Silver by Edward Chupack
(from the book jacket)
This being the last testament of the infamous pirate Long John Silver, you would do well not to trust a word in its pages. Held captive aboard his own ship, the Linda Maria, he is to be taken to England, where he will hang at the king’s pleasure. But he has another plan: to tell a tale of treason, murder, lost treasure that would rival King George’s own riches, and what really happened on Treasure Island… if Silver is to be believed.
But is he?
His beginnings as a pickpocket on the streets of Bristol are as dark as the rest of his deliciously devious life. Taken to sea by the pirate captain Black John, Silver soon learns the arts of the sword, saber, and pistol. He makes his trade in plundering, cheating, ransacking, and murder – more murders than he can bother to count. British, Frenchmen, Spaniards, and Portuguese all fall before him. He takes exceptional pleasure in murder, but never such pleasure as he finds in his search for a most uncommon treasure. To find that treasure he must heed the words of a dead man, solve the ciphers in a well-worn Bible, forgo the love of an extraordinary woman, and climb over the corpses of friend and foe alike to arrive at Treasure Island and find his fortune.
Silver’s tricks are never done. Before he greets the hangman at Newgate Square, he will have one last secret to reveal. Hidden in these pages are clues that lead to his remarkable treasure. And although King George’s bounty for this notorious scourge may be handsome indeed, the captain who has captain Silver would not mind adding the pirate’s riches to his own purse. He will let Silver tell his tale in the hope of learning clues to the treasure’s location. And if you were to mark his words as well, you might discover the whereabouts of that fortune yourself.
So we shall, for now, allow Long John Silver to spin his stories, tales of adventure and betrayal, gold and jewels, love and murder.
And he will never leave out the murder. Not Long John Silver.
The book took a while for me to get into. Silver is captive on his own ship and he isn’t happy about it, nor is he happy with the man that has him there. And he rants about that for a while. And he keeps going on about the clues he had to follow to find the treasure. He tells them over and over and then goes over all the things the clues could mean. And this was all before we even knew what clues he was talking about. It grew tedious. And his narrative was constantly interrupted by his conversations with the boy who brought him his food. I was having trouble getting into the story and just when I felt like it was starting to really get going he would stop his tale to throw insults at the boy and the man who held him captive and it made getting into the book even harder for me. I do like the tone of Silver’s narrative. He has a wit and is often funny even though he is talking about murder and mayhem. He is proud of his less than honest living and you can hear the satisfaction with his misdeeds in his story. It was fun to hear how Silver got his name, became a pirate and a captain; to find out how the treasure got on Treasure Island in the first place. It isn’t exactly a swashbuckling story but there are fights and killing and treasure and that makes for some excitement. Silver is telling his own story and tells it like he is talking to the man who holds him captive but who that man is is not revealed until the end of the tale. I think you can probably figure it out but I thought it was a nice touch of mystery. Getting more information about the characters that you know from Treasure Island is fun but I was disappointed when the stories began to overlap because I could not fit Silver’s tale into the story I knew. It was completely different. Overall I think it is an entertaining story but there are parts that drag and if you want to give it a shot I think you have to be willing to push through a slow start.