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4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  899 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
This is the classic series from Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novelist Kenneth Roberts, all featuring characters from the town of Arundel, Maine. Arundel follows Steven Nason as he joins Benedict Arnold in his march to Quebec during the American Revolution.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Down East Books (first published 1930)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,603)
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Aug 11, 2012 Monica rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. It was our May Book Club selection and I was pretty lukewarm about it as a choice, turned into one of those gems I never would have read on my own. Roberts lived in Kennebunkport ,ME. and a book club member has a house there and that was our venue. We wanted to read a book with Maine as a theme and this was GREAT. The genre is historical fiction.Basically it tells the story of a young man in love going to get back his girl who has been kidnapped. But,it is sooo much mo ...more
Sep 06, 2009 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Arundel is one of the finest books I have ever read. The characters come alive in such a manner that rereading the tale has been a yearly pleasure for me. The time period covered in "Arundel" is unique, our country before it was a country, only colonies and some men with ideas. The cast of characters is a mix of fictional and real, Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr and others created in sync with the time and place. It is an epic tale of war, revenge, romance and friendship that entrances you from th ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing
This was my first venture into the writing of Pulitzer Prize winning (1957) Roberts but definitely will not be my last. This masterfully written account of Benedict Arnold's doomed 1775 march to Quebec has all of the hallmarks of fine historical fiction - impeccable research, a fascinating human story, wonderful period detail, and, in this case, there's humor, too. What Arnold's forces endured during their journey through Maine is a story of steely determination and bravery in the face of unimag ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book off my father's bookshelf. I am not sure how I missed it 50 years ago, or if it just recently appeared in his living room. When I asked Dad about it, he said that he read it in the 1930s as a boy, that it was very popular, and that he liked it a lot. I liked it a lot too. It is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. It was such a pleasure to read about ordinary people who are depicted with crystalline clarity in all their heroic strengths and foolish weaknesses. The ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, adventure
A couple years ago while we were up visiting our friends in Maine, we ventured into a used bookstore. I don't recall what I bought, but my friend found a copy of a book and purchased it. As we left the shop, he handed the book to me and said that he thought that I would really enjoy it. I do recall his saying it was a work of fiction although based on historical fact. He and I are both fans of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, which are in the same genre.
It wasn't much later that I got m
Jan 03, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
My wife read this first and told me I'd like it. And I did. I don't read a ton of historical fiction, but I was a history major and mainly focused on 17th-19th century America (well, as much as an undergrad major can be focused anyway), so this seemed like it would be a fun read. It is.

It's narrated by Steven Nason, who is from Arundel, Maine (now Kennebunkport), who leaves his home to become a guide/soldier in the Continental Army under Benedict Arnold as Arnold is charged by George Washington
Dec 15, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
This 1929 historical fiction novel about the American Revolution has not been made into a movie yet and I do not know why. It's a dense, academic read, but if you can read slowly and carefully, you'll find such rich characters and very funny lines -- especially those observing women. It might be my new favorite book. And it also highlights why Americans always go for the underdog -- we WERE the underdog. The other thing I like is that it's a quest book but on familiar landscape -- the trees and ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Belva rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Arundel by Kenneth Roberts is an informative, enjoyable read. Roberts was a novelist, but evidently an in-depth historical researcher to boot. It is the reason he received a Pulitzer Prize, after all. It was surely bestowed on a person worthy of it. Beyond the fascinating history contained within these pages is the story of everyday people swept up in the American Revolution. Being from Maine, I loved the insight into the early customs and lifestyle of the colonials.

Roberts gives readers a hard
Aug 20, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it
My father claimed this was his favorite book when he was a boy, and I can see why -- Indian lore, nature lovingly described, spies, bold soldiers and lovable rogues. It's appealing still -- an almost 21st-century heroine (the book was written in the 1920's), a very subtle ear for dialect, and a persistent tone of reflection underscoring the historical setting:
"In after years I heard these very folk speak of Pointe-aux-Trembles with a wagging of their heads and a smacking of their lips, as thou
Jun 09, 2014 Shanon rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book and I absolutely LOVED It! It was first written in 1929. The author did such an excellent excellent job of describing events and I love his voice. It was even funny how he would describe things. The language is a little different and it takes a page or two to get used to it, but then I loved it.
It's about Benedict Arnold and the attempt to take over Quebec during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The main character is from Maine. You really get a sense of what lif
Margaret Skrivseth
Jan 04, 2014 Margaret Skrivseth rated it it was amazing
This book provides a fictional look at a factual event: Benedict Arnold's ill-fated attempt to take Quebec during the American Revolution.

I can't say enough good things bout this book. The writing is superb, the little-known tidbits of Abenaki lore are fun, and the historical detail is great.

This book is perfect for a wintery seasonal read.
Aug 09, 2008 Art rated it it was amazing
My view of Maine and what life was like in the Colonies was shaped by this book. This was the 1st one of Mr. Roberts that I read. I meant a person while I was a Boy Scout in MN who knew the author personally. I have forgotten who this person was, just that he had a British accent.
Thank you, thought for the memories.
Great book.
Alec Hastings
Jan 04, 2014 Alec Hastings rated it it was amazing
Arundel was written by Kenneth Roberts, a native of Maine. His historical fiction was very popular in its day (1930s-1950s), but newer generations of readers may not know of his books. Arundel is narrated by Steve Nason who joins Benedict Arnold's 1775 expedition to capture Quebec at the outset of the American Revolution. Nason's real purpose is to rescue Mary Mallinson who has been kidnapped by a Frenchman named Guerlac. Nason, his friend Cap Huff, and the rest of the expedition paddle up the K ...more
This is how novels are supposed to be.

