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Search tags: Robert-Louis-Stevenson
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review 2020-05-24 14:32
The Bottle Imp
The Bottle Imp - Robert Louis Stevenson

by Robert Louis Stevenson


This is a tale written for a Polynesian audience, set in Hawaii, yes with Christian elements. Keawe is a mariner and decides to see the world beyond the islands. He books passage to San Francisco where he is impressed by all the fine houses. A man in one of the smaller houses invites him inside and offers to sell him a bottle with an imp from Hell inside who will grant all his wishes. What could go wrong?


It comes with certain conditions. The imp cannot grant long life and if the owner of the bottle dies while it is in his possession, he suffers the fires of Hell. The way to escape this is to sell the bottle to someone else, but it has to be sold for less than he paid for it. Naturally the price diminishes over time until it looks like Keawe is going to get stuck with the bottle and take the penalty.


The story struck me as familiar and I'm sure I read it or heard it in primary school. The fact that it's a classic author makes that likely. I knew how it would come out, but still enjoyed reading the convolutions of the plot and of course it was excellent writing. It also had a satisfying conclusion and possibly some moral lessons along the way.

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review 2020-02-15 15:39
Review: Treasure Island
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson,Marty Ross,Philip Glenister,Daniel T. Mays,Catherine Tate,Owen Teale

Great performance,  meh story. I love pirates, adventure, historical settings, classics, and full cast performances. This story had all of that, yet it didn't entertain me like I hoped/expected.


I couldn't get into it, even with the very excellent voice cast carrying me through the tale. I suspect this just isn't the story for me, or perhaps it's one of those "must re-read later" kind of books.


All-in-all, not bad, just not great.

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review 2020-02-01 13:26
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson

Olalla was my first venture into the literary works of Robert Louis Stevenson and it was not a very good one. I have a lot of friends who keep telling me to get to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde so I had high expectations of this one, but I don't know. I don't think the story was very good, or that much happened for that matter. I know Victorian prose has a tendency to be slow but this is taking it to a new level. No thanks.


~Little Black Classics #19~

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review 2020-01-09 19:17
Treasure Island (Stevenson)
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

If I read this in childhood - and it would have been in a children's abridged edition, I should think - it didn't leave any memory of its rather gory plot, nor of the curious moral ambiguity of it principal villain, Long John Silver.


Nonetheless, once it got going, it was more or less what I expected: an adventure story featuring a young man with more courage than sense. The abrupt change out of his first-person narrative to another point of view for parts of the plot took me by surprise a bit - but frankly, that would never have bothered me in the slightest if I'd read it when I was younger.


The e-version I read the story in was rather bad. Each page of the first 100 or so was interrupted by an illustration having nothing to do with the text (mostly the same scene of pioneer America, repeated over and over). No-one had bothered to supply the missing first letters of opening words in each chapter (likely decorative initials in the scanned original.) The file is entitled "Complete Works of R.L. Stevenson", but it contains exactly 3 of his most famous novels - probably volume 1 of a collected edition.


And all this notwithstanding, I enjoyed reading this missing piece from my childhood. It was clear, straightforward, vivid storytelling.

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text 2019-11-30 23:37
24 Festive Tasks: Door 12 - St. Andrew's Day: Task 1
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson,David Rintoul
Rebus's Scotland: A Personal Journey - Ian Rankin
The Daughter Of Time - Josephine Tey
Out of Bounds - Val McDermid
The Blackhouse - Peter May

Six favorite Scottish writers:


Arthur Conan Doyle: Elementary.


Robert Louis Stevenson: For Kidnapped alone -- though his Edinburgh Picturesque Notes, even 150 years after their first publication, remain one of the best portraits of Edinburgh you'll ever read, and his short stories are right up there with the best of them.


Ian Rankin: The man who made Edinburgh a character in his novels unlike any other, to the point of making you feel you'd know your way around even if you never actually get to visit.


Josephine Tey: In the space of a mere 200 pages or so, she revolutionized modernity's perception of Richard III.  Alas, she only wrote a handful of novels and plays and I've yet to explore even all of those, but what I've read of her, I like enormously.


Val McDermid: Tough, no-nonsense crime fiction featuring strong, independent women investigators; including and in particular the Karen Pirie series (also (chiefly) set in Edinburgh).


Peter May: Nobody captures the Western Highlands and the Hebrides like him -- particularly the stark, windswept beauty of Harris and Lewis.


(Task: Tell us: Who is your favorite Scottish (or Scots-born / -descendant) writer?)


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