Robert Louis “Tusitala” Stevenson – Treasure Island
Average Goodreads rating: 3.76 (Blasphemous if you ask me…)
Books sold: 3 mil.
Everybody knows that good ol’ Tusitala wrote one other book (something about certain Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and that he was quite famous for it. And I’m positive you also know that majority of his google searches are from Samoa.
And if there is anybody who wouldn’t know why, let me just repeat the obvious. Well, he moved there. Remember it’s 1889, not some “I go for sabbatical for 3 weeks to Thailand” you could hear when mentioning travels these days. This is a real deal, in those days you travel there for half of the year. In a boat. Eating close to nothing.
And eating close to nothing on boats or trains while coughing his lungs out he did a lot (map below to be considered as somewhat of the highlights).
Tusitala (Samoan for Teller of Tales) was a storyteller from the get-go. As he was often very sick and keen to get bad pneumonia, he was destined to spend a lot of time on his own or with his tutors and mother, to whom he was dictating stories even before being able to read them. Then he wrote stories on his own until, naturally, his presbytarian father told him “give up such nonsense and mind your business.”
Luckily, he did mind his own business, which was writing.
I couldn’t find a proof of that, while being able to find ton of proofs of the opposite, but trust me on this one, he wrote that book on a boat. HE DID. I KNOW IT.
While reading it during severest quarantine, it had occurred to me that mutinies HAD to be a regular affair when spending months with the same people in closed environment. (as a matter of fact there is a book The Naval Mutinies of 1797 elaborating on more than 100 of them occurring only in 1 year.).
I’ve always thought it was men’s greed starting them, but after these couple of months (spent with people I love the most and I’ve chosen #longlivetoquarantine) I have realized that mutiny is actually just a natural reaction to the too big of an exposure towards people you don’t necessarily love (open-office life comes to mind, don’t know why…). It’s just that. Of course you need to embellish it by explaining it by your being money-and-power-hungry, but what you really want to do is to kill people who have been saying “hi” to you twenty times a day…
You might try to doubt me using this (wonderfully done) table below, but I have experiences and thus opinion, of my own. (It’s the exposure that kills you. If mutinees and mutineers weren’t on the same boat, there wouldn’t be no mutiny. Prove me wrong!)
Table proving me wrong
(I know I’ve started already some, but it doesn’t count, only below does.)
You won’t admit it, but each and every one of you had done something really stupid when drunk. (Yes even you not drinking for a decade now. Why else would you stop drinking in the first place?!).
And they had bottle of rum.
And thus, naturally, one thing let to another and now the ultrasound shows that beautiful new creature and it was a mistake, it was no doubt, but has anything beautiful ever occurred without that helping hand of good fortune?
One of my favorite phrase from one of my favorite books is “how could two creeps like you have conceived such a beautiful kid?” and we are not talking no creeps either in this case.
I’m talking about books of Robinson Crusoe and King Solomon’s Mines having sex, of course. Their kid would be this AMAZING book. Now, if there is still a bit of boy in you, and I know there is, you are going to love this.
Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest
Yo ho ho
and the bottle of rum!