Sunday, May 24, 2020

Treasure Island and The Rajah's Diamond by Robert Louis Stevenson

I like to listen to music while I paint and I happened upon Frederick Delius.  I hope you learn to enjoy him as much as I do.  This work is called, timely enough, "A Song of Summer."

I told you last week I lost my precious Sophie.  Last Thursday I came home to a note on my door that said, "fellow Bird Lady."  A woman wanted to give me her cockatiel.  I didn't have to think about it.  I've never had a cockatiel before and I would like to get a couple more, because this one is so cute.  His name was Roosevelt, but to me he looks like a Percy so that's what I've been calling him.

The lady told me he needed to stay in his cage a week before meeting the other birds.  He was so agitated in the cage I couldn't stand it.  Here is Percy after letting him out of the cage.  He stayed there for most of the day.

Naturally he took to my husband first.

But the person he immediately bonded with and would not leave, just singing and chirping and preening her hair all afternoon, was my friend Felicia.

He was not happy when she left.  I would consider giving Percy to her, but she has three dogs, two of which would not mind eating a little bird.

Treasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had read this story years ago to my son when he was a boy and I either did not realize or had forgotten what a rollicking good adventure story this was.

Stevenson knows how to create tension, suspense and relief where in the end evil loses and goodness wins, but it's quite a gauntlet to race through to get there.

A young boy, Jim Hawkins lives at an inn his parents run when an old pirate by the name of Billy Bones comes to stay. It turns out that Bones has something of great value to a lot of other pirates who are willing to get it from him.

There are many close calls and almost-caughts, almost killeds in the beginning, but finally Jim, a Dr. Livesey and the district Squire, Mr. Trelawney acquire a ship and crew and embark to the island that carries a treasure according to the map Jim, accidentally, procured from Bones.

Unfortunately, Trelawney, who is a bit of a nimbus, has not been discreet or discerning and without realizing it has hired a bunch of black-hearted pirates to run the ship, all lead by Long John Silver.

I don't wish to ruin the story for people who haven't read the book so that's all I'll say, but I do not think a movie could ever do this written narration justice. Stevenson is such an eloquent writer and so much depends on the first person narration. Movies are largely limited by showing rather than telling.

For all the youngster both child and adult, this is an adventure story everyone should read.

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The Rajah's DiamondThe Rajah's Diamond by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not read the Kindle Edition of this book, but that's the only edition I could find in English on Goodreads.

This was a fun serial adventure told in third person-limited from a variety of people. A foolish young dandy of a man, after quite a series of episodes of fun and danger comes across, without intending to, an infamous jewel called the Rajah's Diamond.

He is chased around town by nefarious characters without realizing what they are after. But he loses the diamond after all, in an innocuous place where it is found by someone else. This person has been passed the ball and now his journey begins, although this person is not quite so innocent as the dandy.

But he's just as foolish and soon, he has been divested of the diamond as well. The diamond passes through a number of hands. Many turns and twists and as many chase scenes as a Buster Keaton silent film occur before the matter is resolved.

I've only given the bare bones of the story. If you want to read the sort of adventures our different diamond bearers have, you'll have to read the book.

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Carol said...

Treasure Island is great but I haven’t heard of the second book. I think I liked David Balfour best of all & I love the poetry he wrote, too.

Carol said...

Did my previous comment get through??

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Sharon- Treasure Island is such a wonderful book. It works in so many ways. Stevenson was such a gifted writer.

It is nice to see that Percy has found a good home.

Take care and have a great week.

mudpuddle said...

pretty nice of someone to donate another bird; hopefully Sophie is flying free somewhere... Treasure Island is a great story but i've never heard of the other one; it sounds just as good - it's nice to have a book to look forward to, tx...

Sharon Wilfong said...

HI Carol. I have not read David Balfour, but I love Stevenson's poetry, especially the ones that have been turned into songs and musical works by classical composers. It was the music that turned me on to his poetry.

P.S. Your comment got through, but I've been having problems trying to get posted and receive replies from other blogs. Annoying.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Brian!

Yes, I love all the stories written by Stevenson, especially the scary ones, like The Bottle Imp, The Suicide Club and the Body Snatchers.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi mudpuddle. Thanks for the good wishes to Sophie. I still look around and call her name when I go outside. You never know.

Stevenson has always been one of my favorites, including his poetry. He is also the subject of many paintings by Whistler, Sargent and Gaugin, a well as some others.

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Sharon your new friend Percy is adorable. He looks like he might be quite playful as well. I have never read Treasure Island. I must put this on my reading list. Thank you too for sharing the beautiful music. Take care and have a great day. Hugs!

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Debbie!

Percy is precious. And a huge singer! He sings whole songs. I've never had a bird that did that.

If you like adventure stories, you'll like Treasure Island. Stevenson is one of my favorite authors.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken said...

I am so sorry that Sophie was not found. How kind that someone offered your Percy, he's darling.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Sarah.

My other birds are all little hot messes and feisty. Percy's just a sweetheart.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken said...

Awww, good! Maybe he will calm them down! How many do you have?

Sharon Wilfong said...

I have four. I would really like some more cockatiels because they are really precious.

How old is your little girl? Maybe a parakeet? My son was five when we got a parakeet. He loved it. Of course we also had a guinea pig, fish, even tad poles.

Janitha Chathuni said...

Hello Sharon,
Treasure Island is my favourite book! (Well, one of my favourite books anyway, I shall never be able to choose) But I absolutely got it when you said that the first-person narration creates a lot of tension. I haven't read the other book, though, but now that I know it's there I shan't be able to rest until I found out!
I hope you visit my blog at
Greetings, Janitha aka Jonny.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hello Janitha!

So nice of you to visit. I know what you mean about favorites. There are so many. How can we choose? If I were on a desert island, I would need my entire library, not just one.

Hope you're able to find the Rajah's Diamond.

On my way to visit your blog!