Photo of pirate ship in cove with words "Jay's faves Treasure Island"

Why Treasure Island is one of the Greatest adventure books of all time

Ahoy me mateys! Come with Scuba Jay on an adventure filled trip with deadly pirates in search of hidden plunder on Treasure Island.

Picture of Treasure Island book.
Treasure Island is an adventure tale for all-time.


There is a reason the classics are the classics. Treasure Island is at the top of all-time adventure novels and a first of its kind. It is from this book that we get our modern romanticized image of pirates, with their peg legs and shoulder-sitting parrots.

Picture of movie still from Disney's 1950 Treasure Island.
The majority of they ways we think of pirates comes from Treasure Island.

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1883, Treasure Island has seen millions of copies printed, has been brought to the screen, both large and small, numerous times and has been made into toys and board games.

Picture of a Treasure Island board game.
Since it was first published, Treasure Island has gone beyond being just a book.

I can’t recall when I first read Treasure Island, it was sometime during childhood, but I have read it multiple times. And with each reread it never fails to make me feel like a kid again, off on an adventure with those old pirates to a remote island to find buried treasure.


Treasure Island is a coming-of-age story that follows the adventurous Jim Hawkins. His adventure begins once old Billy Bones and his mysterious sea chest shows up at the Inn run by Hawkins and his mother. It is revealed that Bones once sailed with the notorious Captain Flint and has absconded with a treasure map that others will soon be after.

Picture of Billy Bones from Treasure Island.
The day Billy Bones showed up, is the day the adventure started for Jim Hawkins. (photo courtesy of

Bad men do come looking for Bones and before you know it, Jim is off to Treasure Island with Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney and Captain Smollett in search of that rumored treasure. But are all the crew and the on-legged cook, Long John silver, what they appear to be?

Picture of Long John Silver from Treasure Island.
Is Long John Silver really a nice old cook? Maybe, since they named that food chain after him.

This book has classical characters that jump off of the page and is loaded with action. The atmosphere of the book is fantastic as well. Just try not to feel the foreboding as the blindman approaches the Inn “about three o’ clock of a bitter, foggy, frosty afternoon.” Gives me chills every time!

Picture of the "Blind Man" from Treasure Island.
The hair may standup on the back of your neck as the blindman approaches the Inn.

Movies and TV

Treasure Island is one of the most adapted books ever! There have been countless movies made of it, from the Muppets to an animated version that takes place in outer space.

Picture of movie poster for Muppet Treasure Island.
Even the Muppets have covered this classic.

Perhaps the most beloved movie version of Treasure Island was the one done by Disney in 1950. Robert Newton’s portrayal of Long John Silver set the standard for bringing pirates to life on the silver screen.

picture of movie poster for the Disney 1950 Treasure Island.
The 1950 Disney movie may be the most popular film version of Treasure Island.

However, Scuba Jay’s favorite is the miniseries done in 1990 that stars Charlton Heston as Long John Silver and Christian Bale as young Jim Hawkins. This version holds true to the original story and is very well acted.

picture of the 1990 miniseries of Treasure Island with Charlton Heston and Christian Bale.
The 1990 miniseries is Scuba Jay’s favorite screen version of Treasure Island.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for an adventure book, then do yourself a favor and pick up this classic. You will be hard pressed to put it down as you feel like you are along for the ride in an epic tale. And from the Goonies to Indiana Jones, who doesn’t want to go looking for some treasure? X marks the spot on the treasure map and it marks the spot on this literary treasure as well!

Picture of drawn pirate map.
You won’t need a treasure map to find Treasure Island, just head over to your local book store.

More of Jay’s Faves

Check out the below, if interested in more of Jay’s Faves.

“How boring would the world be if everywhere and everyone were the same. Safe travels and good adventures.” Scuba Jay

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