By Its Cover: Treasure Island

treasure islandTreasure Island is the true story of that one time my uncle took me on his boat. I was about eight, maybe ten – no more than eleven. Anyway, my uncle had a boat and said I could go out on the lake with him. It was in the summer. Growing up, my family took annual vacations to one lake. The water was clear and there weren’t a lot of people around. My uncle used to pop by every couple years or so. Usually he only visited with my parents. He didn’t like kids. But about the time I turned eight or eleven, he started paying attention to me. So, one day he offered to take me out on his little wooden boat.

At the time it was super exciting. I always thought my uncle was the coolest person. He had this neat hat, smoked a pipe. He kind of looked like a pirate.  And he had a pet parrot named Squalf. Coolest of all, he was missing leg. He lost it at the ‘ol saw plant to Barry the Buzzsaw.

We went about halfway across the lake and stopped. He let me use the telescope. It was fun, ya know, for a kid. Retrospectively, it wasn’t anything all that special. My uncle was pretty drunk the whole time (though I didn’t realize it until I was a few years older). And that was it. We turned around and went back to shore. He kept asking me if I had a lass, but young me thought he was abbreviating Lassie, and I thought he was asking if I had a dog. Of course I didn’t, so I told him no. “Every man’s gotta have a lass,” he’d say, then mumble in a drunken stupor before repeating the question.

Frankly, I don’t know why Robert Louis Stevenson approached me. I don’t know why he interviewed me on this story, or why he chose to turn it into a book. I read it. It was fairly accurate (he did add an ending where I got a Rough Collie and a girl friend, which I think makes the whole thing even more confusing). That’s it though. That’s the story. It’s a boy on a boat with his uncle. For whatever reason, Stevenson found that aspect of my life interesting enough to write a full length novel about it.

I don’t have any more to say on the matter. You’d have to know my uncle (my whole family for that matter) for this story to hold any kind of significance. It’s well written, I suppose, but there’s a reason it’s only sold 12 e-books on Amazon.

Also there’s no treasure in it. Maybe there’s some hidden lesson about real treasure being in our heart or family or something. I don’t know. I skimmed it.

For stone cold accuracy regarding a thoroughly dull event, Treasure Island receives a 7 out of 10.


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