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Treasure Island!!! Paperback – December 7, 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained in spite of (or more accurately, because of) its toxic narrator." --Library Journal

"Levine is a wonderful storyteller with a vibrant voice. “Treasure Island!!!” is a rollicking tale, shameless, funny and intelligent." — New York Times Book Review

"[An] irreverent comic novel of self-empowerment." — O., The Oprah Magazine

"An absurdist comedy of suburbia." — The New York Times

"Levine sports an original, brutally witty voice." — The Washington Post

"I laughed my way through...this addictive little pageturner." — The Boston Bibliophile

"This highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained." — Library Journal

"A sassy first novel ... You can't go wrong." — Library Journal Prepub Alert

"Levine's subtle insight about the egocentric nature of our society is knife-sharp." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Levine...is a tremendously funny writer." — Time Out Chicago

About the Author

Sara Levine teaches at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Nerve, Necessary Fiction, Sonora Review, and other magazines. She won a 2008 Bridport Prize for Fiction, a Special Mention in The Pushcart Anthology, and three citations in The Best American Essays. Her writing has been anthologized in Best of Fence: The First Nine Years and The Touchstone Anthology of Creative Nonfiction: 1970 to the Present.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions; First Edition edition (December 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609450612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609450618
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My objection to this book is not a reflection on the obvious talent of its author but on how it was misrepresented here at Amazon. The description I read made it seem as though the story was a fun adventure, at times poignant, but always exciting. Instead, what it actually is about is the journey of the main character from self-cluelessness to self-awareness - and the people she hurts in the process. To that extent, it's very well written and I give Ms. Levine a lot of credit for pulling off having the narrator be the very person making the journey, and not having the entire story end up parodying itself. So if you're into stories about personal struggles and dysfunctional family dynamics, I highly recommend this book. If, like me, you're looking for escapist entertainment, keep looking; this is not the story for you.
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This is a hilarious, witty, sophisticated, and also deeply sad novel. The narrative voice is brilliant and Levine gives readers just enough clues to piece together what's really going on, despite the unreliable (and at least slightly unbalanced) tour guide she gives us. The discrepancy between the narrator's narcissistic vision of her world and what the reader can infer is really going on creates a really compelling tension that pulls the reader through the narrative at a lightning-fast pace. And somehow, despite the narrator's delusion, narcissism, and pathological manipulation, Levine managed to cast her in a charming and empathetic light. Bravo, Sara Levine!

PS: Any violence toward humans and animals that takes place in this novel is relegated to an imaginary world and was not tested on actual humans and animals. ;)
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Format: Paperback
I love this book! I am also a vegan and an animal rights activist as well as someone who completely disagrees with much of our society's commodification of animals and the environment (and people). Many reviews on Sara Levine's novel make statements about her narrator being so offensive and obnoxious as well as a merciless animal abuser ... which she is (all of the above). But who says a narrator has to be likable or even someone you want to be friends with? Often in literature, narrators are unreliable or disagreeable people. Just because you don't like the narrator doesn't mean the book is terrible; the narrator is not Sara Levine, and the narrator is not speaking everything Sara Levine wants her readers to know. Actually, speaking straight through your narrator and telling your readers something from yourself is a kind of writing strategy that is often seen as obviously amateur or overly insistent and not open to interpretation. Part of the joy in reading is reading in-between the lines and figuring out what the writer is trying to do, or letting the emotions you feel from reading tell you something about the story.

I wrote my final essay for my major on the display of animal treatment in Levine's novel, looking at the character of Richard (the mistreated parrot) as a point of view in the story.
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This is a tongue-in-cheek story about a young woman who HAS grown up but still does not know what she wants to do WHEN she grows up...or even how she wants to interact with her family, friends and employers. Her goal is to emulate a character from the real, original Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson; the result is continual disaster. Some of the dips and turns are pretty funny.

Recommended if you have a weird sense of humor.
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Format: Paperback
In 'Treasure Island!!!' Sara Levine gives Stevenson's novel the same sort of comic postmodern once-over that Julian Barnes gave 'Madame Bovary' in his great 'Flaubert's Parrot.' In Levine's version, boy-adventurer Jim Hawkins is replaced by a mildly demented female slacker who decides to remake her life in the image of 'Treasure Island.' Amazingly--frighteningly--she succeeds, sort of.

Levine is both a brilliant comedian and an acute literary critic. Stevenson's 'Treasure Island' is a great adventure story but as disturbing, in its way, as 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,' filled with graphic violence and unacknowledged depths of Freudian family drama. Levine makes manifest 'Treasure Island''s latent content. The result is both thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny.
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Format: Paperback
I am on my second read of this hilarious novel so that I can teach it in my graduate fiction class. This book is a wonder--a truly funny work of fiction of about a young, pathologically self-involved twenty-something woman who steals from her employer at the pet library, ends up with a huge, menacing bird, has trouble with her too-nice boyfriend, Lars, and ruins her sister's life.... Rarely do I come across a book with such an original vision, addictive voice, and bananas plot that doesn't feel fabulist or surreal--it's plausible, but bananas. I recommend this book to people with a wry sense of humor who wish more books felt edgy and risky in a totally un-pretensious, real way. Sara Levine, if you read this, I'm a big fan.
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