Treasure Island is not a children's book. It is nothing like that great American classic, Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars. It isn't the timeless classic of Lord of the Rings either. But what it is, is one of the best crafted and scariest books ever written. If I had an opinion, which I do on occasion, I would say that Walt Disney and his loyal followers have done more to damage real story telling than anyone else I know. All you have to do is watch the insipid Disney version of Treasure Island and then read the book, to know what I mean. Even the old Wallace Berry version of Treasure Island is a faint shadow of the real thing. It is like eating Hostess Twinkies instead of real food. The best movie version of the novel starred Charlton Heston. How many of you have seen that one?
Have you ever read a book recommended by your mother or father? Finding out that your grandfather likes a book is probably the kiss of death. Here is what Stevenson had to say about the book,
TO THE HESITATING PURCHASER
And may I also share the grave where these and their creations lie!
If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
If schooners, islands, and maroons,
And buccaneers, and buried gold,
And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
The wiser youngsters of today:
--So be it, and fall on! If not,
If studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
So be it, also! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
Where these and their creations lie!