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The Master of Ballantrae Paperback – September 12, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1463730116 ISBN-10: 146373011X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146373011X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463730116
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,532,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If a strong story, strongly told, full of human interest, and absolutely original in its situations, makes a masterpiece, then this may lay claim to the title.”—Arthur Conan Doyle --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Stevenson?s brooding historical romance demonstrates his most abiding theme?the elemental struggle between good and evil?as it unfolds against a hauntingly beautiful Scottish landscape, amid the fierce loyalties and violent enmities that characterized Scottish history. When two brothers attempt to split their loyalties between the warring factions of the 1745 Jacobite rising, one family finds itself tragically divided. Stevenson?s remarkably vivid characterizations create an acutely moving, psychologically complex work; as Andrea Barrett points out in her Introduction, ?The brothers? characters, not the historical facts, shape the drama.?

This Modern Library Paperback Classic includes illustrations reproduced from the original edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Stevenson is best known today as a writer of juvenile fiction. This doesn't do justice to his skills as a writer of historical fiction or his ability to explore psychological and moral issues. Master of Ballantrae is one of his best works. Set in 18th century Scotland, it is an exploration of the nature and relationship between good and evil. In many ways, this is a parallel book to Jekyll and Hyde. In Master, the different aspects of human moral behavior are explored in conflict and relationship of 2 brothers, one charismatic and amoral, the other, stolid and virtuous. This is primarily a psychological novel of family tragedy brought about by the characters of the 2 bothers in a conflict ignited by the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Stevenson does an excellent job of handling the characters and plot. As with his other work, there is a nice depiction of 18th century Scotland. This is not a great work, but it is very good.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, and I think that "The Master of Ballantrae" is his best novel. It has interesting character studies and its exciting story is set in a great variety of locations. It has good adventure plus a very haunting quality to it, and is one of those books that I enjoy re-reading.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Graydon on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read The Master of Ballantrae quite recently and I think it is an awesome book. James Durie (the Master) is such a wicked man, but seems to charm (most) everybody. He is such a round character. He torments his poor brother Henry Durie and Henry suffers in silence. Only Mr. Mackellar knows of Henry's sufferings. The Master makes the book so colorful. It's full of adventure, romance, sorrow, and revenge. I highly recommend this book, because it was so interesting and kept you wondering what would happen next. I am sure it will capture your attention as it did mine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Balbach on October 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
_The Master of Ballantrae_ is not one of Stevenson's better novels but I knew that before going into it. It's been sometimes described as "masterly", and since I've rarely read any Stevenson I didn't like, I gave it a try. The psychological battle between two brothers is the sub-text of this Scott-like epic historical tale with elements of James Fenimore Cooper's _Leatherstocking Tales_, _Treasure Island_ and _Kidnapped_. However unlike Scott and Cooper, who had nationalistic designs, Stevenson's is a darker more inward looking story of psychology. The overall effect is strange and a bit "Sensational" (ala _Woman in White_). Not to my taste, but I understand Stevenson was influenced by Scott growing up and wanted ultimately to write a series of Scottish historical romances that would help with Scotland's independence movement. But instead he wrote Ballantrae in the middle of winter (thus "A Winter's Tale") in the Adirondack Mountains of New York on his way to the Pacific, far away from Scotland, to which he would never return. Rather than a national epic it is an odd sort of genre-bending thriller probably best read today for the psychological struggle between two brothers.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have always liked everything written by Stevenson, but The Master of Ballantrae far outstrips everything else. It is a subtle insight into human nature, and a great adventure story as well. The episodes are majestic, and the story, though bleak, is very touching. I have read it many, many times and think more of it the more I read it (to paraphrase Mackellar on page 1).
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