Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

 Set some years after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s failed rebellion in Scotland, Kidnapped is a timeless classic about David Balfour, whose uncle cheated him out of his inheritance and schemed to have him kidnapped and sold into slavery. A great majority of the story is about his journey in different parts of Scotland with his acquaintance Alan Breck Stewart. They have very interesting affiliations; the main one being that Alan is a Jacobite (someone who is unhappy with King George and hopes that a Stuart rules Scotland again), while David is a Whig (a supporter of the English Government). Several historical characters are included in the novel (such as Cluny Macpherson), though Stevenson is not aiming for historical accuracy and tells us that  “This is no furniture for the scholar’s library, but a book for the winter evening schoolroom when tasks are over and the hour for bed draws near.”

I picked this novel up because after reading the back of it I thought it would be about David coming up with some smart strategy to reclaim his inheritance. And to that, I was slightly disappointed because the inheritance part of the story is only the subplot. But Stevenson’s way of “building things up”  kept me reading. For example, there are so many things that lead up to David and Alan’s quarrel which makes it so real, not just all-of-a-sudden.

This novel is rich in dynamics and characterization. It is originally intended for young children. Sadly, young children today might find it a bit difficult to read, since it is written in Scots English. As for me, I didn’t read it with ease, but I didn’t find it really challenging either. Ay, I actually learned some Scottish words by reading this. ^_^

Though showing “buddy love” is very common in the past, it is not so common now. Nowadays, guys just “act cool” and show little care for their friends (though they probably care for each other on the inside). I actually don’t like that…What do you think?


9 responses to “Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. I remember reading that as a teen. Thanks for the memory!

  2. I love this book… Stevenson is a great author =D

  3. If you are looking for a truly challenging read – try “House of the seven Gabels” by Nathanial Hawthorn. He was critized for being opache even
    in his own time. Have an unabridged dictionary on hand. That said, one
    of my favorite older titles is Captain Blood, a doctor is condemed to death for aiding a rebel in the Jacobite skirmish, his captors decide to sell him instead. Where he will be driven mercylessly on a sugar plantantion, his
    friend is beaten nearly to death – and in responce he starts a slave rebellion that ends when he captures a ship and escapes with a crew
    of prisoners and africans. To feed himself and his fugitive breathern he
    is forced to turn to piracy – and becomes a character fit to rivial jack sparrow. Most impressive are the epic and outragous ways he outsmarts
    his “betters” and the ending – I won’t spoil it – is priceless.

  4. Note – Its much better then
    treasure island – and is the
    greatest pirate story – nay,
    one of the greatest stories
    I’ve ever come in contact

  5. Thanks Rastelly! I like the plot of “House of the seven Gabels” from the sound of it!

    And oh boy, my TBR list is getting way too long.

  6. “Captian Blood” is the plot I described. It probably is
    not much harder then kidnapped.

    “House of the Seven Gables” features ghosts
    and curses, and is very hard to read.

    Both books are very old classics.

  7. Good to see. I was woried
    you’d be dissipointed. 🙂

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