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Kidnapped (Reader's Digest The World's Best…

Kidnapped (Reader's Digest The World's Best Reading) (original 1886; edition 1986)

by Robert Lewis Stevenson (Author)

Series: David Balfour (1)

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8,58499681 (3.75)339
A sixteen-year-old orphan is kidnapped by his villainous uncle, but later escapes and becomes involved in the struggle of the Scottish highlanders against English rule.
Title:Kidnapped (Reader's Digest The World's Best Reading)
Authors:Robert Lewis Stevenson (Author)
Info:Readers Digest (1986), Edition: Book Club Edition
Collections:Your library

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)


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English (94)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
It may be a sacrilege to say this, but this book actually felt like a crossover between Dickens and Outlander!
While I followed young David Balfour from the Lowlands to the Hebrides and across the Scottish glens and mountains, meeting Highlanders, wandering the moors, nearly starving, hiding from British soldiers and trying to win his rightful inheritance, I loved this character more and more - and of course also his companion. I enjoyed the descriptions of 18th century Scotland and I found myself googling and researching names and places after every sitting, delighted to find so much historical substance where I had not expected it.
I think there are some chapters that are a little too lengthy, but apart from that it was so much fun to read this and I am glad that I finally did. ( )
1 vote MissBrangwen | Mar 30, 2021 |
For more reviews and bookish posts visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is a novel following David Balfour, an orphan whose only relative is trying to cheat him out of his rightful title and inheritance.

Young David Balfour is tricked by his uncle, who sold him to a ship bound for America. Rescued by Scottish lowlander Alan Breck Stewart, a fugitive himself, David goes on a journey throughout Scotland to get back his rightful inheritance.

I have read this book previously, I don’t remember at what age but it has to be before I turned 12. At the time, of course, I had no idea that it was a classic and famous book. I was even surprised to find out that it was even a movie later on in life. The book did make an impression on me and to this day the character of Alan Breck Stewart is, to me, the quintessential penniless Scottish aristocrat.

Re-reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson with the benefits of being an adult, allowed me to see the novel from a different perspective. One of the things I realized when reading Treasure Island was that the story, as read from a perspective of an adult, is actually about Long John Silver, not Jim Hawkins as I previously thought. As a young man I identified with the struggles of David Balfour, and did so as an adult but I did get more insight into the character of Alan Breck, as well as the historical viewpoints, as seen by the Scotts.

What I realized is that this seemingly simple novel is a masterpiece. Masquerading as an adventure novel of a teenager it is also a travelogue and have a fantastic theme about the meaning of friendship and family. Mr. Stevenson also weaves in the historical events of the Appin murder of May 1752, the killing of “the Red Fox”, into a compelling narrative in which our heroes have address, as well as avoid the hangman’s noose on their travels.

What I remembered as a tale of adventure and romance, is actually a somber book taking a look at the doomed, but proud Scottish rebel. What had me wonder is what David Balfour left out, as he only tells of “the worst part of my adventures”. ( )
2 vote ZoharLaor | Jan 17, 2021 |
Another great adventure tale, though I am sure I missed some due to the glaring hole in my education about the Highland rebellion.
  amyem58 | Dec 21, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (113 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Louis Stevensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brundage, FrancesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cheshire, GerardContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goble, WarwickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hite, SidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lampén, O.E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Sullivan, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakley, GrahamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhead, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyeth, N.C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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If you ever read this tale, you will likely ask yourself more questions than I should care to answer: as for instance how the Appin murder has come to fall in the year 1751, how the Torran rocks have crept so near to Earraid, or why the printed trial is silent as to all that touches David Balfour. These are nuts beyond my ability to crack. But if you tried me on the point of Alan's guilt or innocence, I think I could defend the reading of the text. To this day you will find the tradition of Appin clear in Alan's favour. If you inquire, you may even hear that the descendants of "the other man" who fired the shot are in the country to this day. But that other man's name, inquire as you please, you shall not hear; for the Highlander values a secret for itself and for the congenial exercise of keeping it I might go on for long to justify one point and own another indefensible; it is more honest to confess at once how little I am touched by the desire of accuracy. This is no furniture for the scholar's library, but a book for the winter evening school-room when the tasks are over and the hour for bed draws near; and honest Alan, who was a grim old fire-eater in his day has in this new avatar no more desperate purpose than to steal some young gentleman's attention from his Ovid, carry him awhile into the Highlands and the last century, and pack him to bed with some engaging images to mingle with his dreams.

As for you, my dear Charles, I do not even ask you to like this tale. But perhaps when he is older, your son will; he may then be pleased to find his father's name on the fly-leaf; and in the meanwhile it pleases me to set it there, in memory of many days that were happy and some (now perhaps as pleasant to remember) that were sad. If it is strange for me to look back from a distance both in time and space on these bygone adventures of our youth, it must be stranger for you who tread the same streets--who may to-morrow open the door of the old Speculative, where we begin to rank with Scott and Robert Emmet and the beloved and inglorious Macbean--or may pass the corner of the close where that great society, the L. J. R., held its meetings and drank its beer, sitting in the seats of Burns and his companions. I think I see you, moving there by plain daylight, beholding with your natural eyes those places that have now become for your companion a part of the scenery of dreams. How, in the intervals of present business, the past must echo in your memory! Let it not echo often without some kind thoughts of your friend,

First words
I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house.
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This is the main work for Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. Do not combine with any abridgement, adaptation, etc.
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A sixteen-year-old orphan is kidnapped by his villainous uncle, but later escapes and becomes involved in the struggle of the Scottish highlanders against English rule.

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See also the 'Introduction to the classics' segment on BBC Radio 4's "Open Book" programme, 17 May 2020, with Ian Rankin talking about 'Kidnapped'. Starting at 10:00 (available for over a year).
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441798, 0141326026, 0451531434

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

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