Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Story: Set against the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, the gripping drama of Kidnapped—originally published in 1886—takes readers to the danger and intrigue of a Scotland sundered by revolution. The story is told by David "Davey" Balfour, a young Whig and Lowlander whose odyssey is a microcosm of the struggles besetting his country. After his father dies Davey is tricked by a miserly uncle Ebenezer, he survives attempted murder, kidnap, and shipwreck, only to escape through the Highlands in the company of Alan Breck Stewart—a Jacobite adamantly opposed to Whigs like Davey. Running for their lives, the two fugitives must rely on each other even as the ancient misunderstandings between them force tensions to the breaking point. A riveting page-turner and work of social commentary, Kidnapped is one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s greatest works.
Interesting Bits: So many, this is an adventure story after all! Davey encounters a miserly uncle, almost falls off an unfinished set of stairs, is hit on the head and kidnapped by a ships crew, fights for his life on the ship, spends four days on a desert island, witnesses a murder, treks over the wild Highlands of Scotland and much more! There are many edge of your seat moments mixed with humor and stories of friendship.
About the Author: Born November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling. On December 3rd, 1894, he died of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 44. As Mr. Stevenson was himself distantly related to the Balfour family this story was quite personal for him. The introduction read in the audio recording was a letter written by Mr. Stevenson's wife Fanny and told how in preparation for writing the book they both greatly enjoyed reading up on the historical accounts of the real Alan Breck Stewart (aka Allan Stewart) and many of the other characters met in the Highlands were real historic people.
My Thoughts: Kidnapped was among several classic adventure stories that my mom read to me and my siblings when we were younger. I have fond memories of the story but couldn't remember much of it so I found this LibriVox recording and had a great time listening to the whole thing!
I love Davey's story from his uncle's trickery to his travels in the Highlands of Scotland, they are just so interesting! I enjoy reading the accents too and the words they use, I dinnae ken lass, it's a wee bit too delightful! :) The friendship that develops between Davey and Alan Breck is so special and they really have to rely upon each other as they go along. From beginning to end it's just such an exciting story and is definitely my favorite of the Robert Louis Stevenson stories that I've "read", I like it even more than Treasure Island! I just recently discovered Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a sequel to Kidnapped called Catriona which sounds very intuiting! Kidnapped has definitely soared to one of my all-time favorite books!
A Bit About Movies: I've seen Kidnapped (1995) once and seem to remember recording that on VHS so I'll have to dig it out soon. I don't remember if it's close to the book or not. Has anyone else seen a film adaptation of Kidnapped? maybe the Disney one? Nothing could compare to the book though, there's such excitement and mystery there!
Have you read Kidnapped?
Are you a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's work?