I came across this book by way of the Goodreads recommendation engine, which presented it to me when I was searching for "epics." The American Revolutionary War is far out of my time zone with respect to my own epic in progress, but since true epics are about the birth of nations and societies, and this book seemed to be very favorably viewed by critics, I thought I would give it a chance.

Am I ever glad I did. As soon as I downloaded the e-book to my Kindle
Aug 09, 2012 Loraine rated it really liked it

As a teenager I read Roberts' March to Quebec: journals of the members of Arnold's expedition in stunned disbelief. Nearly 40 years later, I've read Arundel for the first time and have come away with a renewed appreciation for the struggles of Arnold's men through Maine's Height of the Land (Rangley Lake Region) and on to Quebec in 1775. Roberts certainly cast a lively fictional account into a carefully researched historical context, one he understood full well.

I enjoyed Robert's flamboyant sty
Dec 07, 2012 Janellyn51 rated it really liked it
I did really like this book. I came upon it because I go to Jackman Maine in the Summer and the Author William Martin who writes historical fiction and is one of my top favorite authors, commented on a photo I'd taken on the Moose River. He said that he'd thought about writing a book about Benedict Arnold, who went along the Kennebeck and I took a photo of the Plaque the Daughter's of the American Revolution had put up at some point along thier route for him. He said he'd have to read Arundel ag ...more
Feb 18, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
I read this years ago, and it held up well. This was a really good early American historical fiction read of the days when Benedict Arnold was on our side (he got a bum rap!). The story, based on fact, told of a harrowing trek through the wilderness to capture British-held Quebec. The characters were well-fleshed out, the dialogue spot on, and the descriptions were great. I am going to go through Kenneth Robert's novels. Rabble in Arms is on the horizon. I want to know what happened to these cha ...more
Karen Sofarin
Sep 01, 2014 Karen Sofarin rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Expected to get a greater understanding of the Revolutionary War and got that plus so much history of Maine, the wilderness and the Abenaki culture. Good pace for a history with enough romance. This author loved Maine and it shows in every chapter. Beautiful.
Nov 13, 2010 Matt rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2010 John rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, revolutionary war buffs, romantics, and adventurers
This is probably the best work of historical fiction I have ever read. It is the story of Benedict Arnold's March to Quebec (when Arnold was still a good guy), as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy who comes along. It's like Last of the Mohicans meets Annakin Skywalker. It blows the Harry Potter books away, and I say that as one who absolutely loved the Potter series.

Arundel is full of adventure, great characters, unforgettable scenery, romance, humor, just about everything you could hope f
Jul 19, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
I have been wanting to read Kenneth Roberts books forever. He was a friend of my grandfather and I have a whole collection but they're old, signed, and well read so was waiting for Kindle editions. This was so good! Roberts was meticulous about historic accuracy in his books and this, first of the Arundel series, tale of Steven Nason heading off with Benedict Arnold on the march to Quebec was difficult to put down. There's a good romance along with marching men although I will admit I will never ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it
Right from the beginning, Steven Nasum's ardent description of the little corner of Maine that he calls home hooked me. He really made it sound on heaven on earth, not to me, but to a 17th century version of me, who would have to rely on hunting and fishing to make it through the winter. The plot and characters of this book are enjoyable but not exceptional, and at times can be almost hackneyed, but to me that scarcely mattered. The genius and pleasure of this book is in the historical details, ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Walker rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book. This book by Kenneth Roberts is one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read. His characters are quite fleshed out and have unique, memorable personalities. The beautiful descriptions really match the beauty of the Kennebec river valley well, as someone who has visited and loved the area. It is not difficult to see exactly why he won a Pulitzer prize.
Kate Buford
Jan 17, 2014 Kate Buford rated it it was amazing
I'm sure Kenneth Roberts is, by now, an acquired taste. I remember seeing copies of his LYDIA BAILEY on all the parents' coffee tables when I was a child. It didn't hurt that so many of his books were illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. A friend lent me his copy of ARUNDEL last summer because I was going on a drawing/sketching trip to the coast of Maine and to Monhegan Island. To my delight, the ferry operators knew all about ARUNDEL; we even passed a sailing boat in Boothbay Harbor named "Arundel." it i ...more
Karen Galloway
Jan 28, 2015 Karen Galloway rated it it was amazing
Carefully researched and descriptive book of historical fiction, one of at least a trilogy of books by a prize-winning author concerning the Revolutionary War on the Canadian front.
Apr 22, 2014 Wanda rated it really liked it
It brought to life an event I had only read a sentence or two about in history books. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
Chuck Bunting
Sep 12, 2015 Chuck Bunting rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this. It was fun, it a bit predictable. Very nostalgic because I read many of this series as a teenager.
Dec 19, 2014 Gary rated it liked it
Read this soon after Rabble in Arms and it kept me reading through most of a summer.
Oct 02, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing
By far my favorite book of all time. Great story and an amazingly accurate work of historical fiction. Being from New England and having studied American history from this era in college, I can honestly say this is the best way to get anyone interested in learning about early American history. Read it to my eight year old daughter years ago, and she became hooked on American history. Have recommended it to non-history types, and after they begrudgingly start, they can't put it down and come away ...more
Bob Atwood
Mar 12, 2014 Bob Atwood rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite historical novels by an outstanding author.
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Kenneth Lewis Roberts (December 8, 1885 – July 21, 1957) was an American author of historical novels. Roberts worked first as a journalist, becoming nationally known for his work with the Saturday Evening Post from 1919 to 1928, and then as a popular novelist. Born in Kennebunk, Maine, Roberts specialized in Regionalist historical fiction. He often wrote about his native state and its terrain, als ...more
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