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Treasure Island

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

Non-member price: $31.21

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Publisher's Summary

Audible Originals takes to the high seas to bring you a timeless and thrilling tale of pirates, lost treasure maps, and mutiny, with a stellar cast that includes BAFTA-nominated Catherine Tate (The Office–US, Doctor Who), Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life On Mars–UK), Owen Teale (Game of Thrones), and Daniel Mays (Rogue One, Atonement). Our team in London has modernized and re-imagined Stevenson’s classic coming-of-age adventure story for the entire family. 

Young innkeeper Jim Hawkins thought he had seen his fair share of characters until old sailor Billy Bones arrives at the inn. When Bones dies mysteriously, Jim stumbles across a treasure map leading to a stash of buried pirate gold, and a wild adventure begins. Jim is thrown into a world of treachery, mutiny, castaways, and murder. At the center of it all is the sinister Long John Silver, who will stop at nothing to grab the loot. One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Robert Louis Stevenson's 1881 tale introduces listeners to Long John Silver, forever associating peg-legged pirates with "X marks the spot" in popular culture.

This audio adventure was created by Marty Ross. Marty dubbed the Glaswegian master of radio horror by the BBC, is the author of a number of radio and audio dramas, including the popular BBC series Ghost Zone and Catch My Breath. His other credits include audio dramas based on Doctor Who and Dark Shadows for Big Finish and several plays for the Wireless Theatre Company. He created a series of grand scale audio dramas for Audible, ranging from radically contemporary re-imaginings of Shakespeare (Romeo and Jude) to his Audie-nominated adaptation of Treasure Island and two volumes of Arabian Nights dramatizations. Ross also performs his own work as a live-theater storyteller. 

Public Domain (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

ruined it for me

original was so much better than whatever this is meant to be, I gave this a try and gave up halfway no more.

  • 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 great tale

We can blame Robert Louis Stevenson for the slow start, but once we’re on the high seas the pace and twists in the allegiances are fast and furious. I’d forgotten the social commentary delivered by Long John Silver so well delivered by the actors.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful


There’s much more to this rollicking tale than I remembered. Well worth revisiting. Loved it

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

An old book made new

Skips the old language by putting it in play form. Easily accessible and a great form of the original story.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacy
  • 03-08-2019

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.

224 of 241 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tad Davis
  • 12-09-2017

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.

278 of 301 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy C
  • 30-03-2018

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.

127 of 139 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MaggieB
  • 09-11-2017

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

222 of 244 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 28-05-2019

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.

176 of 194 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 10-06-2019

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.

97 of 107 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TikiQ
  • 03-08-2019

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.

50 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Savage Doc
  • 27-11-2018

Remember that it is an Audio Drama & not a reading

Remember that it is an Audio Drama & not a reading. Without the narration, you don't get the descriptions and use of language.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G. Vanlo
  • 11-09-2019

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-09-2019

Nostalgic, but not much more

This one is tough to listen to as an adult unless you're looking for pure nostalgia. It's a cute pirate story and a classic, but nothing more than that. Excellent for young kids, but not more than that.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ailill Martin
  • 30-08-2017

A Proper Adventure

The story itself reads like the blueprint for all swashbuckling pirate adventures. The brilliantly original characters are brought to life by equally excellent voice actors accompanied by delicious sound effects of the sea and the strange atmosphere of the mysterious treasure island. I was swept along by the many twists and turns of the plot and the gruff tones of the pirates that are intertwined in them.
This is exactly how dramatisations should be executed.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mikey
  • 17-08-2017

All - star treasure island

Any additional comments?

Truth be told when I first saw Catherine Tate was included among the star studded narrators chosen for this original dramatised version of one of my all time favourite fiction stories, I was pessimistic to say the least. But boy how wrong I was.

Coming from R.L Stevenson's home place of birth in the seaside town of Dorset, I feel a special affinity with this story. I have got hold of all the different versions of this story possible, so I was intrigued to see how this version, although dramatised, would be any different.

Well I can tell you now I was captivated and highly entertained throughout the entire audiobook. I hate to steal the line that you may find on other reviews for dramatised books, but this really was like being involved in a film which was being played to me inside my head. I am currently looking forward to listening to it again, so much so I have placed other books I am looking forward to listening to on the back-burner.

This was a great time to release this audiobook, this would be even more captivating listening from a beach! Whether you will be listening from a beach or on the bus, in your car, home or the comfort of your bed as you slowly wind down for an evening, I am certain you'll have the same experience.. this was great fun!

44 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T. Archibald
  • 20-09-2017

very enjoyable

After watching the black sails show on prime video I wanted to read treasure island to continue the story of the show which was a prequel of sorts. Then I found this on audible and it was what I was looking for and the cast with some good names convinced me to buy

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David Brunt
  • 24-07-2018

The treasure is here.

Ah, this is a very good adaptation of a classic tale. Owen Teale is a charismatic monster as John Silver, perfect. Catherine Tate brings warmth and humour to the play. Daniel Mays is by turns funny and tragic as Ben Gunn Philip Glanister plays the doctor like a classic matinee hero. And then there is Stephen Critchlow and particularly Gerran Howell holding the whole play together. In short it's not just a starry cast but one that is perfectly matched to the material.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-12-2017

Excellent adaption.

Thoroughly enjoyed this version of Treasure Island. Faithful to the book but with enough dramatic licence to keep it original and entertaining and helped even further by a wonderful cast. Superb.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • siobhan brophy
  • 01-10-2017

I was enthralled from the get go

Great book, great story and was read beautifully read. As I sat in the dark and listened, I could picture every scene. I was there!
would highly recommend.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricky
  • 29-09-2017

enjoy it is a new wine with a vintage taste

as one would expect a amazing cast and a epic tale read by epic character brought to life in a truly classical way
enjoy it is a new wine with a vintage taste

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AceWholes
  • 17-12-2017

The Best Audio Book I've Ever Listened To

A truly brilliant audio book, with a great story, and a exceptional performance by all of the cast. This will definitely be listened to again and again.

Please make more!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Boomshanks
  • 26-08-2017

really good

loved it. exciting and a good tale to get into. cant beat it a bit of shwashbuckling

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • daisyrock
  • 05-10-2017

Really good

An excellent adaptation. Always a joy to hear Philip Glenister and Owen Teale was magical as Long John. Lots of light and shade to the performances. Excellent.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful