Chicago-based attorney Chupack expands the story of one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most memorable characters—Long John Silver—in this Treasure Island spinoff told from the pirate’s perspective.
Silver relays the story of his life to an unnamed acquaintance and a boy he calls “Mullet” while held captive on his own ship, en route to England, where he will be hanged. He describes his boyhood as a motherless street urchin taken under the wing of a homeless blind man. Eventually finding his way into the employ of a larcenous tavern keeper, the future pirate meets one of the greatest pirates of the day—Black John—and schemes to join his crew. Black John, who gives the lad his memorable name, commands the Linda Maria, a ship coveted by Silver and filled to the brim with every sort of dastardly pirate. Silver’s lifelong pursuit of an elusive treasure is also chronicled. The details of the treasure are contained in a cryptic set of clues carried in an old Bible owned by Edward Peach. Peach, who is high-born, escapes the massacre of his family with the Bible as his only keepsake and shares the mysterious ciphers contained in the book with Silver. In his pursuit of riches, Silver encounters ship after ship—and all passengers go to their doom. Only one, a woman named Mary from the Carolinas, catches Silver’s fancy. In an uncharacteristically generous move, Silver helps save her and her sister, Evangeline, from death. Chupack laces his tale with clues as to the famed treasure's nature and whereabouts and salts his language with pirate idiom.
Makes the pirate world come alive, but purists may be put off by the author’s rearrangement of details from the original story.