Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top ten swashbuckling tales of derring-do

Charlie Fletcher is the author of the internationally acclaimed Stoneheart trilogy. He also writes for film, television and as a newspaper columnist.

He named ten favorite adventure classics for the Guardian, including:
Treasure Island and Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson

… speaking of [pirates]: Long John Silver. Stevenson (who after all wrote that great novel about split personality, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) is really good at balancing light and shade in his characters, making them three dimensional and real. Both books are rattling good adventures, full of jeopardy and betrayals. In Treasure Island, Silver is a villain who's almost a hero, and in Kidnapped, the swordsman Alan Breck Stewart is a hero who's pretty close to a villain, if not an actual murderer. And when I finished my first book, Stoneheart, I realised the character of the Gunner has a lot of Alan Breck's DNA in him …
Read about the other books on the list.

Treasure Island also appears on Robert McCrum's list of the ten best first lines in fiction, John Mullan's list of ten of the best pirates in fiction, and among Mal Peet's top ten books to read aloud, Philip Pullman's six best books, and Eoin Colfer's six favorite books.

Kidnapped also appears among M. C. Beaton's five best cozy mysteries and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best wicked uncles in literature, ten of the best misers in literature, ten of the best shipwrecks, and ten of the best towers in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue