Monday, September 2, 2013

Silver - Andrew Motion

Title: Silver: Return to Treasure Island
Author: Andrew Motion
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Broadway/Random House
Published date: 2012 (paperback May 2013)
FTC: Received from publisher to review

I was excited when I got an email from Random  House asking if I wanted to read Silver: Return to Treasure Island. It's been on my to-read list since it came out last year.  While I'm a fan of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters type novels, I'll admit that I'm also a huge fan of the more action packed "boy" classics.  It also gave me an excuse to read Treasure Island for the first time - check out my review.

 Back of the book:

Almost forty years following the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver have seemingly put their maritime adventures to rest. Jim has settled on the English coast with his son Jim, and Silver has returned to rural England with his daughter Natty. While their escapades may have ended, for Jim and Natty the adventure is only just beginning.

One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind. As they set sail in their fathers' footsteps, Jim and Natty cannot imagine what awaits them. Murderous pirates, long-held grudges, noxious greed, and wily deception lurk wickedly in the high seas, and disembarking onto Treasure Island only proves more perilous. Their search for buried treasure leaves every last wit tested and ounce of courage spent. And the adventure doesn't end there, since they still have to make their way home...

My thoughts:

I loved this sequel to Treasure Island. Wow.  Andrew Motion is quite the writer.  Get this - Sir Andrew Motion was poet laureate for the United Kingdom from 1999-2009 and I think he was the perfect choice to tackle a sequel to such a classic tale.  I read Treasure Island and then picked up Silver and it was almost like Robert Louis Stevenson himself was carrying on the story.  Well done.

The story is so vivid and there are so many scenes that stand out.  When Jim and Natty first meet (I keep picturing a young Thandie Newton as Natty) or when Jim first meets the legendary Long John Silver.  I love that there were so many loose ends in the original Treasure Island that made a perfect sequel set up: the bar silver left on the island, the three pirates left marooned on the island, and the whole Israel Hands thing - the pirate Jim Hawkins killed in an epic scene in the original (totally comes back to haunt his son.)  Like the original, most of the narration is done by young Jim. But also like the original, we get glimpses from other narrators, my favorite being Natty.  The argument is that including a girl in the adventures, the novel is more accessible to all readers.  But I am sure that just like the original, there would be plenty of girls who'd read pirate stories - with or without a cool Natty character.

Such a fun sequel. I'd totally recommend reading Treasure Island first though, if you haven't read it before.  I also loved that Andrew Motion named one of the crew members of Jim and Natty's ship Stevenson. I'd like to think this is an homage to the original author.


I love the paperback cover above but I also really like the hardback version too:

This other hardcover edition is also pretty darn cool:

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