Kidnapped (Penguin Popular Classics)
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Kidnapped (David Balfour #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  33,324 ratings  ·  830 reviews
The adventures of David Balfour, a young orphan, as he journeys through the dangerous Scottish Highlands in an attempt to regain his rightful inheritance.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 23rd 1998 by Penguin Books (first published 1886)
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Kathleen
"Alan," cried I, "what makes ye so good to me? What makes ye care for such a thankless fellow?"

"'Deed and I don't know," said Alan. "For just precisely what I thought I liked about ye, was that ye never quarrelled--and now I like ye better!"

Historical fiction, an adventure story, but also a great "buddy story". The plot follows young David, who is cheated out of his inheritance by a greedy uncle, and kidnapped into servitude on a sailing ship. The ship hits a small boat during a fog and picks up...more
Jan-Maat
The problem I have with this rereading it as an adult is the same as reading The Black Arrow. Stevenson manages to be both engaging and silly - sometimes at the same thing, but luckily the human brain is capable of multi-tasking even in the middle of a paragraph.

Isn't the relationship between Alexander and Ebenezer Balfour which drives the narrative too ridiculous? The elder brother giving up his inheritance and becoming a village teacher out of luck is one thing and hard enough to believe (why...more
Werner
Jul 16, 2008 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century fiction, and of adventure fiction
While the above description suggests, misleadingly, that all of protagonist David Balfour's adventures take place on the "high seas" (he only gets as far as the treacherous coastal waters of his native Scotland, and the great majority of the story takes place on land), the rest of it is pretty apt. This is Romantic historical adventure fiction at its finest (that is, fiction from the Romantic school, with its stress on appeal to emotions --here, excitement, fear, sympathy, moral indignation, adm...more
Anthony Chavez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Santiago
A great historical novel, with lots of adventure. It is set in 18th century Scotland, around the time of the Appin Murder. I know nothing of the Scottish history of the period and yet understood the historical background pefectly. Stevenson (a Scot himself) treates the Scottish Highlanders sympathetically. I found the plot engaging and the descriptions of historical and geographical backgrounds interesting and colourful.

Young David Balfour goes to the old ruined family house of Shaws to request...more
Shiku
David Balfour, a Lowland boy, is sixteen when his father dies. What he left behind is only a letter that tells David to go to the Shaws; there he'll find his inheritance. David follows his father's instructions and meets his uncle Ebenezer - an awkward person that conceals more than he tells David about his family. Things are getting nastier, and finally, Ebenezer tries to kill David. When this doesn't work, he pretends to give up and wants to see an advocate. David feels safe - and suddenly he'...more
Jonathan Kranz
Here's a book that's simultaneously well-known AND under-appreciated. If asked, I suspect most people would regard Kidnapped as an adventure story for boys -- and, in a sense, it is. Alan Breck is rightly remembered as one of the most dashing of romantic heros and the story has plenty of sword play and scheming.

But I was pleasantly surprised by how adult the story is. Alan may be romantic, but he's an ambiguous character. Did he commit murder? Is his Jacobite crusade really on behalf of the Sco...more
Alex
This was my third Robert Louis Stevenson book, and they've all been five star reads for me. That makes him one of the most consistent authors I know of.

Kidnapped recently showed up on the Guardian's list of the 100 best English novels, and I guess I might have put Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde there instead; I still feel like its a deeper book. But the Guardian chose this instead, mostly because of its Scottishness. It's a gripping adventure book first and foremost - dude gets kidnapped, headed for a...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A 1001 CBYMRBYGU.

