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Kidnapped (Bantam Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Louis Stevenson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Seventeen-year-old David Balfour's villainous uncle has him kidnapped in order to steal his inheritance. David escapes only to fall into the dangerous company of rebels who are resisting British redcoats in the Scottish highlands.  


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson remains one of the classic coming-of-age stories for children and young adults today. After the death of his father, David Balfour sets out to meet his uncle and claim his inheritance. This adventure takes him through the highlands of Scotland where he embarks upon a long journey back from treachery and deceit. The reading by David Rintoul, whose voice is easily recognizable from his roles in several PBS productions such as Pride and Prejudice, translates the written word into an auditory landscape of Scotland. He interprets each character using several voices. As the story progresses, listeners can hear David changing from an uncertain and hesitant youth, to the assured and forthright young man he becomes at the conclusion. Without any special effects, the fight among the crew of the Coventry in the RoundhouseAchairs pushed over, the sounds of the sea hitting against the great shipAbecomes easily visualized. the reader's skill setting the stage and showing the growth of the character is phenomenal. While this is an abridgement, the story flows easily and gives a full picture from beginning to end. This audiobook is a wonderful way to introduce this style of literature to young readers who may feel inhibited by reading the language of Stevenson. Whether read for enjoyment or to enrich the learning experience, this is a must for every serious library collection of the classics.
Tina Hudak, Takoma Park Maryland Library, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Editor Menikoff insists that Stevenson's novel has been unfairly relegated to young adult fiction. To remedy that, he restored the text to its original form, reinstating deleted passages and Stevenson's original punctuation. The text is buttressed with 19th-century drawings from the book's serializations and an introduction that explains the book's nexus and puts it into its Scottish cultural context. (Classic Returns, LJ 5/15/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619491818
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (February 26, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00150K3JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic historical fiction by R.L. Stevenson August 24, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Originally written as a boy's adventure novel, modern readers will probably consider it more a book for adults. My father gave it to me when I was eight, after I'd read _Treasure Island_, and I disliked it then immensely, put off by the lack of plot movement, the Scots dialect, and the total absence of pirates. Re-reading it now on the Kindle, I admit it's a lot more enjoyable, partly because the Kindle's dictionary helps translate some of the Scots dialect, partly because I'm a more mature reader.

The plot is fairly straightforward (skip this paragraph if you want to avoid spoilers): Our Hero, David Balfour, is tricked out of his rightful inheritance by an evil uncle, shanghaied, shipwrecked, partnered with a historical figure (one Alan Breck Stewart) and caught up in the events of an unsolved historical mystery (the "Appin Murder"). The body of the novel is a day-by-day description of their flight through the Scottish highlands, on the run from the Redcoat troops searching them out.

Overall, the novel succeeds in creating some degree of tension and suspense, especially in the first half or so, with some classic melodrama elements. The latter half of the novel drags a bit, though, and would probably be less appealing to younger readers and more enjoyable for readers more interested in Stevenson's prose style. There is a great deal of Scots dialect, but the most obscure words are footnoted and some (but not all) of the less-obscure words are in the Kindle's dictionary.

Overall, I'd recommend this highly to a fan of books like Sir Walter Scott's _Waverly_ or _Rob Roy_, or to anyone who had a particular love of historical fiction set in the 18th-century scottish highlands.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the kids have all the fun March 5, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was surprised to see some reviewers didn't like this wonderful book. If you have trouble with the Scottish accent, read it out loud, use your imagination, and if you still can't figure it out, skip a bit. (Do you insist on understanding every single word spoken in a movie?)

This is the story of a young man overcoming adversity to gain maturity and his birthright. It moves right along, in Stevenson's beautiful prose. Read, for example, this sentence from Chapter 12: "In those days, so close on the back of the great rebellion, it was needful a man should know what he was doing when he went upon the heather." Read it out loud; it rolls along, carrying the reader back to Scotland, even a reader like me, who doesn't know all that much about Scottish history. Kidnapped is by no means inferior, and in many ways superior to the more famous Treasure Island.

Only two points I would like to bring up: I bought the Penguin Popular Classics issue, and have sort of mixed feelings. Maybe some day I'll get the version illustrated by Wyeth. I'm not sure whether this book needs illustrations, though. Stevenson's vivid writing is full of pictures.

