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Kidnapped: (RED edition) (Penguin Classics) Paperback – November 24, 2010
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About the Author
Edinburgh-born Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) began his writing career as an essayist and travel writer, but the success of Treasure Island (1883) and Kidnapped (1886) established his reputation for tales of adventure and action.
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Other reviews here explain the plot which is great, but the reading keeps you on the edge of your seat, the entire way through. It is just an amazing piece of suspense writing, and so realistic down to every detail.
I highly recommend the Whispersync audio version which was narrated by a fantastic reader. I used this when I was in the kitchen making dinner or something when I couldn't hold my Kindle Fire. The book was so irresistible, I had to go through it from beginning to end and Whispersync audio worked perfectly.
If you are a writer, I think that this book would have to go on your list of must read books to help you learn the craft of good description, simple story line, characterization and suspense. I plan to listen to it again on my next long car ride playing my Kindle through my car speakers.
As a parent, I'd make sure my teens and pre-teens were exposed to this kind of exciting literature right away. I give it a highly recommend.
As with any Kindle book, there are always a few typos - here there are very few, a pleasant surprise despite the frequent archaic words/Scots dialect. The formatting is occasionally off - with a paragraph break in the middle of the paragraph, infrequently, but enough to be annoying.
Several 1-star comments seem to revolve primarily around the language. Written in 1886, and purporting to be about events in 1751 in Scotland, Stevenson obviously selected language that is both Scots-English and, to 21st-century eyes, extremely archaic language. I think the Scots dialect is likely a larger hurdle, since it is often not in modern dictionaries. Quite a bit of it is not in the Kindle-dictionary.
It is the story of a young man David Balfour confronting the possibility that he is, in fact, heir to an estate of significant value. His uncle, not wishing to give up his ill-gotten gains, arranges for the young man to be kidnapped and shipped to the American colonies as slave labor. Saved by both a Scotsman and a shipwreck on the Scottish coast, 'Kidnapped' follows Balfour's adventures and trials of returning home to recover his estate. The Scot, being a Jacobite outlaw, seeks to return to France. He assists Balfour's efforts with his native knowledge and contacts; and a friendship develops. It is a nice picture of the trials and tribulations a friendship can survive through differences in politics and personal goals.
And, as mentioned, much of the language is used with old-fashioned or even archaic meanings. e.g. 'nice' meant 'exact', rather than 'pleasant'. If this is offered to students or as a sample of Victorian literature, a list of commonly used words and their modern equivalents/meanings should be included, e.g. braw, nae, fine.
Most recent customer reviews
The Scottish dialect adds to the fantasy, but it's not easy reading.Read more