Kidnapped (David Balfour, #1)

Robert Lewis Stevenson can spin a yarn, no doubt. His writing is grand! He is now on my list of favorite authors. Treasure Island to read . . . . .NEXT!

What a history lesson I learned reading Kidnapped. I didn’t know about “The Forty-Five”, the Second Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. I don’t remember any history lesson in school regarding the Jacobites and their struggle, and the Appin murder in Scotland. In this edition I have, there is a good section of historical background regarding the rebellion

Robert Lewis Stevenson can spin a yarn, no doubt. His writing is grand! He is now on my list of favorite authors. Treasure Island to read . . . . .NEXT!

What a history lesson I learned reading Kidnapped. I didn’t know about “The Forty-Five”, the Second Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. I don’t remember any history lesson in school regarding the Jacobites and their struggle, and the Appin murder in Scotland. In this edition I have, there is a good section of historical background regarding the rebellion that helped me tremendously as I was reading.

Kidnapped is the memoirs of David Balfour’s adventures in the year 1751. As the story beings, David Balfour tells the reader how he recently became an orphan at a young age of 17. David’s family was not well off, so he starts out from his family’s home in Essendean with very little money. On his way down the road he is met by the minister of Essendean, Mr. Campbell, a good friend of the family, who hands David a letter. The letter was not to be opened by David until his father had died. The letter stated that David had inherited the house of Shaws, in the town of Cramond, Scotland. David exclaims, “What had my poor father to do with the house of Shaws?”

David’s first part of his journey away from home was to the house of Shaws to claim his inheritance. He meets his uncle, Ebenezer, who is living in this run-down manse. The condition of the house of Shaws was not what he pictured. It was a sad looking place, dilapidated, unkept – a depressing sight. You feel every stingy, unpleasant side of Ebenezer. He is rude to David when they first meet. After David explains why he is there, Ebenezer puts on a little act of kindness, but underneath something is brewing. And this is where David’s nightmare of

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a journey begins.The landscape, the sea scape, the torture, the sea-sickness – oh, you feel it all as you read. It is all so well described you can’t put the book down. You feel every piece of agony David goes through. David has to forge for himself on an island at one point and the food he finds is scary. Will he die eating that?During part of David’s adventure, he meets a very colorful fellow named Alan Breck Stewart. And this friendship develops into a bond that is unbreakable. The hiding in the heather and cold swamps, keeping a low profile from the red-coats. David’s watch, in the sun, trying to nap, switching watches – “I had the taste of sleep in my throat; my joints slept even when my mind was waking; the hot smell of the heather, and the drone of wild bees, were like possets to me; and, every now and again I would give a jump and find I had been dozing.” The suspense throughout the wanderings of David and Alan have you holding your breath, feeling the heat of the day on their bodies, feeling the fatigue of the traveling – oh, yes, they keep you right in the mix of all their adventures. Alan Stewart is quite a character, and as you read, you realize how loyal of a man he is. He has stamina beyond normal. You grow to love this character because he is so loyal to David.There were tears that flowed from my eyes at the end, and this does not give anything away. The ending is not definitive; my tears flowed none the less.

My first novel of Stevenson’s was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and I absolutely loved it. But, I assumed all of his writings would be similar: bizarre and twisted. I was excited to pick up Kidnapped because of this association. Wrong! This is far from twisted and bizarre. It is a great adventure that you won’t forget. You become very attached to David and his companion Alan.

There is quite a bit of subtle humor with David Balfour’s side thoughts. “East be it!” says I, quite cheerily; but, I was thinking to myself: “Oh, man, if you would only take one point of the compass and let me take any other, it would be the best for both of us.”Great, great story! I recommend this to EVERYONE! ...more


Category: Review

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