Sunday, June 27, 2010

Spoiler Alert

Treasure Island. Ending will be revealed here. Ye have been warned.

I always find it funny when I read some famous book I ain't never read before, like say "Treasure Island", to find "Hey, this is a pretty good book!"

I'll admit there were some passages which were thoroughly incomprehensible to me. There may as well be a passage which reads "The nay da'k fo'c's'kend the black-lace fool and you can lay to it, I say. And we all knew what he meant." But I have no idea.

The character of John Silver is a weird one. He kills honest men in cold blood. But we, and the characters, find it hard to hate him. The only guy we really want to go down is a fellow by the name of Israel Hands. I had to re-read the paragraph where it happened about four times but he gets shot in the head. By Jim, no less.

And I didn't understand what they were saying about John Silver's wife the first time the characters mentioned it, but the narrator brings up again right at the end of the book that she is a "negress". Of course, in modern American politics, our way of looking back at the time period of the book could make that a very interesting detail about John Silver (we never meet her, the only woman in the book is Jim's mother).

The thing which surprised me the most is that John Silver gets away. This book would be totally "pre-code" if it were a movie. But he's a bad'un who done wicked things, and yet he steals three or four hundred guineas and escapes in... what is modern-day Georgia (I think). Four hundred guineas -- that's what, the equivalent of about $20,000?

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