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Treasure Island Performance

Treasure Island: An Audible Original Drama

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Publisher's Summary

Audible Originals takes to the high seas to bring to life this timeless tale of pirates, lost treasure maps and mutiny, starring BAFTA-nominated Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, The Office, Doctor Who), Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life On Mars), Owen Teale (Game of Thrones, Pulse, Last Legion) and Daniel Mays (The Adventures of Tintin, Rogue One, Atonement), amongst others.

When weathered old sailor Billy Bones arrives at the inn of young Jim Hawkins' parents, it is the start of an adventure beyond anything he could have imagined. When Bones dies mysteriously, Jim stumbles across a map of a mysterious island in his sea chest, where X marks the spot of a stash of buried pirate gold. Soon after setting sail to recover the treasure, Jim realises that he's not the only one intent on discovering the hoard. Suddenly he is thrown into a world of treachery, mutiny, castaways and murder, and at the centre of it all is the charming but sinister Long John Silver, who will stop at nothing to grab his share of the loot.

One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Robert Louis Stevenson's 1881 novel introduced us to characters such as the unforgettable Long John Silver, forever associating peg-legged pirates with 'X marks the spot' in our cultural consciousness. Following the success of the double Audie Award-winning Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, Audible Originals UK are excited to announce this reimagination of Stevenson's coming-of-age story that will captivate all of the family.

Public Domain (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (48 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Toney, AL United States 08-30-17
    Mark Toney, AL United States 08-30-17 Member Since 2005
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    "Classic Adventure"

    Treasure Island has long been a favorite of mine and this adaptation from Audible Studios did not disappoint. While the story remains basically the same they do introduce some subtle changes to the original - some good, some not so good. Overall though, it was a riveting adventure that kept my attention throughout the entire reading. The narration was top notch.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad Davis 09-12-17
    Tad Davis 09-12-17
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    "A reflective adventure"

    The Audible dramatization of Treasure Island is excellent, with only a few false steps. Owen Teale is great as Silver, with his combination of flattery and ruthlessness. (I would have expected no less of Alliser Thorne.) But that points to one of the false steps here: the cast is named but not the parts they play; I was able to confirm that Teale was Silver only by locating a press release online. That seems a little ungenerous to my way of thinking.

    For the record: besides Teale, Philip Glenister is Dr Livesey; Daniel Mays is Ben Gunn; Catherine Tate is Jim's mother. And who among the named cast plays Jim Hawkins, who with his narration has by far the most audio time? No idea. Even Audible'a promotional video doesn't mention him.

    Another false step is that there are long gaps of silence between scenes. It's not unusual for an audio play to observe a moment of silence to mark a transition. But here, the gaps between scenes last several seconds; a couple of times I wondered if I'd gone into sleep mode by mistake. These gaps seem tailor-made for some linking music to be added in post-production, but there isn't any. It affects the pace. The gaps seem to slow things down. (There IS music from time to time, usually to set a somber or threatening tone.)

    It's a subdued production: a quiet, gritty Treasure Island, one that avoids flashy swashing and buckling in favor of soft and sinister exchanges. And it's a reflective adaptation: with the help of a few lines and a couple of scenes not in the book, it creates a much stronger sense of moral ambiguity than in the book. The Jim Hawkins who returns from the voyage is a very different person than the boy who left, and the difference is bittersweet and satisfying.

    In general the production adheres closely to the events of the book — including lots of narration from Jim Hawkins — but it does make some changes. Some scenes are expanded with additional dialogue to good effect (Israel Hands is given a chance to shine, as is Silver's parrot); other changes are apparently made just for the sake of change. Abraham Gray, a brave and honest seaman in the book, is presented here as a sniveling coward.

    But despite its subdued tone, and a few changes I found jarring, I found it a compelling listen, one that drew me in by its quiet intensity rather than histrionics. I put that down to the excellence of the cast and the sound design. It's an oddly intimate version of an action-packed adventure.

    A version of Treasure Island stands or falls by its Long John Silver and its Jim Hawkins. Both are excellent here: multifaceted and multilayered. And they are given a "necessary scene" at the end that is missing from the book; it's a scene that appears in several film versions of the story, but here it's given straight, without a trace of sentimentality.

