Customer Reviews: Ransom
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on June 9, 1999
I read the book Ransom by Lois Duncan. I want to review it because it was very exciting and suspenseful. It is about a group of high-school teenagers that are from rich families. One ordinary Friday the kids got on their bus, but the bus driver wasn't the usual. The kids thought it was a substitute, but it actually was their kidnapper. The kids were taken up to the top of a mountain and held ransom. The kids go through hard times in a cabin in the winter. Do you think the high-school students can escape? You can find out by reading this book. I recommend this book because it has a strong plot, with well developed characters, but it gets to the action quick and the action lasts for the rest of the story. If you like suspenseful, action packed stories read Ransom by Lois Duncan.
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on December 13, 2014
As a teen I loved Lois Duncan's books, and probably read every single fiction book she wrote. When I recently stumbled across Ransom in the Amazon Kindle Store, I bought it to read (or re-read, as I couldn't remember if I'd ever read the book) for nostalgia's sake.

Like many of Duncan's young adult books, this one is a thriller. Five high schoolers are taken hostage and held for ransom when riding home from school one day. At first they don't suspect anything is wrong when their normal bus driver is out and a substitute is in his place. After all of the kids besides the 5 that live in the "rich" neighborhood are dropped off, the 5 remaining kids are taken to a remote cabin, where they are held at gunpoint until their parents pay their kidnappers.

Reading this as an adult, I found the book enjoyable, but not too thrilling. If I were younger, I probably would have found it more exciting. The ending is a bit abrupt, and there isn't much closure on what happens to the kids after the events of this book. However, I still enjoyed the book and thought Duncan kept events from dragging on by keeping the book moving along.

One thing I thought was odd was that it seemed this book had clearly been edited to try to make it seem more current. This book was originally written in the 60s, but there were a few random references to cell phones in the Kindle version I read. The random references seemed to make it quite obvious that they were being added way after the fact to try to make the book seem newer, and I would have preferred to have just read the original book without these references, even if they had dated the book. For instance, when the kids are kidnapped, the kidnappers make a demand that everyone throw their cell phones on the floor. Then at another point, there is a single sentence about how there isn't any cell service up in the mountains where the cabin is at. In total there were probably only 3 or 4 sentences thrown in throughout the book to address or explain away why these teens couldn't have just whipped out cell phones to call for help, but I thought it took away from the book. I think teens today could have read the original version of the book and understood that this was written in the 60s, which is why cell phones aren't mentioned. My guess is publishers were afraid an older book wouldn't appeal to kids today without these minor edits, but I think I would have preferred a simple sentence about the year the book was set in to these stupid after-the-fact sentences that were added in, if they demanded something be added.

At any rate, this was a good book. For the most part, if you look past the stupid updates about cell phones, the book still holds up more than 50 years after it was written.
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on March 6, 2000
I thought that the book Ransom, by Lois Duncan, was a great story and had a suspenseful theme. Lois Duncan is a very thoughtful writer, and I loved the way she wrote the suspense into the events, like when she vividly explained every detail of how the kidnapping took place and how she went over all of the possible ways to get out of it without having to pay the ransom, and why it wouldn't work. I also liked the way that the characters had seperate personalities and their actions matched. An example is, Dexter, one of the children who has been kidnapped, has a very short temper, and is always being upset and angry for one reason or another in this sticky situation. I think that almost every kind of person would enjoy this book because the children in this book that were kidnapped can relate to everyone. It shows how they dealt with the situation they were given. I certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense and mysterious plots.
The kind of person who is curious and likes to get to the end of the book would also find this hard to put down. Overall this book was worth the time I took reading it. The only part I didn't fully enjoy was the very depressing mood, because it was about five children that were kidnapped and their parents couldn't get enough money to pay the ransom. Also it was kind of confusing because the setting switches back from place to place, so it isn't that easy to follow. Other than those two problems I thought that this is one of the best books I've ever read because, overall it is thrilling, and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I hope you will agree with me.
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on April 24, 2001
Ransom is one of my favorite books by Lois Duncan. It's a bit slow through the first two chapters, but the rest will keep you on the edge of your seat. You won't be able to stop reading. This is not only probably the best book Lois Duncan wrote, it's the best book I ever read. It all starts with a simple bus ride home from school. But, when the kids realize that they have a very suspicious bus driver..... I recommend this book for any reader, especially those who love suspence.
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on July 30, 2005
This book was really good. It has a pretty basic plot: 5 high school students named Jesse, Bruce, Dexter, Glenn and Marianne all got on the school bus and were kidnapped by a fake bus driver because they came from a rich neighborhood, and it was figured that they would be able to pay a high ransom. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Most of the kids parents were unable to pay. The 5 of them tried to escape, but their plan backfired and Dexter got shot. Things progressed slowly, but it was still good and although the plot was relatively simple, Lois Duncan packed it with her typical unexpected twists and the charicters were very well fleshed out and all of them, except Marianne who seemed perfect, had weaknesses and really had two different sides to them. Romance was also present as you would expect in a book geared towards a teen age-group.

