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Silver: Return to Treasure Island Hardcover – August 7, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With 'Silver,' Andrew Motion places the poet adventurer up in the sky where he belongs, coasting and gliding in favorable winds, pointing the way to literary treasure." —New York Times Book Review

“Deft, wildly imaginative. . . . Every chapter crackles with energy and action. Lies, betrayals, romance, humor—expect them all. . . . A page-turner that thoughtfully questions its own world—and makes you long for a sequel to the sequel.” —Oprah.com
 
“Crammed with incident, intrigue and peril. . . . One gets easily swept up by the suspenseful story Silver tells, and the excitement, dread and courage of its young narrator and his companions.” Seattle Times
 
“A rollicking adventure. . . . [Silver] has everything: a seagoing adventure with endearing heroes, barbarous pirates, venomous snakes, a loquacious parrot, and romance. Can’t miss.” Library Journal
 
And More Praise from the UK

“Elegant, affectionate homage to Robert Louis Stevenson … A piece of writing born of genuine love and respect for the original.”  The Sunday Times

Deeply pleasing and convivial. . . . As with Treasure Island, Silver is left open to the possibility of its own sequel, and surely no one would wish Motion to swallow the anchor.” The Guardian

“[Silver] reeks of authenticity, cunning, intrigue, suspense and adventure.  It’s brilliant, and for all ages.” Daily Mirror

“[Motion] reinvents Stevenson’s world to reveal its dark underside, illuminating both its mysterious beauty and its grim immortality. . . . Stands in its own right as a companion volume to a literary classic” The Observer

“[An] elegant, thrilling sequel. . . . Motion’s prose, vivid and glowingly poetic, is a brilliant counterpoint to the fascinating action.” The Daily Mail

About the Author

ANDREW MOTION served as Poet Laureate of the UK for ten years and was knighted for his services to literature in 2009. He is now professor of creative writing at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307884879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307884879
  • ASIN: 0307884872
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FredTownWard VINE VOICE on February 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
IMHO writing a good sequel (or prequel for that matter) is in many ways harder than writing a standalone, especially if it is a sequel to someone else's work, more especially if it is a sequel to a well known, much beloved classic like Treasure Island. Nevertheless, I believe it can be done well because I've seen it done well a couple of times: Porto Bello Gold: A Prequel to Treasure Island and Dead Man's Chest: The Sequel to Treasure Island (partially reworked edition here: The Treasure of Dead Man's Chest). I've also seen it botched a couple of times: The Curse of Treasure Island and Flint and Silver: A Prequel to Treasure Island.

Andrew Motion's is the worst one yet because he broke every rule about successful sequel writing; in fact he all but gives a clinic on how NOT to write a sequel.

First, ruin the ending of the original. The only reason anyone is interested in reading your sequel is because they loved the original, probably including the ending, so be sure to start off by trashing it. In this novel Jim Hawkins, Sr., wastes more than half of his share of the treasure on riotous living.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like a lot of people, I read Treasure Island when I was about 9 and ate it up. I think RLS is a phenomenal writer who will always be known for wonderful swashbuckling tales and the book certainly makes a great movie.

This book, however, notsomuch. I found it taking too long to get anywhere in the beginning, especially when Hawkins chases this wasp for 5 pages. I really failed to understand why this lengthy chase was important to the book.

The story was good enough to read, but I don't know if it is worth a second, third or fourth read. The back story of Treasure Island seemed unnecessary. I would think anyone who picks up this book will be familiar enough with its predecessor that we do not need a great description of what happened before this.

If you are an RLS fan this is something worth checking out, but I would say if you don't care for pirates, sea-faring voyages or RLS himself, you might want to pass.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Once again, I'm reviewing a book by a writer whose reputation in his - and my - native England is such that anything he writes will be assured of publication and absurdly laudatory reviews. How can a reviewer for one of what used to be called "the dailies", the national newspapers, possibly suggest that the former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom has written anything less than superlatively without some Long John Silver of an editor lifting a blue pencil and crying "Off with his head!"? They can't, of course, and the question is rhetorical.

Let's cut to the chase, me swabs: This "sequel" to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is an failure because it lacks the sine qua non of any adventure yarn: to wit, adventure, and one might add, suspense.

We already know from the onset of the book that young Jim Hawkins Jr. will survive - He's lived to tell the tale, after all - and that his beloved friend Natty will as well. He's such a straight-laced, virtuous boy scout of a character though that, at times, I wish he'd been impaled on one the ever so vile castaway's "gullies" - gully being a Scottish term for a dagger which Motion handily purloins from Stevenson.

Everything is so bleeding predictable. From the the handsome, upright Captain (cough, cough) "Beamish", to the nobility of the slaves, the evil leers of the "maroons" etc. etc. etc. I was never in doubt as to what was going to happen in the next instance.

The other cardinal sin, as two other reviewers, so far, have pointed out, is that Motion infects what should be an historical novel with a very 21st century sensibility. It just won't wash, so to speak.
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Format: Hardcover
Beautiful prose, rotten storytelling. Silver ends where most adventure tales (Think Robinson Crusoe or Swiss Family Robinson) begin: A fellow of around 18 years and his lover are stranded on the shores of Hispaniola in the early years of the 19th Century by a shipwreck. If the publisher feels that a cliffhanger ending like this calls for a sequel, then God forbid they should encourage Andrew Motion to write it.

I have often wondered if a novel could be written with the same lyricism and feeling for language that poetry exhibits. There are some examples of this in literature, and Silver is one. I'm sure Andrew Motion is a fine poet. He knows, or cares, nothing about pacing, plotting, and fulfilling readers expectations for a good story. But the internal monologue of the narrator, Jim Hawkins Junior, can be very beautiful and insightful, and his descriptions of nature very well done. All of this, while it is spinning out with wonderful lyricism, is generally killing the pace of the story and diverting it from the main thrust of its plot, which is a very poor plot in any case.

Jim Hawkins' son, also named Jim, joins with Long John's daughter Nattie, on an adventure back to Treasure Island. The expedition is financed by a dying Long John, and its purpose is to retrieve a hoard of silver bars left behind on the island. Long John and the elder Hawkins are not along, only their children.

Three pirates left behind on the island 40 years earlier have joined with the crew of a wrecked slaver ship, and are using and brutalizing the slaves who were the cargo of the wrecked ship in the worst way.
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