Jim Hawkins and The Curse of Treasure Island

By Frank Delaney

28 ratings - 4.14* vote

Jim Hawkins, the cabin-boy hero of Treasure Island, has grown up. With his fortune from the South Seas, he has expanded and improved the family inn, the old Admiral Benbow, on the coast of Somerset, where, from behind the bar, he regales travelers with tales of Long John Silver, Ben Gunn, Billy Bones, and the parrot that shrieks "pieces of eight, pieces of eight" - Cap'n F Jim Hawkins, the cabin-boy hero of Treasure Island, has grown up. With his fortune from the South Seas, he

... more

Book details

Paperback, 0 pages
March 25th 2014 by Meier

(first published August 2012)

ISBN
9780983642
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Jason Pettus

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Regular readers will remember what an unexpected fan I became of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, back when I first read it a few years ago as part of the "CCLaP 100" essay series on literary classics; and with this being a Victorian-Age public-domain work, there are of course dozens of unofficial sequels floating around out there. One of those is called Jim Hawkins and the Curse of Treasure Island, an unusually faithful sequel that tries extra-hard to mimic the exact language and tone of the original, first put out about a decade ago by "Francis Bryan;" but as it's become clear because of a new reprinting last year, that's actually the pen-name of revered British man of letters Frank Delaney, a Booker judge and the literary director of the Edinburgh Festival who has produced a host of popular documentaries for the BBC over the decades, and who among other things is in the middle of doing a 25-YEAR PODCAST where he examines James Joyce's Ulysses one line at a time. So it makes sense that this homage to Stevenson would be unusually spot-on in its voice and subject matter, because this is what Delaney does, is treat classic literature very, very seriously; and I have to say, it was just as much a delight to read as the original, and feels very much like a lost sequel by Stevenson himself that maybe just happened to surface within the last few years. Granted, if you're not a natural fan of Victorian action tales, you can pretty safely skip this; but if you are, you should absolutely put this on your must-read list right away.

Out of 10: 8.5, or 9.5 for fans of Victorian thrillers

Pop Bop

It's "Pirates, Pirates, Pirates" All the Way Down

Of all of the Boys Own adventure classics available to modern younger readers, in my mind the books of Robert Louis Stevenson continue to be the most accessible, engrossing and entertaining. For those who favor the piratical side of the ledger "Treasure Island" remains a stirring read. For those less interested in gentlemen of fortune but still keen on skulking and adventuring there is "Kidnapped".

"Kidnapped" has a sequel penned by Stevenson, "Balfour", but it is hard going and has marked the end of many readers' acquaintance with Stevenson. Until now there was no sequel by the author to "Treasure Island", although there have been upwards of a dozen "sequels" written by others with varying degrees of success.

I say "until now" because "Jim Hawkins and the Curse of Treasure Island" is both a worthy successor to "Treasure Island" and a testament to what an accomplished author can create as a work of "affection and homage", (in Delaney's words). This book was first issued in 2001 under the author's pen name Francis Bryan. It is now reissued as Frank Delaney's work. (Delaney has had a long and distinguished career as a writer of fiction and non-fiction as well as as a cultural and literary scene observer and accomplished critic, so he brought, along with his affection for the material, a considerable range of skills to this project.)

All would seem to agree that as an experiment in capturing the tone and structure and feel of Stevenson's original this book is a success. In setting out episodes of gripping action/adventure the author has, again, succeeded. As to larger matters of plot and certain of the characters one is ambivalent. And, as one might expect, the more devoted one is to the original, the more fault one can find in this sequel.

One could go on at length about how certain words are used or misused, or how certain character's actions or reactions don't square with the conventions of the times, and so on. I sympathize with Stevenson purists, but on balance I am still happy to have this book available to hand over to the kid who has enjoyed "Treasure Island" and wants "some more, please". That's not a bad bottom line. For me, it's good to have this available again.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Comment Comment | Permalink

SouthernGirl

Ahoy, me Hearties!! Step aboard the majestic timbers of the Hispaniola once again as our handsome narrator, Jim Hawkins, tells the tale of his return to that most devilish of places, Treasure Island. Frank Delaney has rendered all us landlubbers a most agreeable story!

After narrowly escaping capture by a gang of roguish brutes and intrigued by a mysterious woman, Jim sets sail for a return trip to the terrible island. Along the way familiar characters appear, such as the charming and cunning pirate, Long John Silver and the half-crazed, but good-hearted Ben Gunn. There's high-seas adventure, shipboard fighting, romantic entanglements, buccaneers, and of course, lots of treasure!

This is a delightful sequel to the beloved classic and there are times when it felt as though Robert Lewis Stevenson had his hand on Mr. Delaney's shoulder as he penned it. Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen ~ this is one enjoyable read!

**I won this book in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.**

Bill

Ever read TREASURE ISLAND or see one of the flicks based on the book? Even if you didn't and want just a cool adventure tale with a lot of action then jump on this one.

JIm Hawkins was a kid in the first book, is now 25. He's working in his family's tavern when one day a woman and her boy come riding up to find him chased by some crazy guy who seems to want to kill her.

Jim grabs the guy, he falls off his horse and dies. Soon more men arrive - the crazy guy is actually a nobleman, known to the king, as is the guy who has just appeared. JIm may be up for murder.

And thus begins a series of incredible adventures that lead to Treasure Island, all kinds of fights and adventures - you just have to grab this and get into it!

Jack

A pretty impressive sequel to RL Stevenson's "Treasure Island". I believe Delaney holds true to Stevenson's characters, even if not quite so with the use of language. However, for a sequel written by a different author over 100 years later, there are enough similarities that both novels could pass as written by the same author.

"Curse of Treasure Island" follows Stevenson's character Jim Hawkin's return to Treasure Island 10 years after the original voyage. The book is full of what made the original "Treasure Island" great - engaging characters and tons of action. "Curse of Treasure Island" may even flow a little better than its predecessor, and its language much simpler allowing for a quick and joyful read.

3.5 stars

Angela Joyce

Normally I think classics should be left alone, and that it is presumption for a modern author to write a sequel to one. Terrible things have been done, for example, to "Gone With the Wind" and "Les Miserables", to name but two. However, I read the original "Treasure Island" right before tackling Mr. Delaney's sequel, and it works. It really does. I could hear the voices of both Robert Louis Stevenson AND Frank Delaney, and these are voices I happen to like. I imagined them sitting next to each other at a gorgeous old desk, writing the book together.

As for the story, I won't give it away. But if you liked the original "Treasure Island", this should be a welcome treat for you.

Topics