Each character was very different. Here is a summarization of each one: Jesse: A girl who had never really had friends or a strong home environment because her father was in the army and they had to constantly move.

Dexter: A guy who kept to himself as he was ashamed of the fact that one side of his body was smaller then the other due to an accident or something (I don't really remember what happened to cause this because I read it a while ago). Dexter lived with his uncle who was always on business trips or out partying.

Glenn: A football player who always wanted to be in the middle of things and likes to be in the lime light and get praise. He thinks he is about the best person in the world and is extremely self-cantered. All the girls love him though, especially Marianne.

Bruce: Glenn's clumsy younger brother who idolizes Glenn and has always had to live in Glenn's shadow.

Marianne: A glamorous cheerleader who's mother has gotten remarried after a previous divorce. Marianne doesn't like this new addition to her life and strongly believes that her real father will come through and save her from her kidnappers, but she is greatly disappointed.

This book was really suspenseful and makes you never want to stop reading it till the end and even them you want more. The only problem I have with it is that they were kidnapped on their school bus, and school is going to be starting up soon, and I'm gonna take the bus this year,.... and.......uh.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! MOM!!!!! YOU DRIVE ME TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
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on December 11, 2000
Lois Duncan's Ransom is one of the best books to hit the shelves. It not only keeps you interested but gives you a full, detailed description of what is happening throughout the story. The story is told by a "third party" that moves from place to place and person to person. The story line goes like this. Five students are kidnapped and held for ransom in an old cabin in the mountains. Two if these are brothers, Glenn and Bruce. Dexter, a straggler, lives with his uncle who is away on business and doesn't even know he is missing. Jesse is the daughter of a colonel and Marianne is a cheerleader that doesn't believer her stepfather will come through on the ransom money. The story goes through different twists and turns as well as surprising gunshots and arguments. This is a book that is hard to put down due to its suspenseful moments. Make sure you start with hours to spend reading it. It is definitely not a book to rush through. Overall the book is a great way to pass time and will always deserve the opportunity to be read over and over again.
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on September 19, 1999
I did this book for a book report and it was good, but I didn't think it had to much to do with a REAL ransom. In one part, the group tryed to escape and the kidnapper- Buck left them with I think the wife who just let them do what the pleased. Probably in a real kidnapping, Buck would have killed them. I am interested in books like this one that have action. This is not what I would call a book with so much action you can not put it down. I of course, don't have the same opinion as everyone, but if you would like an action- packed book, I would suggest that you don't read this. But, if you don't want to be scared out of your mind, the is the right book for you.
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on December 5, 2013
The author does an excellent job of establishing character, so that the reader can keep track of the various persons involved. There is character development, which is believable and innately suited to each person. These books are so much better than a lot of "adult" fiction in the same genre, not reliant on violence or sex.
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on March 16, 2000
This book is one you can't put down. It tells the story about 5 kids who get kidnapped right of their school bus, and how their families are struggling to get the money to get their kids back. It also tells the bravery of the kids, and how they try to escape danger. The ending will suprise you the most. The last one who you think can save the 5 kids, does. If you want a book that will keep you in suspense, on the edge of your seat, and one that leaves you with a cliff hanger at the end of every page, this is the book for you.
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on May 12, 2004
Do you like mysteries? Do you like excitement, action, suspense?Then you should read "Ransom," by Louis Duncan. It is about 5 kids who get kidnapped, and the parents have to pay the ransom of $15,000 for EACH kid in order to get them back. Not only does it have mysteries, action, and suspense, but it has somewhat of romance and sadness. 2 of the kids start to fall in love with each other after something extreme happens to one of them. I'm sure you won't be able to put this book down.
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