but even a British Prime Minister was a fan—back in the 1880s. 

From Daniel's list on the best character driven stories.

Anything with excitingly written pirates grabs my attention. This classic is a favorite for many, featuring the charismatic John Silver and his young companion, Jim Hawkins. Treasure Island sails you into an adventure you’ll never forget! Any lover of the sea and the treacherous pirates that sail upon it should pick it up right away! 

From Alonna's list on to make you smile.

You cannot attempt to write a swashbuckling story without first indulging in one of the most iconic pirate stories to date. Teenage Jim Hawkins boards a ship to locate the lost treasure of an infamous pirate and outwits a gang of murderous pirates led by Long John Silver. 

I loved this book because it is the foundation of many beloved pirate stories, with the rush of sailing, the sting of mutiny, the thrill of treasure hunting, the recklessness of pirates, all set in a steamy, tropical paradise.

From Melissa's list on kids at odds with the sea.

Simply put, this title is indeed a bonafide pirate classic novel. In fact, many people believe that Stevenson was writing about a real treasure, but what else would a pirate fan think? Real or not, (probably not), Captain Flint, Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, the Admiral Benbow Inn…these are classic pirate archetypes and they were birthed and nurtured in Stevenson’s story. There are some great, (and not so great), film renditions of the story, but nothing can replace the original novel with all of its glorious detail. Treasure Island can be funny, terrifying, and, in the end, a harsh mistress…

From Virginia's list on pirates, history, and legend.

It’s a classic for a reason. This was one of the first pirate stories I ever read myself and it has stuck with me for thirty years. I’ve re-read it several times because the adventure is still thrilling no matter how many times I experience it. Jim Hawkins somehow becomes all of us in this coming-of-age story, and the reader somehow becomes Jim and suffers what he suffers aboard the Hispanola and once on the island. This book will always be a favorite, and once my daughter is old enough to understand it, I can’t wait to read it again…

From Gwyn's list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

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