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Archive YA/Children Group Read > 2018 April Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5389 comments Mod
Hosted by Rosemarie


message 2: by Trisha (last edited Apr 01, 2018 06:22AM) (new)

Trisha | 830 comments I got a copy of this & look forward to joining the discussions, but may not start reading it for a few days.


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I will be posting author/book information soon.
Today I will be busy cooking the Easter Dinner.

I have read the first two chapters and it looks like it is going to be an entertaining read.


message 4: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (zolaone) | 4 comments I listened to an Audible version of a BBC radio show, of Kidnapped.
It was very well done, and I enjoyed listening to it very much. It was in two parts, and so I'm sure it left out a lot of the book.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Kidnapped was own of Stevenson's own favourite books. He wrote during his invalid years in Bournemouth to earn money to pay his bills. In the book he was taken out of the atmosphere of the sick room back into his native valleys in the Lothians.

Some of Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous books, besides Kidnapped, are Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Tales of the South Seas and A Child's Garden of Verses.


message 6: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 846 comments Mod
I'm planning to read this too, but will take few more days to start. Since it is a short work, I'll be able to finish and join in with the discussion.


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
That's great, Piyangie.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Nancy wrote: "I listened to an Audible version of a BBC radio show, of Kidnapped.
It was very well done, and I enjoyed listening to it very much. It was in two parts, and so I'm sure it left out a lot of the book."



Who was the narrator of the version you listened to?


message 9: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 1360 comments I read this one early as I had it already and I really loved it. Here is my review:

There is no one like Robert Louis Stevenson for a great adventure story, and this one is more fact than fiction. It centers on the Appin Murder and the repercussions for the Scottish Highlanders. I won't say more so as to not spoil the story but all the main characters except David Balfour and his family were real people.

When you have read this great story check out the websites below for more information and a walking tour following in David's footsteps.

The Appin Murder:
http://www.stevensonway.org.uk/the-ap...

The Stevenson Way; route taken by David Balfour
http://www.stevensonway.org.uk/overvi...


message 10: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 1360 comments The sequel to this book is David Balfour: Being Memoirs of the Further Adventures of David Balfour at Home and Abroad also known as Catriona and it follows on within days of the end of Kidnapped. One I am looking out for to read.


message 11: by Angie (new)

Angie | 47 comments I read this book last year and really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed David Balfour’s coming-of-age trials and tribulations in the Scottish Highlands far more than I thought I would. While Stevenson’s style can be a bit distant and impersonal at times, I still found David to be an engaging protagonist, and his transformation from youth to man was enjoyable to watch.


message 12: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 846 comments Mod
I just started reading it. I'm enjoying it so far. David Balfour is an interesting protagonist.

I agree with Angie on Stevenson's writing style. I too have observed that his writing to be distant and detached. It is really sad, for his stories are quite interesting.


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I am half way through and agree with the general consensus. David is a sympathetic character who has had some exciting experiences so far, but the author's style doesn't really do them justice. I like his clear prose and lack of wordiness, but something is missing.
But I am enjoying the book and look forward to reading the rest.
I really hope that dreadful Uncle Ebenezer gets what's coming to him!


message 14: by Brian (last edited Apr 10, 2018 10:07AM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments Or maybe Uncle Ebenezer will be visited by ghosts and wake up a changed man!

Now that I have dipped my toe in the Scottish water with Stevenson during the Jacobites movement, maybe I should wade in further with a Walter Scott Jacobite tale.


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Apr 11, 2018 09:11PM) (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I have just finished the book and thought it was an enjoyable adventure book.

This can be considered a coming of age story of David.
How did he change during the course of the story?

Which scenes did you enjoy the most?

I liked the piping contest. I really like bagpipes, even if I don't have any Scottish background at all.

Have you read any other books by Stevenson?


message 16: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 846 comments Mod
I finished reading. I'm surprised to find how much I enjoyed it, though I had some doubts initially. I had certain reservation on Stevenson's writing style but I was pleasantly surprised there as well. Looking forward to read the sequel too.


message 17: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 846 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "I have just finished the book and thought it was an enjoyable adventure book.

Which scenes did you enjoy the most?..."


