Real journalists have to turn in their year’s best lists to be published in the month of December, a practice which invariably makes me cringe. “What,” I always think to myself, “if in the dregs of the year* you hear/see/read something amazing that demands you re-order the list?” And it happens from time to time. Treasure Island!!! is one of those list-upending books.
I read Stevenson’s Treasure Island to prepare (which is definitely recommended, although perhaps not strictly necessary) and it made me want to write more action-oriented stories. (My writing is very low on captures, escapes, fisticuffs, harrowing escapades at sea, and such.) Treasure Island!!!’s narrator’s response is an order of magnitude more drastic: she wants her life to be more action-oriented. She adopts the “core values” she derives from Treasure Island as justification for some pretty beastly behavior.
Treasure Island!!! made me guffaw and snort and want to hurl the book across the room. Levine’s prose tempts me to deploy tired metaphors of sharp things. Her narrator’s head-space is as compelling and colorfully-rendered as an epic traffic pile up: flashing lights, sirens, and a grisly smear that simultaneously repels and draws the eye. (Levine has a real knack for sentences like a frighteningly abrupt downward elevator-lurch.)
I want to read everything else Levine writes forever.**
* or even in January
** I am seethingly impatient to get our internets back so I can order her previous short story collection from Caketrain.
needs more demons? noway nohow