Jun 28, 2011

Tom's Suggested Picks for August

I want us to read a classic adventure book. All my selections are true classics and on the top of all adventure book lists. All are fiction, in paperback, about 350/or less pages. All of us have probably read these in our early school years but it’s time to read again and share our thoughts. Five true classics for your consideration:
Treasure Island by Robert L. Stevenson

Ho-ho-ho, and a bottle of Rum!  Treasure Island is perhaps THE classic pirate's tale. Robert Louis Stevenson, the author, created a rich story of adventure and treachery on the high seas all seen through the eyes of a boy named Jim Hawkins. Jim starts off as the son of tavern owners in a humble little port village. When an old seaman stays at the tavern, trouble soon follows him in the form of a pirate crew seeking revenge.

The pirate language is good and thick. The plot moves along very briskly with no wasted scenes. In short, Treasure Island well deserves its status as a beloved classic. It's a story of suspense and adventure that can be enjoyed at a child's level, but has substance for adults as well. 238 pages; first published in 1883

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe is a neatly woven adventure yarn, but under the surface there are several themes. The most apparent is that the novel seems like a morality tale -- i.e., hard work and faith in God will see you through bad times; virtue is rewarded and arrogance is punished. Another theme is that although nature can be a cruel foe, man is better off learning to work in harmony with it than struggling against it. Most interesting, though, is that reading about Crusoe's self-education in the art of survival is like witnessing the anthropological process of how civilization developed from savagery. 352 pages; first published in 1719

Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Captain's Courageous is both grabbing and accurate. Kipling who spent no more than six weeks at sea captures the life of the Grand Bank Schooner fishing culture spot on. Although the account traces the transformation of a spoiled rotten rich 15 year old to a respectable member of a fishing crew, Kiplings discriptions of life at sea are so accurate. 209 pages; first published in 1897