There are three scenes I particularly liked. One is the quarrel between David and Alan where David draw the sword against Alan. The second is the joint confrontation of David, Alan and Rankeillor with David's uncle, Ebenezer. The third is the piping contest. I have always loved bagpipe music.


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I think that the ending is very satisfying for David and his friends.


message 19: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1075 comments Starting Kidnapped today. I read the dedication and chapter 1 and I think the language of the author is wonderful. I almost audibly sighed when I read the first sentence.


message 20: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 830 comments Kathy wrote: "Starting Kidnapped today. I read the dedication and chapter 1 and I think the language of the author is wonderful. I almost audibly sighed when I read the first sentence."

Yes, Kathy - me too! I’m glad you’re only just starting, thought I might be the last to get round to this book.


message 21: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1075 comments I've read a third of the book and am enjoying Stevenson's style of writing. David is growing up before our very eyes. So far I like the scene of the battle in the roundhouse.


message 22: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 830 comments I finished this but was very disappointed by it. If it had been a longer book I probably would have abandoned it.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Have you read any other books by Stevenson, Trisha?


message 24: by Blueberry (last edited Apr 20, 2018 12:59PM) (new)

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 765 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I have just finished the book and thought it was an enjoyable adventure book.
This can be considered a coming of age story of David.
How did he change during the course of the story?
Which scenes..."


My favorite parts were his travel with Alan resulting from being washed up in the wrong part of the country. I was also amused by Alan's bravado.
I have read The Beach of Falesá, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the nonfiction South Sea Tales.


message 25: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I have read the same books as you, Blueberry.


message 26: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1075 comments I laughed at how David got off of the islet.

I've read A Child's Garden of Verses.


message 27: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
When David realized that he could have walked off the island, I felt sorry for him, because he was so miserable, but it was fun to see the reaction of the locals to his predicament.


message 28: by Brian (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments I find it to be just an OK read. I realize that other readers are enjoying RLS's verbiage, descriptions and story but, while it is generally a fast read, at times I am baffled by some of the lingo and fail to properly visualize what RLS is describing,
I know it is considered a "boy's" novel but, if my 65 year old self has some difficulty, I can't imagine my junior high self enjoying it. I envy those finding it to be a fun easy read.


message 29: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
I have been reading some Sir Walter Scott novels, and compared to them it is a fast read. But Scott has more depth, at least in some of his novels. My favourite so far is The Heart of Midlothian, mainly because it has a strong female character.


message 30: by Brian (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments I've never read a Scott so I've been reviewing various lists to determine which to read, as I may try one this year. I have a copy of Ivanhoe which is the most popular read. Ones on several lists include Waverly, Kenilworth, Guy Mannering, Redgauntlet and Midlothian. Others rave about Antiquary and Quentin Durward. I've learned there is certainly a wide array of favorites among Scott fans
I heard that if too much Scottish dialect bothers me, which seems to be the case from my Kidnapped experience, avoid Rob Roy. Maybe ivanhoe is my best entry point as I don't anticipate a lot of dialect.


message 31: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 830 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Have you read any other books by Stevenson, Trisha?"

Yes, I read Treasure Island fairly recently & quite enjoyed it. I had expected to enjoy Kidnapped too, but found it boring- not enough action once he left the ship, & too much dialect. I agree with Brian’s comments & will avoid Scott as a result. Dialect shouldn’t be a problem - I grew up hearing a Scottish accent frequently - but in books I just find it irritating as though the author is trying to show off.


message 32: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Ivanhoe is set in the times of the Crusades, and one of the best characters in the book is Robin. Ivanhoe is one of Scott's lamest title characters,(I can't call him a hero because there are so many better characters in the book).


message 33: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Trisha wrote: "Rosemarie wrote: "Have you read any other books by Stevenson, Trisha?"

Yes, I read Treasure Island fairly recently & quite enjoyed it. I had expected to enjoy Kidnapped too, but found it boring- n..."


I find dialect annoying sometimes, but at other times not so much, if it is in small quantities. It depends on how it is used, and how much I like the rest of the book.


message 34: by Blueberry (new)

Blueberry (blueberry1) | 765 comments Brian wrote: "I find it to be just an OK read. I realize that other readers are enjoying RLS's verbiage, descriptions and story but, while it is generally a fast read, at times I am baffled by some of the lingo ..."