    The producers have given themselves (and the writer) enough runtime to develop the story much more fully than is usually the case. I enjoyed it a lot, and I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Kristopher Phoenix, AZ, United States 09-09-17
    Kristopher Phoenix, AZ, United States 09-09-17 Member Since 2006
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    "Excellent Performance "

    i loved this performance of Treasure Island. This is definitely a book I will come back and listen to again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "amazing story!!!"

    I loved it so much.I was to read it for a report I usually dislike books but Audible has provided this amazing book buy an amazing author and I love it. it is full of many action scenes and stories of pirates it is very descriptive if you like a good Adventure you enjoy this book overall I definitely think it was worth it to get this book I will be listening to it again.☠️yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!😊

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Kindle Customer 10-03-17 Member Since 2017
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    "What a treasure"

    I love audio books! When you have the right narrator they can bring you into the story but I especially love group narrations. Somehow all the characters really come alive, Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver's voices were perfect! My daughter has started to listen to audible books with her youngest daughter and it not only gives them quality time together, it also gives my granddaughter a love of reading and exposes her to the classics. It is a nice change from some of the trash she is exposed to every day. I feel sorry for today's children who's idea of a classic book will be something that contains vampires, werewolves, zombies and other supernatural creatures. Yes, I know Dracula is a vampire, but anyone who has children growing up in today's culture knows what I am talking about. I just purchased an audible book with several classic stories like Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, War of the World's , plus 5 more books and I can't wait to get started! They are not group narratives sadly, but I know I will be transported into worlds that will come alive in a way that reading alone doesn't do. By the way, I am an avid reader as well, so I also get the books so that I can read them when hearing them isn't practical.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CKDexter 08-27-17
    CKDexter 08-27-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Superb!"

    I was leery of a performed interpretation. Others I've heard in the past were hokey. This was fantastic! Thoroughly enjoyed it in every way. I can't say enough positive about this. The only tiny reservation: some of the accents were so authentic that it was difficult to make out certain words, or the occasional sentence. But don't let that stop you. This is a first rate production. Bravo Audible! I hope this inspires Audible to bring other classic novels to life. We would love to hear Moby Dick next…

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    8/17/17
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    "All - star treasure island "
    Any additional comments?

    Truth be told when I first saw Catherine Tate was included among the star studded narrators chosen for this original dramatised version of one of my all time favourite fiction stories, I was pessimistic to say the least. But boy how wrong I was.

    Coming from R.L Stevenson's home place of birth in the seaside town of Dorset, I feel a special affinity with this story. I have got hold of all the different versions of this story possible, so I was intrigued to see how this version, although dramatised, would be any different.

    Well I can tell you now I was captivated and highly entertained throughout the entire audiobook. I hate to steal the line that you may find on other reviews for dramatised books, but this really was like being involved in a film which was being played to me inside my head. I am currently looking forward to listening to it again, so much so I have placed other books I am looking forward to listening to on the back-burner.

    This was a great time to release this audiobook, this would be even more captivating listening from a beach! Whether you will be listening from a beach or on the bus, in your car, home or the comfort of your bed as you slowly wind down for an evening, I am certain you'll have the same experience.. this was great fun!

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • siobhan brophy
    10/1/17
    Overall
    "I was enthralled from the get go"

    Great book, great story and was read beautifully read. As I sat in the dark and listened, I could picture every scene. I was there!
    would highly recommend.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ailill Martin
    8/30/17
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    "A Proper Adventure "

    The story itself reads like the blueprint for all swashbuckling pirate adventures. The brilliantly original characters are brought to life by equally excellent voice actors accompanied by delicious sound effects of the sea and the strange atmosphere of the mysterious treasure island. I was swept along by the many twists and turns of the plot and the gruff tones of the pirates that are intertwined in them.
    This is exactly how dramatisations should be executed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Boomshanks
    8/26/17
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    "really good"

    loved it. exciting and a good tale to get into. cant beat it a bit of shwashbuckling

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • FictionFan
    Kirkintilloch, Scotland
    10/5/17
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    "Yo! Ho! Ho!"

    When I re-read Treasure Island a few years ago, I fell in love with it all over again. It's undoubtedly one of the best adventure stories ever written, full of characters who've become such a part of our national psyche they almost feel historical rather than fictional – Long John Silver, Blind Pew, Ben Gunn, Jim Hawkins (arr, Jim, lad!), et al. Even younger people who may not have read the book will recognise these characters even if they don't recognise the names, since they've been used and adapted in nearly every pirate book or movie ever since – the wooden-legged pirate with a parrot on his shoulder (Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Squa-a-a-wk!), the young boy caught up in piratical adventures on the high seas, the sailor marooned – maroooned, I tell 'ee! – on a desert island, the villainous baddie bringing messages of doom, the treasure map where X marks the spot...

