Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Listened: "Silver" by Andrew Motion

Listened: Silver: return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion, 2012, Overdrive download.

Quite decent.  Above average.  A fella could get some grief taking on a sequel to an old novel like Treasure Island.  Should the author do a repeat?  A modern setting?  Jim Hawkins returning?  Motion did well.  Here there be Spoilers.

Jim Hawkins returned from Treasure Island a wealthy boy.  When he reached maturity he drank and screwed his way through London.  Upon meeting his future wife he toned down his lifestyle and they bought a rural, riverside inn following the trade of both their families.  Hawkins's wife died in childbirth.

But, Jim Hawkins, Sr. barely appears in here and for most of that time he is drunkenly asleep.  We learn that biographical bit from his son, Jim.  Jim is about 18 and done with boarding school.  Jim is ripe for adventure.  Older Jim has never been much of a father. Jim has heard his father's often told tales of Treasure Island and Long John Silver.  Jim is approached by a pretty girl named Natty.  Natty is the daughter of Long John Silver. 

Natty rows Jim upriver to London to meet a decrepit and blind Long John Silver who proposes Jim find his father's original map to Treasure Island and recover the silver that was left there 40 years previously.  Jim decides to join them; Jim wants the adventure and is instantly smitten with Natty.

Adventure ensues.  Long John had already had a ship and crew outfitted for the voyage.  Slightly figured Natty dresses as "Nat" and fakes being a boy.  The captain and crew are a good bunch and in high spirits (aside from a nasty event during the voyage).  Upon their late night arrival to the island the crew are excited.  Then the crew see the bonfires and degradation upon the shore.  The ship is anchored in the island's and the crew investigate.

Much happens.  The three maroons left at the end of Treasure Island are still alive and rule over the crew and slaves of a wrecked slave ship.  A runaway slave is found.  Plans are made.  Island geography.  Natty is captured.  The crew set out to rescue her.  Shooting.  Fighting. More fighting.  Snakes.  Silver is found.  Ship sails off.  Ship is hurricaned.  Jim and Natty are washed onto the beach of Spanish America.

1. I read/listened to Treasure Island in 2007 for the first time and liked it quite a bit.  I should read it to my children.
2.  Silver is similar in several ways. The island action takes place over a couple days.  Capture of a main character.  Traveling the island and descriptions of it.  Nasty and murderous bad guys.  Sense of adventure in Jim. Talking bird.  Seafaring.

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