Saturday, January 5, 2013

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

4 of 5 stars

Why do we need another review of Treasure Island? Because it is a great story and everyone needs to be reminded of it's true gift, imagination. Stevenson could have written a thousand pages describing and developing Jim Hawkins' life changing experiences with pirates, murder, mutiny, and buried treasure. Instead he gives you light brush strokes with a minimalist hand and allows your imagination to work its own magic.

I love Stevenson's description of the voyage out to Treasure Island: “I am not going to relate that voyage in detail. It was fairly prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship, the crew were capable seamen, and the captain thoroughly understood his business. But before we came the length of Treasure Island, two or three things had happened which require to be known.” Here Stevenson goes into the apple barrel scene. No fuss, no muss, no wearing us out toiling on board ship.

Good writing is about giving us the information we need when we need it, not about building word count.

George W. Parker

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