Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A heady mix of thrills, mystery, atmosphere and memorable characters, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic adventure story that has enthralled both young and old alike ever since it was first published in 1883. Right from the racy opening chapter where the young hero Jim Hawkins encounters a mysterious guest, Billy Bones, at the Admiral Benbow Inn run by his widowed mother, the tale carries the reader off on an edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster ride of non-stop action and drama. Set in 18th century England and told entirely from Jim Hawkins' youthful perspective, the novel portrays how he is drawn unwittingly into the dark deeds of pirates and buccaneers on the English coast. The excitement begins when he discovers a cryptic treasure map in Billy Bones' chest when the secretive Billy succumbs to a fatal heart attack. Jim takes the strange map to trusted elders in the village, Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey, who at once guess that the map marks the location of the lost treasure of an infamous pirate Captain Flint. They decide to immediately set sail in search of the fabled riches with Jim being invited to join them! What more could a young boy want! This is the prelude to a journey that will take young Jim and a band of intrepid seafarers half-way across the world. Traveling as part of the crew, in the guise of a ship's cook, is a sinister yet admirable figure - Long John Silver. This one-legged, ruthless and avaricious man, whose shadowy past hides many a dark and evil secret, is one of the most colorful and remarkable characters in the story. Stevenson endows him with a host of unforgettable qualities – the most famous of which, is of course, the parrot strangely named “Captain Flint” who is constantly on Silver's shoulder. His villainy gradually unfolds as the voyage progresses. The novel has retained its perennial charm for readers over the centuries and is perhaps one of the most adapted adventure stories on TV, film and stage. Recently, a video game has been created based on this eternally appealing tale. Intrigues, duels, escapades and Jim's own transformation into a man, make this the ultimate thrills-spills-'n'-chills fantasy.
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