Do kids still grow up reading about Long John Silver, or does their knowledge of pirates extend no further than Johnny Depp and Orlando what’s his face? If you ask me, the powers that be should consider sticking Treasure Island on the Leaving Cert curriculum instead of yawn fests like, Hard Times and that story about the kid who gets stuck on some island in the Caribbean.
But younglings aside, pretty much everyone agrees that Treasure Island is the greatest pirate yarn ever written. As usual, pretty much everyone is wrong. Captain Blood eats Long John Silver for breakfast.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Treasure Island isn’t without its merits, it’s a great tale of pirates, adventure, buried treasure etc. And Long John is quite possibly the first anti-hero ever. But Peter aka ‘Captain’ Blood is just a bucket load of awesome from the first page to the last. For example, Peter Blood is so awesome, that even after god knows how many weeks locked up in some slave ship’s bilge, he is still able to get super hot Arabella Bishop to swoon.
In fact if I had one criticism, it would be that Mr. Blood suffers from a serious case of awesome overload. He could beat Kasparov in a game of chess, down a bottle of rum, turn around and send Tyson to the canvas in a bare knuckle brawl, before boarding his ship and sinking half the Spanish Armada. I do prefer my heroes to have at least some flaws.
Oh by the by, if you don’t fancy reading it, there’s always the old black and white 1930s movie.
Okay, admittedly Errol Flynn manages to corn things up pretty impressively but fear not, the actress playing ‘Arabella’ (Olivia de Havilland) more than makes up for that … oh yes.