For those seeking the famous tale on which the recent film was based, this will sorely disappoint. This is Scott's tale of a young Englishman, son of a prosperous middle class businessman, who is sent to live with distant cousins in the north of England (just below the Scottish border) because of his failure to live up to his father's mercantile expectations of him. Here he becomes involved with all manner of intrigue and gets pulled into a vortex of events involving rebellion against the English crown, a scheming cousin, a beautiful girl and that famous Scottish outlaw and freedom fighter, Rob Roy.
But the outlaw, certainly the most interesting character in the tale, is only a side player so to speak, and makes a number of appearances, often in disguises (a favorite Scott motif), only to guide and/or rescue our blundering hero. This is most definitely not a tale of high adventure and derring do, and the complex and twisted intrigues of the plot do not sustain the book adequately.
For those who like period pieces or the works of the masters (and Scott was certainly one), this book might be okay. But this is one of those rare instances where the movie, based, at least on the face of it, on Scott's own preface to his book (in which he sketches out the life and times of the historical Rob Roy), is better.
And frankly the movie wasn't half bad; superior, in my view, to that other film of historical Scotland of the same production vintage Braveheart (Special Collector's Edition)
with Mel Gibson. Oddly enough, the Rob Roy film (Rob Roy
) did worse at the box office. Who can account for tastes?