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Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder Paperback – January 6, 2009


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Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder + Flint and Silver: A Prequel to Treasure Island + Dead Man's Chest: The Sequel to Treasure Island
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312539363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312539368
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,806,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the start of Chupack's swashbuckling debut, Long John Silver, yes, that Long John Silver, faces hanging back in England after a life of piracy on the seven seas. But before he swings, the aging, fever-ridden pirate is determined to tell his fabulous story, so settle back, me hearties, it's one hell of a tale. Silver has a dual motive: not only does he wish to torment his captor, who has taken him prisoner aboard his own ship, but he also hopes to secure his release by promising to reveal the whereabouts of his fabled treasure. Some of the old Treasure Island gang—Ben Gunn, Pew, Jim Hawkins—return, but this is no retelling of the original. Chupack is particularly good at pirate dialogue (Silver says of the killing of his mate, Smollet: he made an excellent corpse on account that you puddened him to the plansheers, so when the wind blowed aft to lee, he bade a farewell to the world). Murder, a map, ciphers and codes, and even a bit of romance figure in Silver's riveting narrative as well. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Long John Silver makes no apologies for his life as a thief and murderer. Writing his last testament as a prisoner on his own ship, he hopes to avoid hanging by revealing the secrets behind his coveted treasure. Using characters both new and familiar to readers of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Chupack presents the bloody tale of Silver's rise to sea captain and journey to discover the stolen Crown Jewels. As a child, Silver lived on the streets of Bristol and was eventually sold to the pirate Black John and taken aboard the Linda Maria. As he rises through the ranks of the crew, he works to solve the mysterious ciphers that will lead him to Treasure Island. Love, betrayal, thievery, and, of course, murder mark the path. In the end, he uncovers a final secret that will change the course of his captor's quest for justice and fortune. This title will be of interest to fans of Stevenson's classic or other pirate stories. Readers unfamiliar with the original incarnation of Silver may find themselves lost at the outset of the story due to the pirating jargon and overwhelming plethora of characters. While the plot meanders to the climactic discovery of Treasure Island, the closing chapters capture the mystery and intrigue of the quest. Recommend this to teens who are ready to move beyond such young adult adventures as Tanith Lee's "Piratica" series (Dutton).—Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Please someone, make a movie of this book!
Phineas
It just got confusing and frustrating as I tried to figure out what the point is.
Shane Jackson
I grew up reading pirate tales from Treasure Island to Coral Island.
A. Munns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stacey @ The Scenic Life VINE VOICE on December 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Edward Chupack's Silver takes place long after the adventure on Treasure Island. Long John Silver has been captured, and is confined to his cabin, bound on his own Linda Maria to England and the hangman's noose. Ever the narcissistic rouge, he drafts his memoirs as an address to the Maria's new captain, a former hearty of Silver's. Chupack's novel (as it is written in the moment) takes place entirely in Silver's cabin - he never speaks directly with the captain, just the cabin boy Mollett as he brings Silver his daily meals and Silver sends him back with the pages of this memoir, subtitled "My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder." And Silver does tell of murder, as well as the sea, and the men he has met, and the treasure he has found, lost, and finally reclaimed and hidden.

Chupack's depiction of Long John Silver is clever and consistent. He has a strong voice that never wavers through the telling of his story. Chupack also succeeds in preserving the somewhat romantic qualities of pirate life - the freedom, the honor among thieves, the glory of the open seas. Even though the body count resides somewhere in the triple digits by the end of Silver's tale, it should be noted that the violence is not graphic and is often glossed over with something as simple as, "so I slit the tar's throat." The way Silver tells it, it's less like murder and more like an occupational hazard.

Despite the wit and charm of this book, I still feel there were a few weak spots. Early in his epistle to the Linda Maria's new captain, Silver condemns the fever that has started to grip him. What begins as a mere annoyance seems to become a real threat to his health, both physical and mental. He drifts frequently from his tale into self-absorbed rants and eventually hallucinations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on October 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Treasure Island is the pirate story to begin and end all pirate stories, and Long John Silver is the pirate to begin and end all pirates. But in Robert Louis Stevenson's fabulous tale, we learn very little about the black-hearted rogue at the center of the story, which focuses instead on the heroic adventures of young Jim Hawkins.

Edward Chupack sets out to tell Silver's tale, and Silver is a swashbuckling novel that suits a pirate through and through.

Silver is one of literature's great villains. But Stevenson and Chupack both could tell you he was no one-dimensional character; he has layers, and depth, and fathoms of fascinating history captured in the grime under his nails and on every bloody scar.

"My heart?" Silver tells his foe during a shipboard duel. "It ain't as big as a mustard seed."

He strides through this story larger than life, a pirate who could make a Blackbeard or Morgan eat his own heart for breakfast. And there is, of course, treasure, the grail to Silver's lifelong quest. Every ship he ransacks and burns is merely a step on the map to deciphering the clues and finding it.

There are weaknesses here, one of which is Chupack's decision to cull a few key figures from Treasure Island but discard the meat of the story. Most of Silver takes place long before Silver and Hawkins crossed paths, but once they do, the plot takes off in entirely different directions. And, while I understand Chupack's desire to create something new, I also question the wisdom of basing a novel on a book you then choose to ignore.

Silver also suffers from some repetitiveness and awkward randomness in narration that, while it suits the fevered state in which Silver recounts his past, can be a little prickly to get through.

The story, though, is a thrilling adventure, with enough swordplay and gunnery to sate even the bloodiest thirst.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Fuchs VINE VOICE on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm one of those people that has somehow made it through life without ever having read Treasure Island, so I have no idea whether having that literary experience would make one appreciate this book more or not. Chupack says in his author's note that he took Robert Louis Stevenson's characters, especially some of the minor ones, and changed their characters and situations, using Treasure Island as a starting point. Critical reviews have noted that is neither a sequel nor a retelling of that book. I can only approach this book as a stand-alone read, but on that basis this novel absolutely delivers and entertains.

The Silver of the title is, of course, Long John Silver, a murderous, treasure-hungry pirate who says of himself "I am the dog that bites the other dogs. What do I fear? I am John Silver, and I am more dog than man and more dog than dog." When we meet him he has been taken prisoner by an unknown person and locked in his quarters on his own ship, from where, battling a raging fever, he writes his memoirs and tells the boy who brings him food about his search for a very special treasure. Silver's memoirs cover his early life on the streets of Bristol, his being taken on board the pirate ship by Black John, and his life as a murdering pirate. But most of all, it covers Silver's search for the treasure of a lifetime and the treachery that goes along with it.

The story itself isn't a terribly deep one and gets repetitive at times, while the mystery is not one the reader will want to work too hard to solve on his or her own. It's the language that makes this book sing. I could open the book to any page and find something wonderful to quote.
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