Classic Literature, Fiction

Book Review: “Kidnapped”

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.0

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Genre: Action & Adventure [Classic Literature]

About: Robert Louis Stevenson was tormented by poor health for his entire life. This forced him to often live in tropical locations for periods of time and then eventually he lived his final days in the tropics. However, he loved the land of Scotland; his land. Stevenson released Kidnapped in 1886. This book truly captures his love for Scottish terrain, and is considered to be one of his greatest works.

Likes: This book really grows on the reader. Initially, there doesn’t seem to be much to like about Kidnapped, but Stevenson slowly develops the characters and the reader learns to love them. Stevenson’s plot is simple yet intriguing. Some of his characters are very unique (the character Alan in particular). Also (as previously mentioned), Stevenson very clearly describes the amazing Scottish landscape, not leaving out a single detail, which can be a good thing.

Dislikes: Let’s start with the description of the landscape. Please notice that that was listed in the “Likes” section of this review; however, it can make the book feel tedious and boring. Stevenson almost gives the reader too much information about the land. Also, many of the characters are generic and do not feel unique. In addition to these two things, evil is muddled with good in this odd mixture that feels right but you know is wrong. One of the main characters is a murderer who has bloodthirsty hate for select people. However, this character is presented as one of the heroes; although some of his ideas are clearly presented as wrong. Finally, the language is old as well as written in an “accent” (which makes it even more difficult to understand).

Summary: Spirited, romantic, and full of danger, Kidnapped is Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic of high adventure. Beloved by generations, it is the saga of David Balfour, a young heir whose greedy uncle connives to do him out of his inherited fortune and plots to have him seized and sold into slavery. But honor, loyalty, and courage are rewarded; the orphan and castaway survives kidnapping and shipwreck, is rescued by a daredevil of a rogue, and makes a thrilling escape to freedom across the wild Highlands of Scotland.

Book Length: 263 pages (Bantam Classics)

Favorite Character: Alan Breck

Suggested Age: 13+

If you liked this, check out: Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson), Captains Courageous (Rudyard Kipling)


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