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Kidnapped (David Balfour, #1)
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Kidnapped (David Balfour #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  52,679 Ratings  ·  1,513 Reviews
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1886)
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George Kertawidjaja Its about a young teenager named David in the mid 18th century seeking his inheritance after his father dies. He faces misfortune after another for…moreIts about a young teenager named David in the mid 18th century seeking his inheritance after his father dies. He faces misfortune after another for something he doesn't deserve. He eventually meets a friend who helps guide him through these physical and emotional trials in his life, as they try to return to their homeland. David's companion however is a real historical figure connected to a mysterious murder that really happened in Scotland in 1752. Robert Louis Stevenson takes a fictional character and a real historical figure intertwining them together to fill in the gaps to what could have really happened during the Appin Murder of 1752, and where one of the suspects of the murder could have eluded off to when trying to escape the wrongful blame of events.(less)
Marian Yes! I am 1/3 of the way through and every time I stop, I can't wait until the next time I can pick it up again!

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James Lafayette  Tivendale
"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first."

We find ourselves in Bonny old Scotland - circa June 1751 - King George and the red-coats rule this empire. Following on from the Jacobite Revolution; we are introduced to an innocent teenage gentleman known as David Balfour. To initiate the narrative; David and the minister, Mr. Campbell discuss the necessity for a journey that our young hero should take following the unti
...more
Henry Avila
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You are seventeen Mr. David Balfour, alone in the world of 1751, in troubled Scotland, a futile bloody revolt was crushed a few years ago, by England, the parents are no more, father never spoke about his family, or the distant past , the poor, quiet introvert, a widowed school master, of the lowlands, has left his good, loving son a...

Mysterious letter, (both of them had deep secrets) for you. Go from your birthplace , a small village, the only one you know, and take the message to a lawyer Mr
...more
Tara
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Stevenson’s Kidnapped was not quite as strong a work as either Treasure Island or his incredibly gripping The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it was such an exciting, action-packed, genuinely fun adventure story that I couldn’t help but love it. Set in 1751, it features such thrilling elements as a sinister, foul-tempered uncle, a ship full of villainous sailors, a shipwreck on a gloomy, deserted island, political intrigue, Murder!, the perilous proximity of the Red Coats on the S ...more
Jason Koivu
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Why haven't I read more Stevenson? Perhaps because from what I can tell his writing feels as remote and cold as the Scottish Isles. It can be beautiful in its way, but you often forget it's there in favor of more popular destinations with more color and pizzazz.

In a way, Kidnapped feels a little like the Scottish version of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, which I was never overly fond of. Something about the story doesn't grab me. Although it should, as I just recently endured a similar situa
...more
Jan-Maat
Swashbuckling fun, but 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 moment, 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 an out of luck village teacher is one thing and har
...more
Piyangie
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scott-lit
Kidnapped is an adventurous young adult story. The main protagonist, young David Balfour, having become an orphan, takes on a journey to find his uncle seeking support and fortune. Little he knows of the adventure that he is to embark on, upon meeting his wicked uncle. (view spoiler) ...more
Kathleen
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
"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
Werner
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Carol
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Duane
I don't know how the rest of young David Balfour's life turns out, but his early adventures where amazing. Set in 18th century Scotland during the Jacobite period, David, a loyalist to King George, and his friend Alan Stewart, a Jacobite, seemingly travel the entirety of the Scottish Highlands hiding in the rocks and heather from rival clans and the British Army. Character lessons abound, especially for young David. Just a fun book to read.
Raúl Omar

Kidnapped became my default recommendation because of two reasons: 1. none of my friends has read it (not even heard of it) and 2. it is awesome. Let me be honest: I didnt know this book existed, I acquired Kidnapped because it was on sale, it had a cool front cover design and I liked the back cover description which seemed just nice.
I wonder why this book is not as popular as other Robert Louis Stevenson’s work, I’m guessing it's because the novel is way too Scottish for any reader who happens
...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
“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.”

I guess I’m just not going to be a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, which is a shame since he wrote classic adventure-filled maritime fiction. As with Treasure Island, the beginning promised more than what was delivered, although Kidnapped ended up being the better of the two because of the satisfying ending.

I liked the first half more than the
...more
Sarah ~
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ..



Alex
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
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 it's 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
Jim
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of this book is a summary of it - spoiler alert! Thankfully, it doesn't matter to me since I read it once long ago. I didn't think much of it then, but I found myself liking it better this time through. I missed a lot as a youngster. As so often is the case with assigned reading, I didn't have enough life experience to really appreciate it yet.

The characters were great, especially David & Alan. Their failings brought the story to life more than their accomplishments. It was a
...more
Paul
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, classics, novels
Kidnapped was one of my "audio classics," the public-domain audiobooks I listen to on my phone when I'm walking the dog, washing dishes or shopping. I picked it on a whim, not knowing anything about the plot – presumably, someone gets kidnapped – and was pleasantly surprised. The first half of the book especially is exciting, filled with suspense as the protagonist arrives at his uncle's house and tries to figure out why he's being received so coldly, even treacherously. The book has attempted m ...more
Jonathan Kranz
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-ya
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
Luís C.
An adventure novel "old age" with a classical writing, notions of honor clan and family names, pirates and benefactors, grounding, a grueling walk in the heather of Scotland and a young boy who becomes man. A map of Scotland and the different clans involved would have been welcome in book publishing ... but follow the adventures of David Balfour, not always smart, was pleasant.
Shiku
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Anthony Chavez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurene
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never knew the novel was intertwined with a historical event, the Appen Murder of 1752.

"A word once spoken, who can recapture it?"

"What makes ye so good to me? What makes ye care for such a thankless fellow? Deed, and I don't, know. For just precisely what I thought I liked about ye, was that ye never quarreled; -- and now I like ye better!"
Santiago
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Hadley
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Amy
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars, primarily for the audio book. I doubt I could have made it through the book if it weren't for the Audio CD. It is a wonderful adventure with historical significance and action but with decidedly Scotch language. What I like most is how realistically hardship is portrayed. You can almost feel the exhaustion, dehydration, worry, etc. David's actions can be unlikable. Alan can be a pest. Yet both are in the end devoted to each other and fun to read about.
This book also proves that cliff h
...more
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.
Leslie
Well, 4.5*

I enjoyed Michael Page's narration very much & his Scottish burr seemed spot on to these American ears. Betrayal, friendship and adventure in 1751 Scotland with some Jacobite politics in the background... What fun!
Elisabeth
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read, January 2017, and another one that I enjoyed better than before. Alan Breck has to be one of the most memorable characters in English literature.
Sud666
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "Kidnapped" as a story that could be read to a child and that they would enjoy it. This is absolutely true. Kidnapped is a great story.

It is the story of young David Balfour. After his parents death he strikes out to find his inheritance. Unfortunately, his Uncle on his father's side has other plans. This begins the trials of young David as he is kidnapped on board of a ship sailing to the Americas. On this ship he meets his traveling companion and erstwhile savior-
...more
Richard
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Kidnapped" is based on certain real events which are outlined in the Preface written by Stevenson's wife. Broadly speaking, the case of Balfour himself is evidently loosely inspired by another celebrated level case involving an uncle kidnapping a nephew to prevent the latter coming into an inheritance.

Stevenson takes all these elements and creates a brilliant, exciting adventure novel peopled with vivid characters. Set in the Highlands of Scotland the events are infused with local colour and o
...more
Eyebright
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
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3,863 followers
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of 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 literature. It is onl
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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.” 134 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!”
43 likes
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