    So needless to say, when I was offered the chance to listen to Audible's new dramatisation, I grabbed it with both hands, dug out a bottle of rum, and set sail for lands unknown, me hearties! And that was even before I read the cast list and realised they'd gone all out to get some of the absolute best. Gotta say, every single member of the cast, stars and supporting, throw themselves into this with glee – you can literally hear how much fun they're having bringing these fabulously over-the-top characters to life.

    My memory for plot details is totally rubbish, but as far as I could tell the adaptation sticks very faithfully to the original. There's a little more humour in it than I remembered so perhaps a few scenes have been altered for that purpose. At first, when the action is in the Admiral Benbow Inn where young Jim-lad lives with his mother (played excellently by Catherine Tate), I thought they had maybe lightened it up a bit to make it suitable for younger children. But indeed not! Some parts of it are very dark indeed, and the cast don't skimp on bringing out the scary bits. And somehow hearing it rather than reading it made those parts even more effective – genuinely thrilling! Black Dog in particular scared the bejabers out of me, and I think I fall safely into the category of older child.

    Although it's a dramatisation, it's not abridged. It has a running time of 6 hours and 26 minutes which is almost identical to the timing on straight narrations. Jim Hawkins (Gerran Howell) acts his role in the action sequences, but also provides a narration for the linking bits. Rather unfairly, he doesn't get listed as one of the stars, but he gives an excellent performance too. Oliver Teale is utterly brilliant as Long John Silver, and Daniel Mays' Ben Gunn is so much fun – marooned! Maroooooned, I tell'ee!! Philip Glenister is perfect as Doctor Livesey. The only thing that annoyed me is that Audible never provides a written cast list for these productions, and the cast list on the recording is always at the end, so I find I'm constantly trying to work out who's playing whom, especially when they're all having so much fun with accents. In this case, even when they did list the cast, they didn't specify which role each actor had played. I think several of them play more than one role, but there are also loads of other actors playing some of the smaller roles. I'm almost certain it's Daniel Mays giving a tour-de-force performance as Capt'n Flint the parrot, who starts out as part of the humour and gets progressively scarier as the thing goes on.

    There's some appropriately sea-shanty style incidental music and the sound effects are great – waves crashing, ships creaking, cutlasses clashing, big guns booming (jumped a foot in the air when that happened – and I was sitting down at the time. My cat was not pleased!). And I warn you now, not only will you find yourself joining in whenever they burst into a full-cast rendition of Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest, but you'll still be singing it two weeks later – or maybe that's just me...

    Can you tell I loved this? I enjoyed every single minute of it and instead of parcelling it out into half-hour instalments as I usually do with audiobooks, I ended up listening to the bulk of it in two massive chunks over one weekend. It will be one I listen to often again – perfect for dark winter nights or long car journeys or just whenever I'm accosted by the need to hear Ben Gunn tell me again that he's marooned – marooooooooned, I tell 'ee! Dark and scary with shafts of humour, tons of action, thrilling adventures, great script, fabulous acting – Yo! Ho! HO!

    NB This audiobook was provided for review by Audible UK via MidasPR.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ricky
    9/29/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoy it is a new wine with a vintage taste"

    as one would expect a amazing cast and a epic tale read by epic character brought to life in a truly classical way
    enjoy it is a new wine with a vintage taste

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • T. Archibald
    UK
    9/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very enjoyable"

    After watching the black sails show on prime video I wanted to read treasure island to continue the story of the show which was a prequel of sorts. Then I found this on audible and it was what I was looking for and the cast with some good names convinced me to buy

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • carol
    9/16/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "first rate story, me hearties!!"

    I enjoyed this story, I liked having many narrative characters, as it felt like I was listening to a Radio 4 play .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Brummers
    England
    9/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping and thoroughly entertaining."

    Listened in the car and had me hoping the traffic jams would last longer. Brilliant adaptation.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • daisyrock
    nottingham
    10/5/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good"

    An excellent adaptation. Always a joy to hear Philip Glenister and Owen Teale was magical as Long John. Lots of light and shade to the performances. Excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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