Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Six - Treasure Island - Part Two

Robert Louis Stevenson
Image from Edinburgh Hotel Scotland

This book was a quick read because it is action packed, matey. I had to find out what happened next! And the imagery is amazing. I could see the Admiral Benbow Inn, the mist, the men, the island... and the other stuff that I won't mention because it would be spoilerific.

The pirate movies always say, “Shiver me timbers,” but in the book it’s “Shiver my timbers.” Not that I understand the timbers part. There was also “Shiver my sides,” which I can understand since your sides move when you shiver. But what are the timbers? Anyway, here’s an example of Stevenson’s magic--
I should, I think, have had nothing left me to desire but for the eyes of the coxswain as they followed me derisively about the deck and the odd smile that appeared continually on his face. It was a smile that had in it something both of pain and weakness--a haggard old man's smile; but there was, besides that, a grain of derision, a shadow of treachery, in his expression as he craftily watched, and watched, and watched me at my work.
A grain of derision! A shadow of treachery! What lovely description. And can’t you just see the salty old dog? I’m not exactly sure what salty old dog means but it seems piratey, doesn't it?

One thing I will say without giving away much is that the book contains a parrot. A sailor with a parrot, in fact. And I immediately thought of that Pink Panther movie in which Peter Sellers dresses in a sailor disguise complete with wooden leg and inflatable parrot. Arr.



  1. I suspect the guy with the wooden leg and parrot was a riff on Cap'n John Silver. Did you never see the movie?

  2. I never saw the movie... that I can recall. As I read it, it was vaguely familiar but I suspect that is because it contains so many familiar pirate-y references. Arr.