July, 1802: In the marshy eastern reaches of the Thames lies the Hispaniola, an inn kept by Jim Hawkins and his son. Late one night, a mysterious girl named Natty arrives with a request from her father, Long John Silver. The pirate proposes that Young Jim and Natty sail to Treasure Island in search of Captain Flint's hidden bounty, left behind many years before....
Featuring a cast of noble seamen; murderous pirates; and stories of love, valor, and terrible cruelty, Silver is a worthy sequel to Treasure Island- and a work of extraordinary authenticity and imaginative power from one of England's greatest writers.
David Tennant is best known for his role as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, along with the title role in the 2005 TV serial Casanova and as Barty Crouch, Jr. in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He has also appeared in many stage productions including the title role in the acclaimed RSC production of Hamlet.
©2012 Andrew Motion (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
"The first thing to be said about Silver is that from the opening pages it is clear that it is no slap-dash clashing-in exercise, but a piece of writing born of genuine love and respect for the original." (Sunday Times)
"Silver whips along like a tea clipper in a fair breeze...." (Sunday Express)
"I think [Stevenson] would approve of this rich and thrilling narrative which so ingeniously complements his own." (Independent on Sunday)
I really enjoyed David Tennant's reading of this audiobook, he injected a real sense of adventure,and wonderful characterisation. The cameo from Long John Silver is a welcome addition, and ties this sequel to it's predecessor, promising similar excitement. The main protagonist of the book, Jim, is not, in himself, terribly interesting, but it is his stories, and his relationships with others, particularly Natty, that makes you care about his journey, though perhaps their burgeoning romance is not totally necessary to enhance this story of rogues and treasure. The language of the novel, as one would expect from a former poet-laureate, is fluid and pleasing on the ear, especially from Tennant's tongue, and Motion's overall style is totally in-keeping with the 19th century fiction from which it comes, this might mean that the action doesn't come thick and fast enough for some, but I loved the time taken to conjure the atmosphere and paint a vivid picture.
The story started with great descriptive style. Having not read treasure island, I could imagine this would have been its style. The build up was fabulous, the story felt it was building and building. However the heart of the story was missing. Key characters died with whimpers. The end was dreadful, it made no point other than, life is cruel, unjust and pointless, give up and die before its too late. Of course David Tennant was an excellent narrator.
Several people have argued that Robert Lewis Stephenson always intended to continue the story of Treasure Island, and here Andrew Motion, previously the UK poet laureate, writes a gripping sequel to the classic tale. Although it is a continuation, beginning with Long John Silver proposing that Jim and Natty return to Treasure Island to recover the abandoned treasure, this is also very much a story in its own right and I actually enjoyed it more than the original. I should also note that David Tennant is, as always, a superb narrator, giving each character an individual voice and really bringing them to life.
Tell me a story...
It's hard to say. The book fails as a sequel to Treasure Island because of it's disrespect for the original characters and plot and fails as a stand-alone story about buried treasure as well there is very little to get excited about. Interesting plot-points that should have been exploited for all they were worth are swept aside and the ending is a spectacular disappointment.
Andrew Motion writes beautifully...but his prose is the wrong kind for the type of story that a sequel to Treasure Islands demands. He waxes lyrically about everything and nothing, making a simple thought or action take up page after page, weaving so many words around the reader, one eventually forgets what started the "waxing" in the first place and ends up dazzled and confused.
To be honest, the only reason I stuck with it was because of David Tennants performance. He voice and his characterization works well for this type of story.
Not really! I disliked the book already after 5 minutes in which the author had turned Jim Hawkins Senior from the inspirational lead in the original book to an unlikable drunken brute.
I simply cannot abide authors, movie makers etc. who gleefully ruin my childhood heroes that way, of which Jim Hawkins was one.
So determined is the author to make this his own tale, and free himself of what he perceives as the shackles of the much loved original, that he even completely renames three characters from the original that play a pivotal role in this book, for no apparent reason. This is a completely useless stunt as the reader now has no idea who is who and only serves to make Silver feel even less as a sequel and more of a anonymous stand-alone that in itself is incredibly weak.
I will happily erase this book from my memory!
Kudos to David Tennant for a good reading of what turned out to be a very slow read. The parts up to the arrival on Treasure Island were pretty good, but after that the pace was too slow and the characterization wooden.
I found myself finishing it simply because I started it. I never felt compelled to keep listening, I switched it off 10 minutes before the end (to finish the next day) which is unheard of for me that close to the end.
An OK story, not terribly exciting. And in the end I found myself not caring about any of the characters in any way whatsoever. I was completely indifferent! The writing is distractingly "flowery" and so roundabout you'll find yourself begging the author just to get to the point!
I honestly don't know who the target audience for this should be; possibly one of those mandatory high-school reading texts (since everyone hates them anyway) as an example of how not to write.
I believe that if the words "as if" had been removed, the recording would have been an hour shorter. If the comparison thereafter was elided as well, (as it should have been in most cases) it would halved it.Naming the chapters so baldly is just excruciating; no doubt it is useful for the writer but it telegraphs the plot so as to leave no hope of surprise.
The performance was excellent; so good in fact that it emphasised just how bad the story was.
I am embarrassed to admit I did persevere to the end of the work, with the hope beyond hope that it would develop a redeeming feature.
I don't mean to deride the author, but I can honestly say I would not knowingly touch another work of theirs if I had any choice in the matter.
A better question would be where does this book rate in my collect both hard copy and digital and my answer would be in the top 5.
Some of the Narnian Chronicles would be comparable but this book definitley has some obvious pluses.
The bit where Sinker is killed and the killer drowns.
Yes but that is impossible :(
David Tennant is very good at characters and his voice makes him very easy listening, perfect in my book. Pun not intended :p
In wrong genre: Andrew Motion has written a quite lyrical text, but anyone wanting a narrative like Treasure Island will be a little disappointed.
I would probably try another book by Andrew Motion, if he were ever to write one, since his writing skills are excellent and I would be interested to see what he makes of prose fiction second time round.
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