Young David Balfour discovers after his father’s death that his family has unexpected wealth and power. David ventures off to meet up with his father’s only brother and finds a man who deceives him and sells him off into slavery, sending David off on a ship bound for America. On the ship, David meets lots more bad guys and there is a lot of shooting and fighting. He falls overboard, survives to live for a while on an isolated island, and then gets thrown into a Scottish struggle...more
Micah Karahadian
This particular book focuses on adventure. I was in the library at my school and we had to choose a memoir to read. As the teacher said to the class "about 3 more munits" I started to panic. I quickly chose a book that looked at least a little interesting. I was happy I choose it. However, it was a slow start but after the fourth chapter I started to love it. It was a little hard to understand -hens the old English style Robert Louis Stevenson decided to use- but my vocabulary quickly adapted to...more
Affan Khan
There is a very good reason why Robert Louis Stevenson's books are still made into movies. Take, for example, the Disney animated hit Treasure Planet, which was based on Stevenson's Treasure Island. The book is just as rousing an adventure now as it was more than a hundred years ago, and has therefore been the subject of many movie adaptations and the inspiration for countless other children's novels since then.
Although somewhat lesser known, Stevenson's Kidnapped is no less timeless. Following...more
Carol
Young David Balfour begins and ends his harrowing adventure with evil Uncle Ebenezer (the old rat) with many mishaps in between. After being nearly murdered, then kidnapped and shipwrecked, Davie uses honesty and intelligence to his advantage while hoping to seek justice in the end. The inclusion of Scottish history throughout makes for an entertaining story, and the introduction gives an informative recap of significant dates in the life and literary career of RLS including how he came to write...more
paris
إنها قصة ديفيد الفتى الصغير من"اسبندين" الواقعة بـ ريف سكتلندا ..وتبدأ بعد وفاة والده بقليل .. عام 1751
عندها غادر قريته قاصدا "كراموند" بالقرب من أدنبرة حيث يقطن عمه وهناك تتسارع الأحداث عندما يصل إلى منزل العائلة الذي يسكنه العم حاليا ..
قصة مغامرات شيقة تدور في البر والبحر ..ومع أقارب وغرباء..
من مختلف أطياف المجتمع ومشاربهم ..بطلها هذا الفتى الذي ترك بلدته باحثا عن مستقبل مضمون..
وسعيا وراء حقِ مشروع .لكن الظروف الغريبة كانت له بالمرصاد..
والتي يتجاوزها بمساعدة كثير من الشرفاء ..

ستروقكمْ ..



Jason Koivu
SO glad I waited to read Kidnapped until now. If I'd read this in high school like I was supposed to I would have missed so much...hell, I wouldn't have understood even half of what was said! But now that I'm more familiar with UK history, Scottish accents and old timey slang, I can actually sit back and enjoy something like Kidnapped, rather than be mired under every time the brogue overtakes me.
Martha
Jan 20, 2014 Martha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Martha by: Mauro MDC
Robert Lewis Stevenson can spin a yarn, no doubt. His writing is grand! He is now on my list of favorite authors. Treasure Island to read . . . . .NEXT!

What a history lesson I learned reading Kidnapped. I didn’t know about “The Forty-Five”, the Second Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. I don’t remember any history lesson in school regarding the Jacobites and their struggle, and the Appin murder in Scotland. In this edition I have, there is a good section of historical background regarding the rebellion...more
Eyebright
I loved this book, just as much, if not a little more than Treasure Island. It follows David Balfour as he is kidnapped, shipwrecked, and falls in with an outlaw.

One thing that I liked about this book, is that despite Alan and David's differences of politics, and other things, they got along extremely well. It was a good example of not making a fuss over things that are not really important under the circumstances.

Also, I really liked Alan Breck.
Laurie
Most of the time I was reading this I thought it was a solid 2 stars and I was really ready to be done with it. Magically, over half way through I found myself if not exactly swept away, at least interested. Running across the wild highlands of Scotland really picked the book up: funny, that.

Eight year-old boys who can understand the language would really appreciate this one!
Robin Hobb
I was fairly young when I read this, and felt a bit frustrated that I didn't know the history behind the book. Why was Alan on the run? It says a great deal that despite my ignorance, the sheer adventure sustained me and kept me reading to the end.
Arick
Took me a bit to get into. Fun adventure, would love to see a movie based on the book, true to form. My kids would love it (movie). That was a lot of grief to go through. Found out some relatives are better off not known.
John Yelverton
Robert Louis Stevenson strikes again in yet another amazing novel.
Lisa James
Well, even though this is supposed to be a kids' book, it was pretty engaging even for this Mom. I loved the fact that in my 1948 edition anyway, that even though the author sometimes writes in dialect, he takes the time to do footnotes of unfamiliar Scottish words that he uses in his writing. Most of it is fairly easy to figure out, but I appreciated it.

