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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson Review

Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

First published June 1, 1851

272 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780143039402 (ISBN10: 0143039407)

Rating: 3.79


Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped is a thrilling tale set in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Follow the journey of David Balfour, a young Whig and Lowlander, as he faces attempted murder, kidnap, and shipwreck.

His escape through the Highlands with Jacobite Alan Breck is a tumultuous journey that tests their loyalty and friendship. As they run for their lives, their differences threaten to tear them apart.

With its gripping drama and social commentary, Kidnapped is a page-turner that explores the struggles of a Scotland divided by revolution. This edition includes an introduction that provides insight into the novel’s social and political context, notes, and a glossary.

About the Author

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, a Scottish writer known for his novels, poems, and travel writing, was a prominent figure in English literature. Although he was highly regarded by esteemed authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, and Vladimir Nabokov, many modernist writers discredited him due to his popularity and deviation from their limited view of literature.

However, critics are now beginning to recognize Stevenson’s contributions to the Western canon beyond his widespread appeal.

Editoral Review

Robert Louis Stevensons Kidnapped is a classic novel in the adventure genre, first published on June 1, 1851. Set in 18th century Scotland, the book is known for its memorable characters and thrilling plotline.

Stevenson is best known for his landmark works Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but Kidnapped is a lesser-known gem that packs just as much punch as his most famous works. The novel tells the story of a young and inexperienced David Balfour who sets out to claim his rightful inheritance, but finds himself embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy.

While the pacing may seem slow at times, Stevensons intricate plotting and richly-drawn characters make up for any lack of action. The story of Davids harrowing journey across the Scottish Highlands, pursued by corrupt officials and his own treacherous relative, is nothing short of gripping.

One of the standout features of Kidnapped is its portrayal of Scotland during the 1700s. Stevenson paints a vivid picture of the countrys rugged landscapes and people, creating a sense of time and place that is both immersive and riveting.

The political tensions of the time, revolving around the Jacobite cause and the threat of English domination, are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Stevenson also excels in his characterization, creating a cast of memorable and complex individuals.

David Balfour himself is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist, naive at times but with a core of steely determination. His unlikely companion, the Highland rogue Alan Breck, is a swaggering rogue with a heart of gold.

Together, the two form an unlikely bond that carries them through their many trials and tribulations. However, the book is not without its flaws.

The pacing, as mentioned earlier, can be slow at times, and there is a feeling of disjointedness in the latter half of the story. The sheer number of subplots and minor characters can also make things confusing for readers who are not paying close attention.

These issues aside, Kidnapped remains a classic work of literature that is well worth reading. In conclusion, Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is a masterful piece of storytelling that combines thrilling adventure with rich character development and historical context.

While it has its flaws, it remains a must-read for anyone who loves classic literature and tales of derring-do. I would give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars, noting that the slow pacing and occasionally confusing plot detract only slightly from an otherwise excellent work.

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