Friday, June 22, 2012
Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine is short, quirky, sad, funny, outrageous, delightful and delightfully original. The protagonist, 25 years old. who tells the story in her voice, reads Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and decides to live by the Core Values of the book, which she identifies as Boldness, Resolution, Independence, Horn-Blowing.
As she lives her life by these values, she interacts with her loving parents and sister and a sweet boyfriend. Some of the most memorable interactions occur with her employer and in the Pet Library where she works. (What an excellent concept - people check out animals from this library, not books!) She buys a parrot which figures prominently in the story. She is hard on those around her (including the parrot) and hard on herself.
As Rebecca Barry states in her review in The New York Times, the story is told by a "quintessential unreliable narrator, one who sees other people’s flaws perfectly and almost never her own, who feints and dodges nimbly around her deep feelings and questionable mental stability like a sailor dancing the hornpipe. "
Sara Levine is the chair of the graduate writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her short stories have been published; this is her first novel. Many who have read this book vow to re-read Stevenson's Treasure Island. I have not talked with anyone nor read a review by anyone planing to adopt the Core Values. I have, however, started re-reading Stevenson's book. My thanks to the person who recommended Sara Levine's book to me. I would enjoy seeing the thoughts and comments of other readers of either Levine's or Stevenson's Treasure Island.
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