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Last Updated: Sep 13, 2015 - 8:18:47 AM 

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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Last Bookaneer" by Matthew Pearl
By Milton M. Gross
Sep 13, 2015 - 8:20:13 AM

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The Last Bookaneer is historical fiction, basically a version of the last days of Robert Louis Stevenson on Samoa, a real south-pacific island, where he died. Milt Gross photo.
This book was hard to read, becoming complicated with various plot switches, but it was also extremely interesting. It was a fictionalized account of Robert Louis Stevenson's final days on a Pacific Island.

The price is $27.95 on the bookjacket. The writer, Matthew Pearl, wrote The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens, and The Technologists. has this one for $16.46 hardcover, $11.99 Kindle Edition.

Published in 2015 By Penguin Publishing Group, Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

Bookaneers were those who borrowed or stole book manuscripts before laws protected publishers and printing houses in the early 1900s.

"I" worked selling books on the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company. (The main character.)

Bookaneer's description from the cover " the astonishing story of these literary thieves' epic final heist. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel." Stevenson did die on that island.

The story ranges from Great Britain to Samoa, becomes somewhat complicated, but always holds your interest in what finally happens and whether that conclusion is based on Stevenson's true-life history. The tales includes a tribe, a tribal leader, descriptions of the island and Stevenson's houses there, the characters making their way through thick jungle, and much more.

A well-written story, Buckaneer, one I thoroughly enjoyed and a tale you should read if any of the details of Stevenson's life at all interest you.

We had to read Stevenson in school, but I willingly read this here in our house. (No teacher making me.)

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015

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