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Coral Island Paperback – September 12, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1466260740 ISBN-10: 1466260742

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466260742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466260740
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,940,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'And if Lord of the Flies is one of their A-level texts, they may just be interested to know that this 1857 Boys' Own adventure story about pirates, cannibals and how to survive on a Pacific island with a broken telescope and a rusty penknife was what inspired William Golding's novel. He even pinched Ballantyne's names, Ralph and Jack, for his leading characters - though there the resemblance ends. Here the boys are shining stiff-upper-lip products of empire who risk all to help each other and their friend Peterkin, who may or may not be the piggy in the middle. He sounds as if he went to a better school. This is Peterkin telling his chums what he thinks of being shipwrecked on a desert island: "I have made up my mind that it's capital, first-rate, the best thing that ever happened to us. We've got an island all to ourselves. We'll take possession in the name of the King, then we'll build a charming villa and plant a lovely garden round it, stuck all full of the most splendiferous tropical flowers, and we'll farm the land ... and be merry." That's how small boys wearing round black straw hats, worsted socks and pocket handkerchiefs with 16 portraits of Lord Nelson printed on them and a union flag in the middle used to talk in the mid 19th century.' - Sue Arnold, The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Robert Michael Ballantyne was born in Scotland in 1825. As a young man he went to Canada to work as a clerk with the Hudson Bay Fur Company. His experiences gave him lots of ideas for his career as a writer, artist and lecturer when he returned to Scotland. His best known for his novel The Coral Island which has remained in print since its first publication in 1857. He died in 1894.

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Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book for boys.
Brent Holmes
The abridged editions take out some of the Christian teachings - I wished they hadn't, it would only add to the flavor of the story.
Kenneth Burke
Very interesting similarities & differences between the 2 books.
Pam Mooneyham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Burke on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read "The Coral Island" after reading Lord of the Flies. William Golding used Coral Island as the foundation for his book. The common elements are a desert island, boys named Jack, Ralph, and Peterkin (who he renamed Simon \biblical/). It then goes in a completely different direction by having the boys in LOTF decend into man's terrible nature (Golding's view). I am intrigued by Golding's view given his religious background, but that is a subject for a different review. Knowing that Golding "updated" Coral Island I read it to see the comparisons. What a delightful surprise! The Coral Island is a great read (I've had two sons and two daughters read it since). Some people seem to be bothered by its religous undertones. I think some people are offended by the mere mention of anything christian in the public square. The abridged editions take out some of the Christian teachings - I wished they hadn't, it would only add to the flavor of the story. Most people reading it will not see it as a religious story, rather, just a fun and fast paced action story with a good sense of morality. Golding apparently read this book as a child and when he wanted to restate the human condition used the original story to show how boys would really react if stranded on an island - I like Ballantyne's view better!
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jeramy R. on August 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am unhappy to learn that the Penquin paperback edition of The Coral Island turns out to be an ABRIDGED edition.
Amazon.com's description of this book does not mention this important detail. I only learned this fact by reading the book's back cover (and comparing it to the etext downloadable edition).
Sadly, had I first looked up this book on Barnes & Noble.com I would have been told the book is abridged. Their description states: [BARNES & NOBLE.COM description]
The Coral Island ---
R.M. Ballantyne
Retail Price: $3.99 --- Our Price: $3.59 --- You Save: $0.40 (10%) --- In Stock:Ships within 24 hours
Format: Paperback, 296pp. --- ISBN: 0140367616 --- Publisher: Penguin USA --- Pub. Date: July 1995
Edition Desc: Abridged --- Recommend Age Range: 12 and up --- [End of description]
Although the paperpack book is only $3.59, this little problem becomes a big issue -- how many of amazon's book offerings are less than the real thing?
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
I didn't realize this at the time, but it's abridged. Unabridged prints of this book are no longer available. In order to get such a copy, you will need to buy it used!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By microjoe TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
As you read other reviews keep in mind that this book was written in the 1800's, and has it's rightful place in classic literature for young people. This version is part of the Puffin Classic "Essential Collection". In the story three young boys, (ages 15, 18, and 13), are shipwrecked alone on an island, and are actually making the best of it. They are learning about nature, and building forts, swimming and making the most of their new situation. Their manner of interacting reminds me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. But the island paradise has a darker side when the cannibals arrive. And if that's not enough, pirates move in next. There goes the neighborhood.

By the way, if you have a child or adult that wants to be able to better grasp the sailing terminology in many of the sea tales (what's a mizzen for example), or simply wants to read more books like this one, try one of the books in my recommendations list at Amazon that has definitions and pictures for these terms, my list listmania is titeld "Seafaring and Pirate books for young people", or try one of the following books:
"A Sea of Words", or "Traditions of the Navy", "Manual of Seamanship for Boys and Seamen of the Royal Navy", and "Sailing Ships at a Glance".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Park on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a story about a young 'wannabe' sailor called Ralph, who is suddenly thrown into survival mode, after he and two of his shipmates are the only survivors of a shipwreak in the South Seas. They are washed up with little more than the clothes on their back.
This, however, is not a story of extreme hardship you might have expected. The three teenagers, seeing that they have been given the opportunity to live a once in a lifetime experience - and they tend to expoit it!
With many adventures of discovery, bloodly battles, pirates and a cat! - it's clear from the start that this book is a book of fresh air from the usual run-of-the-mill survival stories.
I'll not spoil the ending, but I do suggest you give this book a try - you won't regret it!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By scott morris on March 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Let the reader be reminded that this book is 150 years old and that certain things written in the book were considered standard at the time such as the converting of indegenous people to Christianity in order to 'civilise' them. How times have changed!! Also the analysis in Lord of the Flies must be borne by the fact that a larger number of boys existed in that novel and both books were written 100 years apart.
Robert Ballantyne warns readers in the introduction that if they wish to be melancholy and morose, they not bother reading the book. I'm sure that the novel was not intended to be written for analysis 150 years later!
However this novel is a creative and educational story of three shipwrecked boys on a Coral Island and how they learn to survive in the wilderness and encouter natives and pirates. Captured by pirates, Ralph escapes back to the island and returns to Fiji with Jack and Peterkin to try and sort out family problems with some of the natives they met. This makes for an intersting conclusion...
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