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Flint and Silver: A Prequel to Treasure Island Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 5, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island in 1883, the evil Captain Flint was already dead and Long John Silver had already lost his leg. Drake imagines the leadup to that classic pirate tale, offering a witty and exciting explanation of how Silver became a pirate, lost his leg and gained a parrot; how Flint conspired to bury his pirate loot and murder everyone within pistol shot; and how Flint and Silver became friends, then bitter enemies. Flint and Silver's paths intersect in the Caribbean, where they team up to terrorize Spanish treasure ships and other unfortunate vessels. They argue and fight over the crew's loyalty and the treasure, but the real wedge is an escaped slave girl named Selena. Drake's novel is rich in historical detail and riveting in its vivid depictions of sea battles, torture, murder and lurid pirate revelry. Though the abrupt conclusion creates a clumsy segue to the forthcoming sequel, this is a rousing swashbuckler loaded with action, greed, treachery and graphic violence. (May)
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Review

'Flint & Silver contains the essential ingredients to attract a worldwide following' Western Morning News --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Printing edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141659275X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416592754
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's been over 30 years since I read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (Enriched Classics Series), a book that I thoroughly enjoyed as a young lad. So reading Flint & Silver took me back to a story and of characters that I loved. But as I read John Drake's prequel I found things that didn't jive with my memory of how the main characters were and acted. So much so that I felt I had to go back and reread Treasure Island before I could address the issues in a review.

First, though, I enjoyed Flint & Silver as a story on its own. It starts off quickly and rarely lets up. In Flint Drake had almost a blank canvass to create a vile and treacherous character with a strange sense of humor that matched up well with Stevenson's brief description in TI. The battle scenes are detailed and rather bloody. Overall the story is exciting with many twists & surprises that made it hard for me to put down. But a word of caution, this is not Treasure Island, a book written for Stevenson's 13-year old stepson and made even more child-friendly by Disney. F&S has some very explicitly violent parts with a little perversion thrown in as well. It is not a book to read to young children.

Having said that, I have a hard time regarding this as a prequel of TI. The main issue is that Long John Silver is written too moral and too good, too much the hero in F&S, and not really close to the Stevenson original. In TI Silver is a charmer to be sure but also treacherous in his own right.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Flint and Silver by John Drake is a prequel to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It serves as the backstory for the central figures (John Silver and Joseph Flint) of Stevenson's classic. Trying to add on to a classic is risky business, but Drake manages to do so with a high degree of success. However, Drake's novel is a different style than Stevenson's. While Stevenson wrote for children, Drake's includes violence, language, and sex. So don't expect to read this to your children as a bedtime story.

Drake begins his tale prior to Silver and Flint's becoming acquainted. If a linear plot is a requirement for you, then you should probably skip this one as time skips around significantly from one chapter to the next as a matter of course for about the first half of the book. To help the reader along, though, the author essentially starts each chapter like a captain's log with a date and location so you at least have a reference point starting out.

The story revolves around three main characters: John Silver, Joseph Flint, and the runaway slave girl Selena. We learn about the mighty John Silver who is the last man standing aboard his ship after being attacked by pirates. After taking out six pirates before being surrounded, Captain England decides to offer Silver a chance to join the crew as a "gentleman o' fortune" rather than losing his life. Silver chooses life and begins his life of piracy. Meanwhile, Joseph Flint is on a ship of the English Navy sailing under the command of Captain Springer. However, Flint executes a slowing planned mutiny whereby taking the ship and crew for himself to use for the gathering of other people's riches. In an unlikely turn of events, Silver and his ship come to the rescue of Flint and his crew as they are all but beaten.
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Format: Hardcover
I've actually just increased my rating to five stars, when I initially gave this book four, because my reservations are more than balanced by the author's wonderful ear for language, his ability to create a (mostly) plausible and involving backstory for these immortal characters, and the fact that the more I page through my favorite scenes, the more I think they are worth more stars than five. Reading this book reminded me how much I have always loved "Treasure Island" and drove me back to a re-reading that confirmed that Drake really knows his Stevenson (and also confirmed that the original is even more wonderful than I remembered) and even made me fish out my old VHS of the 1990 "Treasure Island," which makes me deliriously happy. Collectively, I've been obsessed by this story for some weeks now!

I'm too much a landlubber to comment on the author's nautical details, though they ring true based on a lifetime of reading Hornblower novels and biographies of Lord Nelson. His dialogue is really wonderful and didn't strike me as any more "modern" than Stevenson's - in fact, it captured the wonderful flow and color of "pirate" dialect to the point where I almost felt like honoring National Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Honestly, isn't "afore" more melodious than "before"?) Since great dialogue is 90% of writing to me, this pushed the rating way up.

Also, going back to Stevenson, the character of Silver seemed very much in keeping with what he might have been like as a younger man. (And rather astonishing it is to realize that Silver was "only" 50 in "Treasure Island," though of course that seemed old enough when I was 40 years younger myself.
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