The story itself is of a young man of 17 who's father passes away & leaves him an orphan, since the mother passed years before. David gets...more
Neal Dench
Many years ago, I read a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, which taught me that I didn't really get on with reading stories written in Scottish dialect. Now, with a lot of water under the bridge, I thought I'd give Stevenson another go. The result? I still don't get on with reading stories written in a Scottish dialect. Even with the help of the occasional footnote and the Kindle's on-board dictionary, I found it distracting and hard to follow, and I just didn't get on with it.

As to the sto...more
Nickolas
This is Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson’s 5th novel, which was published in 1886, 3 years after Treasure Island. It was considered a “boy’s novel” as it was apparently aimed at a younger audience but it is also a “historical novel” because the accuracy of the geography and political events that occurred in the highlands in the 1700’s. Some characters are based on real life characters, others are not, and the story in itself certainly is not. After reading this and thinking of the audience it wa...more
Craig
David Balfour, orphaned by poor parents at 17, returns to his father's homeland to claim a lost inheritance. David is from the Scottish lowlands, a Whig and supporter of King George. Rather than embrace David, his devious uncle sells him to a ship's captain who intends to take David to America (the Carolinas) and there sell him into bondage. Before leaving Scotland, the ship picks up a stranded passenger, Alan Breck, a Scottish highlander and a Jacobite rebel. Though geographical and political o...more
Hadley
I remember reading this quite a while ago when I was fairly little and remember it being quite confusing and uninteresting at that time. Later on, I ended up reading Treasure Island by RLS and absolutely adored it, so I figured I'd give Kidnapped another go.

As with Treasure Island, I love a good seafaring tale, and that was most of what I remembered of this book. I guess my memory didn't serve me so well. The beginning of this story does have some excitement, including intrigue with David's Unc...more
Lara
This book had moments of magic; the kind that makes you young again, dreaming of adventure where life on the high seas as a pirate or living in the Swiss Family Robinson tree house is real and vivid- perfect in only the way a young child can dream it. However, once past the first part the book lagged for me; I actually found it a chore to finish. Stevenson does a good job of building up suspense in the beginning, giving the reader only a little information at a time like bait. But once the decep...more
Yusef Asabiyah
I recently read this to my eight-year old son. We'd read Treasure Island a year ago, enjoyed it, and had seen Kidnapped on the library shelf next to it, so this was an obvious choice for us.

In the intervening year, we watched Ivan Passer's Kidnapped with Brian McCardie and Armand Assante, on DVD.

We enjoyed the DVD. I'd watched other film versions in the past, including the Disney on Wonderful World of Color on TV. The problem was, though the adventure story and characters were interesting, I wa...more
Dyuti

Kidnapped is a delightful adventure story with just the right doses of humour which will make you feel one with the 17 year old naive, yet good natured, thrill seeking protagonist David Balfour.


The period is set a few years after the Jacobite uprising(1746) in Scotland, where the English were still desperately trying to break the unity of the Highland clans, with the help of the Lowland Scots, who had sworn themselves in as His Majesties subjects. Many of the subplots in the story including t

...more
Abby
Plot Summary:

The setting is Scotland in the 17th century. In history, during this time period, there was a revolt against the King of England (Kind William at the time) by men who were called jacobites. Our story begins when a young boy named David, is orphaned as a teenager and learns of an Uncle living in another town. He was excited to meet this family member and hopefully have someone to help him out in the future. His Uncle has no desire to help him, and instead pays a sailor to Kidnap him...more
Proactive, Effective
This book was weird, and hard to read at places. It took me a while to realize that 'to ken' means 'to know', and there were some stuff that, when I read to myself, I thought I sounded like some gangster talkin' on tv. I dunno..???

I don't exactly remember a single spot in the book when I absolutely HAD to read and couldn't put the book down. But again, maybe it's not the book's fault. I wasn't really reading with that intention on my mind. I was reading like a..reader. Yep. One who just reads. I...more
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Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of...more
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Treasure Island The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror A Child's Garden of Verses The Black Arrow

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“There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.” 82 likes
“Alan," cried I, "what makes ye so good to me? What makes ye care for such a thankless fellow?"

Deed, and I don't, know" said Alan. "For just precisely what I thought I liked about ye, was that ye never quarrelled:—and now I like ye better!”
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