Wednesday, May 02, 2012

'Silver: Return to Treasure Island' by Andrew Motion

2 May 2012

It was interesting reading Andrew Motion’s novel ‘Silver: Return to Treasure Island’ immediately after Robert Louis Stevenson’s original story. ‘Silver’, which I read as an unabridged audio book, narrated by David Tennant, tells the story of Jim Hawkins’ son and Long John Silver’s daughter returning to the infamous island to recover more of the treasure. Initially the story appears to follow a parallel path to ‘Treasure Island’ but with very little of the original’s menace. I think you can tell this is the work of a poet – beautifully written with every word carefully chosen – but it feels a bit slow and lacks the thrill and adventure of its predecessor. Once we arrive at the island the narrative twists in a new direction and becomes less predictable and much more interesting – less ‘Treasure Island’ (reviewed here in April 2012) and more ‘The Lord of the Flies’ (reviewed here in June 2006). ‘Silver’ is a clever, thoughtful book but whereas Stevenson continually ratcheted up the levels of evil, Motion’s tale feels too safe to be truly scary or thrilling.



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