Thursday, October 01, 2009


TREASURE ISLAND, by Robert Louis Stevenson, ill. by John Lawrence (Candlewick 2009). This handsome, over-sized (it's 8 1/8 in. x 11 13/16 in. and tips the scales at 2.5 lbs.), unabridged edition, illustrated with Lawrence's trademark woodcuts, brings the classic tale of adventure and piracy to life.

Jim Hawkins works with his parents at the Admiral Benbow Inn, where a strange drunken sailor named Billy Bones, but who usually goes by "the captain," has taken up residence. A mysterious series of odd personages/cutthroats comes to visit, followed shortly by the captain's death. When Jim and his mother find a map in the captain's belongings, the local squire and doctor immediately conclude that it leads the way to the hidden treasure of the notorious pirate, Captain Flint.

So they outfit a ship (the Hispaniola), take Jim aboard as cabin boy, and hire a crew, including the charming and villainous Long John Silver.

And along the way, they find treachery and mutiny and mayhem...

This is an absolutely gorgeous volume. The woodcuts are bold and striking, the pages are thick, and the font is old-fashioned-seeming, yet easy to read. Sure, you can get the text of TREASURE ISLAND in paperback or download it onto your Kindle, but this edition is a work of art from and for people who appreciate the difference.

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