the guardian Fri 08 August 2008
Having tried in vain to persuade my pre-teenage children to read Treasure Island years ago - the 10-year-old said he couldn't handle all that "if he durst, quoth I" stuff and asked for the latest Ian Rankin instead - I now realise where I went wrong. They should have listened to it. What's more, they should have listened to Jasper Britton reading this best-ever adventure story, which has the same mesmeric ability to keep you hanging on every word as the Ancient Mariner. It has all that's required of a ripping yarn - danger, suspense, treachery, mystery, a quest triggered by a musty old map in a sea chest with the proverbial X marking the spot where the treasure is buried, and a courageous juvenile lead. There are characters with terrifying names: Black Dog, Blind Pugh, Billy Bones and the legendary one-legged Long John Silver, whose villainy is somehow excusable because he's so damned charismatic. Every car should have it.