Characters who are almost absent from a work named after them

Treasure Island is not at all in the same category as Moby Dick and Les Miserables. It’s an easy, enjoyable read.

I loved Treasure Island when I was 10 years old, and had no difficulty reading the full original version. It’s been enjoyed by generations of children (and adults) from Stevenson’s time onward… at least, until modern media destroyed their attention span.

It’s the essential pirate story, that inspired all others.

And the pirates are not figures of fun, they are violent, ruthless, and unlikeable people.

I remember my shock at 10 years old when Long John Silver, who has been so friendly and sociable up to that point, viciously kills a man in cold blood.

Far away out in the marsh there arose, all of a sudden, a sound like the cry of anger, then another on the back of it; and then one horrid, long-drawn scream. …

Tom had leaped at the sound, like a horse at the spur, but Silver had not winked an eye. He stood where he was, resting lightly on his crutch, watching his companion like a snake about to spring.

“John!” said the sailor, stretching out his hand.

“Hands off!” cried Silver, leaping back a yard, as it seemed to me, with the speed and security of a trained gymnast.

“Hands off, if you like, John Silver,” said the other. “It’s a black conscience that can make you feared of me. But in heaven’s name, tell me, what was that?”

“That?” returned Silver, smiling away, but warier than ever, his eye a mere pin-point in his big face, but gleaming like a crumb of glass. “That? Oh, I reckon that’ll be Alan.”

And at this point Tom flashed out like a hero.

“Alan!” he cried. “Then rest his soul for a true seaman! And as for you, John Silver, long you’ve been a mate of mine, but you’re mate of mine no more. If I die like a dog, I’ll die in my dooty. You’ve killed Alan, have you? Kill me too, if you can. But I defies you.”

And with that, this brave fellow turned his back directly on the cook and set off walking for the beach. But he was not destined to go far. With a cry John seized the branch of a tree, whipped the crutch out of his armpit, and sent that uncouth missile hurtling through the air. It struck poor Tom, point foremost, and with stunning violence, right between the shoulders in the middle of his back. His hands flew up, he gave a sort of gasp, and fell.

Whether he were injured much or little, none could ever tell. Like enough, to judge from the sound, his back was broken on the spot. But he had no time given him to recover. Silver, agile as a monkey even without leg or crutch, was on the top of him next moment and had twice buried his knife up to the hilt in that defenceless body. From my place of ambush, I could hear him pant aloud as he struck the blows.

I am a fast reader and enjoy a good fat book. The problem I have with the likes of War and Peace is the names which make it difficult to scan the text.

I agree about Treasure Island. I actually meant Robinson Crusoe which in its original form is a political polemic.

Les Mis, is full of tangential diversions which, if you have read the book, do serve to explain the likes of Gavroche and how come the students are so old. Also a lot about pre-revolutionary French society. None the less it has a lot of tedious parts which the film and stage show simply ignored. How Boublil and Natel managed to compress it into a coherent stage performance beats me.

Ah. I agree there. I picked up Robinson Crusoe years ago and never did finish it.

Uh, I’m still waiting for Godot.

Just be happy he isn’t your doctor

(See my post way above)

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

This reminded me of a serious issue of today.

One variant of the current ransomware or virus attacks to corporations is the one about leaving a USB or other pluggable device on the floor close to the target, curiosity or guys trying to be helpful (thinking they can find the owner) makes people plug the device into a computer that is connected to the business network.

Infecting the network with the deadly payload (it can be when hospitals or other critical business are attacked).

They call that a physical Trojan horse.

Not appropriate at all. Not only does the very second page have all of these, they re-appear frequently throughout. There is a blue fish on the third page, for instance.

Now if you had named The Monster at the End of this Book you might conceivably have a point, if you go by Grover’s assumption about monsters.

See, now I’m not sure whether Sommersby counts.