Treasure Island  By  cover art

Treasure Island

By: Robert Louis Stevenson,Marty Ross - adaptation
Narrated by: Philip Glenister,Daniel Mays,Catherine Tate,Owen Teale

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 Catherine Tate (BAFTA-nominated, 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.

Featuring: Stephen Critchlow, James Doherty, Philip Glenister, Peter Gold, Ed Harrison, David Holt, Gerran Howell, Matthew Jure, Daniel Mays, Gerard McDermott, Paul McEwan, Harry Myers, Greg Page, Richard Reed, Mark Straker, Catherine Tate, Owen Teale and Ben Whitehead.

Now available in Dolby Atmos on Audible.

Public Domain (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Go Behind the Scenes of Treasure Island

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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 Catherine Tate (BAFTA-nominated, 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.

Featuring: Stephen Critchlow, James Doherty, Philip Glenister, Peter Gold, Ed Harrison, David Holt, Gerran Howell, Matthew Jure, Daniel Mays, Gerard McDermott, Paul McEwan, Harry Myers, Greg Page, Richard Reed, Mark Straker, Catherine Tate, Owen Teale and Ben Whitehead.

Now available in Dolby Atmos on Audible.

Public Domain (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
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What listeners say about Treasure Island

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    1,103
  • 1 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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336 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I Thought it Would be the Book

This is good for a dramatization, but I had thought I was downloading the actual book. I looked to see if it said it was abridged, but it didn't. I think I the word, "reimagining" was their attempt at indicating that it wasn't the original text, but I took that to mean dramatized. I wish whenever it isn't the original text, they would say so plainly.

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319 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Changed the book

This was exciting and well-acted, and then they changed the end totally unnecessarily. I thoroughly enjoyed this version of my favorite rollicking sea story, but the mysteriously changed the end to make what appeared to be a social commentary. I would have given 5 stars easily if they had left Jim to his riches and hatred of the sea. AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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248 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Why?

If you are looking for a dumbed-down and over acted version of Robert Louis Stevenson's marvelous British classic, Audible has made it for you. I'd prefer to listen to one of the several straight up narrations of Stevenson's original work available here at Audible. Obviously most reviewers disagree with me.

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223 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very confusing

I found this recording to be very difficult to listen to. The action scenes, the voices were very mixed and jumbled. It was hard to understand what was going on. If I didn’t already know the story I would have been lost.

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137 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fantastic performance but...

I didn’t love the artistic liberties that they took with the story. They took a classic novel/story and made it a bit more of a modern moral treatise (where those who seem evil are actually good in their own way when compared to the bigoted, hypocritical wealthy). A bit cliche.

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108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to.

This book was hard to listen to, very loud and annoying. Too many sound effects. Would have been better if the story was just told.

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89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not exactly what I was expecting

Without previewing this I bought this thinking that I would have the words read verbatim, however it was and interpreted performance which is OK but left out a lot of detail and that what I was looking for.

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67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Let Adventure Get In Your Blood!

Please forgive me: I gave a pass on all things Robert Louis Stevenson when I was younger, thinking all his books were good for boys only. And now, when I'm 50+, I decided to give 'im a try and almost got the Alfred Molina version here on Audible. But I'm actually kinda into grand performances so I got this full cast production instead.
And boy am I glad I did! Pirates! The high seas! Treasure! All done so well, it was a blast!
One thing, though. As I never read RLS before, I can't say whether or not the ending was changed, as one reviewer noted. I can only say that the ending here was fun and quite satisfying: it left you feeling that adventure truly got into the lucky (he HAD to have had quite some luck!) Jim's blood, and the end was only the beginning.
Fun for the family, fun for the lone grown-up.
What fun all around!

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58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

didn't care for this version. it was difficult for

me to hear all the "dialog" and some of the sound effects were too loud. didn't finish.

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56 people found this helpful