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Kidnapped (David Balfour #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  49,224 Ratings  ·  1,386 Reviews

Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each title—offering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords.

This ed
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 15th 1991 by Aerie (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 S 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
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Jason Koivu
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 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 a village teacher out of luck is one thing and hard enough to believe (why
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Kathleen
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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Werner
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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.
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
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
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Sarah ~
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
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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
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Paul
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, novels, audio
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Shiku
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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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.
Hadley
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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.
Richard
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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Eyebright
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Affan Khan
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Martha
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Sud666
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-
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Maruf Hossain
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
আরেকবার রিভাইজ দিয়া দিলাম। ছোটবেলার পড়া আর এখনকার পড়ায় তফাত আছে। তখন পড়তাম আর মজা পেতাম, এখনও মজা পেতেই পড়ি, তবে ছোটবেলার মতো অতটা নিষপাপভাবে পড়তে পারি না। দৃষটিভঙগি একটু হলেও বদলেছে, বদলেছে মানসিকতা।

হিসটোরিকযাল ফিকশন আমার পরিয় জনরা, অযাডভেঞচারও। দুটোই আছে এ বইয়ে। এতিম ডেভিডকে নিষঠুর চাচা এক জাহাজে বেচে দেয়। সেখান থেকে ডেভিডের আবার ফিরে আসার উপাখযান এ বই। বযরথ সকটিশ বিদরোহের সময় কাহিনির বড় একটা জায়গা জুড়ে আছে।

সব মিলিয়ে দারুণ এক পযাকেজ - অযাডভেঞচার, শতরুর সাথে মিকি মাউস খেলা, আর অমলমধুর হযাপি এনড
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Paula W
3.5 stars.

It was really good in some parts. This was a solid 4 star read for me until the last chapter.
Kim
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
A grand tale of adventure in the Scottish Highlands I should have read as a teen.
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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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More about Robert Louis Stevenson...

Other Books in the Series

David Balfour (2 books)
  • David Balfour: Being Memoirs of the Further Adventures of David Balfour at Home and Abroad (David Balfour, #2)
“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.” 127 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!”
42 likes
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