In Chapter 4, David makes a point of saying that he found a book given by his father to his uncle on Ebenezer's fifth birthday. So? Is this supposed to show how much Ebenezer aged due to his wickedness? If anybody could explain this to me, please do.
This was originally posted in 2000. I am updating it in June 2006: many thanks to alert reader Beth Smith, who very kindly informed me that the significance is that David's father was older than the uncle. Therefore the father, and now David, was the rightful owner of the estate of Shaws.
Ok, gotcha, clear now, and I'll reread it. Thanks to Ms Smith, and to Amazon for this forum.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read February 23, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I missed this one as a kid, which is too bad, because I think I would have appreciated it then as well. Set following the failed Scottish rebellion, 'Kidnapped' tells the story of young David Balfour, whose greedy uncle tries to cheat him out of his inheritance by having him kidnapped and sold in the American colonies as a slave. On the way, however, he befriends a Jacobite rebel and is instead caught up in the Scottish troubles and has to fight his way back to his home and claim his inheritance. The adventure is all the more exciting because it feels like such a real world with all the careful place-related detail Stevenson employs. While the language can be difficult in places, that quickly fades once you get into the rhythm of the book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A departure from "Kidnapped" September 29, 2002
Format:Hardcover
It's true that this sequel to "Kidnapped" takes a very different direction from the original story. In fact, Alan Breck Stewart (everyone's favorite character) makes only a few (albeit quite entertaining) appearances, and most of the story focuses on David Balfour's lone adventures and, in the second half of the book, his rather botched wooing of Catriona, a lovely Scottish lass (to say more would give away the story).
I must admit that "Kidnapped" is my favorite book of all time, so I am somewhat prejudiced toward liking "David Balfour" no matter what its faults. However, the truth of the matter is that this is really quite a good book in its own right. It would not have been disappointing to anyone except for the fact that it happens to be a sequel to "Kidnapped," and people (fairly enough, I suppose) expect another rousing adventure story, which "David Balfour" is not.
Some aspects of the two books are very similar. Stevenson used quite a bit of dialect in the "Kidnapped," so it should come as a surprise to no one that he does the same in "David Balfour" (although there may be a little more broad Scotch). Also, David's and Alan's characters are quite true to the original characterizations, I think.
The part of the story that people seem to object to most is the love story between David and Catriona. I admit it, the main problem is that Catriona is a rather flat character, and as such does not keep the reader's interest (or sympathy) very well. That being said, most of the book (and especially the last 20 pages, which I liked very much) is quite entertaining. I have read better love stories and better adventure stories, but "David Balfour" isn't bad for a love story sequel to an adventure story.
Finally, a word about the illustrations in this edition. They are by N.C.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Good
Loved it but was boring in some parts. Hehehe sunshine b h bc the e the/ bub David j d CD did
Published 1 day ago by Heritage Comics HSQ
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Loved this book. It is a real fireside novel of Scottish accent, displaying the contrasts of loyalty and friendship in the face of horrendous barbarism and opression.
Published 3 days ago by M. D. Wider
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic
This is a classic adventure story and is one of Stevenson's best. The descriptions of the beautiful Scottish highlands and lowlands combined with the vivid characters and exciting... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Celtic Mustang
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Story I was Expecting
I always like to read books about the ocean when I go on vacation near the ocean. In previous trips I’ve read Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and Mutiny on the Bounty so this time... Read more
Published 13 days ago by E. David Swan
5.0 out of 5 stars High adventure from the master, perhaps my favorite Stevenson
I have enjoyed the storybook-feel of every Stevenson novel that I've read, and KIDNAPPED is no exception. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Chip Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my all time favorite books by one of my favorite...
This is one of my all time favorite books by one of my favorite authors. A true classic that will never go out of style.
Published 1 month ago by Clarke Atwell
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to read for many ages
A great book to read for many ages. I started it in middle school and then life took over. Now I am reading it again and finding myself loving it even more than when I first... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nimerith
4.0 out of 5 stars kidnapped
The book is not my favorite. I had to read it for school but I would recommend it to people who love historical fiction adventures. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles K Hartsell Jr
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Disappointed, not worth .50 cents
Published 1 month ago by Karen Schwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars ... I remember from the Disney Movie which was even better reading the...
It was a story I remember from the Disney Movie which was even better reading the book. Had the visual of the actors from the movie while reading the written story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by stephen fodor
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