I didn't realize for a while that he meant bagpipes and not a smoking pipe when they would talk about piping.


message 35: by Brian (last edited Apr 21, 2018 11:07AM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments At times while reading the youth classic Kidnapped, I was reminded of Groucho Marx's bit from Duck Soup:

"Clear? Why a four-year old child could understand this report!
Psst. Run out and find me a four-year old child, I can't make head nor tail of it."

Just substitute 14 for 4 and book for report.


message 36: by Laurene (new)

Laurene | 6 comments Tracey wrote: "I read this one early as I had it already and I really loved it. Here is my review:

There is no one like Robert Louis Stevenson for a great adventure story, and this one is more fact than fiction...."


Thank you for the links!


message 37: by Laurene (new)

Laurene | 6 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I have just finished the book and thought it was an enjoyable adventure book.

This can be considered a coming of age story of David.
How did he change during the course of the story?

Which scenes..."


The scene I most enjoyed was when David was on the Isle. This just showed how strong of a character David was going to be.


message 38: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
David was in a bad way on that island and coped until help arrived. Stevenson was very good at describing the miserable conditions that David had to put up with.


message 39: by Brian (last edited Apr 24, 2018 03:18PM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments I have finished and, despite my comments about the jargon and visualization problems, I find myself contemplating reading the sequel, which is listed on Goodreads, as Tracey previously noted, as David Balfour and under its Catriona name only as Kidnapped and Catriona, without a separate listing.
I thought the book ended well, but definitely with a "to be continued" feel as a set up for season 2 of the series.


message 40: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
David has now come into his inheritance, but things are still in a turmoil in
Scotland and David is still single. So a sequel makes a lot of sense.


message 41: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1075 comments Kidnapped definitely had a "to be continued feeling" to it as Brian says above. I enjoyed David's adventures and his relationship with Alan Breck.


message 42: by Brian (last edited Apr 25, 2018 01:13PM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments I have started Catriona and my Kindle read has only 2 page numbers: the table of contents pages are page 1 and the entire text are page 2, on every page. There are no location numbers. I can generally track by % complete numbers.
One advantage of the page or location number absence is that the Scottish dialect and jargon seem like a lot less of a problem now. I've also gotten more used to the dialect and learned to just ignore the jargon when I can't identify the item or term they are referring to.

Over this past year, I've noticed my tendency to read the sequels even when I never planned to or when I only liked and not loved the first one, as with Kidnapped.
I read the Further Adventures of Nils after the group read of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils; read all three volumes of The Country Girls Trilogy after planning to read only one, and that looks to be what I am doing with The Campus Trilogy by David Lodge
I also read all 3 of Kristin Lavransdatter, when I only committed myself to the first. However, all were part of separate Goodreads group reads, as is the case with the my readings of the Pallisers and Chronicles of Barsetshire series by Anthony Trollope.

I think this goes back to my youth where I read all of The Hardy Boys in grammar school and then read the next 2 volumes while sick in high school, when I should have outgrown them, just so I could still say I had read all of them.
This tendency does have limits. One is sheer volume as I have no great urge to read all 20 of Les Rougon-Marquet though I enjoyed Germinal. The other is low quality, as when I stopped reading Dune Messiah after loving Dune.

Wow, this is much longer than intended. Sorry, but not sorry enough to edit it down.
You can tell I'm procrastinating while trying to write a work report.


message 43: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Brian,I loved Dune and slogged through both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune before calling it quits. I hope my rereading experience of Dune in May will be as good as the first time around in 1973. Needless to say, I won't bother with the sequels.


message 44: by Brian (new)

Brian Reynolds | 4367 comments Rosemarie, I think its just that good science-fiction writing often walks the tightrope between the believable and the ridiculous and, to me, Herbert fell off it in Dune Messiah. I note this comment by a critic who really enjoyed the book "even though (he) was driving a truck through the holes in its logic because it had the same majestic rolling grandeur of the previous book." I realize my opinion is not universally held or there would not have been so many sequels.

Sorry for the detour: Back to the subject of Kidnapped or, at least David Balfour. I am enjoying the sequel so far and wonder sometimes why it is so unknown; it's only the 16th book on Goodreads RLS list based on the number of reader ratings.


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