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Treasure Island: A Novel Hardcover – December, 1994

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312113684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312113681
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scott, veteran writer of sea stories and mysteries (Shipkiller, Hardscape), sets this modernized treatment of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic on New York's Long Island in the 1950s. While often verging on the burlesque, the result offers up some amusing twists, particularly in its presentation of the characters. The most interesting update is Dr. Livesey, now a sexy, Gauloise-smoking woman. The Hispaniola has become a war-surplus salvage tug, while a bawdy WWII ditty replaces "Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum." For the most part, the changes are engaging, and Scott deftly maintains Stevenson's superb pacing, rewriting the original virtually line by line. But, though the Americanization of the old English may attract a less scholarly generation of readers, those who have thrilled to the incomparable original will surely grieve for the loss of language. Moreover, while it may be intriguing to imagine a little hanky-panky between Senator (formerly Squire) Trelawney and the foxy Dr. Livesey, it is hard to picture Captain Smollett and Ben Gunn addicted to Fig Newtons.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Scott's decision to update Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of seafaring adventure and piracy might seem a quirky venture at first glance, but the results are surprisingly rewarding. The book began as a writing exercise when the author (Hardscape, p. 1423, etc.) found himself stalled on another project, but it soon turned into something of an obsession. He moves the story to the 1950s (it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine it working any later than that) and begins the tale at the Admiral Benbow Hotel on the Great South Bay off Long Island. Jim Hawkins is an American teenager fascinated with boats; Dr. Livesey is Dr. Janet Livesey; Squire Trelawney has been transformed to a former US senator; Flint is a WW II vet whose treasure trove is gold stolen from the Nazis. Long John Silver lost his leg at Iwo Jima, and the gold is hidden in the Caribbean. Some of the minor detail differences are fascinating. The blind Pew is run down by policemen on motorcycles rather than horseback, for example, and it is a barrel of pistachio nuts rather than apples in which Jim hides to learn of the deadly plot among the crew of the Hispaniola. ``Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum'' becomes, instead, a familiar wartime army ditty from the Philippines. Scott's conceit was to rewrite the original as closely as he could, line by line, paragraph by paragraph, updating everything to modern times. The result is a new awareness for the reader of just how wonderful a villain Silver really is and, more significantly, how well-paced and powerful a masterpiece Stevenson produced way back in 1883. An enjoyable enough novel on its own, this is especially delightful when read with a copy of Stevenson's version on hand for comparison. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cassowary Co on December 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Note: Letter grades are given at the end of my reviews ranging from A (highest) to F (lowest).

Treasure Island: A Modern Novel (Justin Scott) has intrigued me for a long time. The concept of putting the original Indiana Jones in the 1950s was an intriguing one, but I was skeptical, as the fun of the original novel is so dear to my heart. But I'm happy to announce that this twist on Treasure Island is terrific entertainment, albiet not much else.

Jim Hawkins is now a teen (about 17, I'd wager, but as always his age is not specified). His character is a little different than in the original book, inevitably - rather than the occasionally brooding, scholarly boy I took him to be in TI, here he's a vivacious lad with a fixation on boats. But the differences here are minor. For the most part, Jim's character is preserved and portrayed perfectly, so I applaud Mr. Scott for that. The biggest differences, actually, are in Dr. Livesy's character.

Dr. Janet Livesy is now a woman (I guess in her early 20s) who can take care of herself around the men of the story (basically the character of Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and bearing a physical resemblance to actress Emma Watson). It's interesting that one of Amazon's official reviews mentions "hanky panky" between her and Squire (sorry, Senator) Trelawny, because I couldn't find any of the sort. As far as I can tell, the two are still close friends, but their relationship is also still platonic, and neither of them seems to want to take it further (this being the 1950s, why wouldn't they get married if they did?) Actually, there seem to be sparks between her and Jim sometimes, but I digress...

Lengthy analysis, I know. But that's the only major character change.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Justin Scott may well have been suffering writer's block or was washed ashore on one of the most lamebrained ideas this century. Why re-write Stevenson's story, which is a true classic?!? Scott sticks close enough to the plot which may cause many a reader to ask the question, "WHY BOTHER?". Mr. Scott may claim that the story has a timeless quality, but I beg to differ. One of the most endearing quality of the original story by Stevenson is the fact that the story was written about a time before the age of electricity, before exotic islands such as is the setting for the story could become tourist traps. So, what's in Nathan Scott's future? I'm afraid that the Jekyll & Hyde tale has been re-done too many times by now. But then, there is the EBB-TIDE...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
OK, the reader below totally missed the point...
I know what you're thinking: this book was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883, wasn't it? Well, yes, but this is an excellent "modern retelling" which moves the classic story to Long Island in the 1950s. The dubious souls are WWII vets and the treasure is Nazi gold. It's a masterful job of preserving the dialogue and structure, while modernizing. Great stuff.
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More About the Author

JUSTIN SCOTT has written more than thirty thrillers, historicals, and mystery novels, including The Shipkiller, Normandie Triangle, and The Empty Eye of the Sea. With many books set at sea, he has been called "the Dick Francis of yachting."
His main pen name is PAUL GARRISON under which he has written five modern sea thrillers including Fire and Ice, Red Sky At Morning, Sea Hunter, The Ripple Effect, and the Paul Janson series based on a Robert Ludlum character (The Janson Command and The Janson Option).
Scott created the Ben Abbott detective series (HardScape, StoneDust, FrostLine, McMansion, and Mausoleum) and was twice nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America.
He collaborates with Clive Cussler on the Isaac Bell series (The Wrecker, The Spy, The Race, The Thief, The Striker, The Bootlegger, and The Assassin.) He lives in Connecticut with his wife, filmmaker Amber Edwards.

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