Kidnapped (David Balfour, #1) Kidnapped discussion

A Good Yarn

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John The naive, young laird, deprived of his just inheritance, kidnapped and destined to white slavery in the Carolinas, escapes his fate due to a shipwreck in the far reaches the Scottish Highlands. It's got verve, emotion, weird customs. Plenty of hatred of the English by the Scots, disdain for the barbaric Scots by the English. Set in the 1700s. A ripping good yarn.

QueenB18 not a good book, sry!

Old-Barbarossa Have to say I really like the RLS I've read.
Sorry QueenB18 didn't like it, but we all have different tastes.
Regarding Kidnapped though, Wee Alan is one of my top honest rogues in fiction.
John, if you liked Kidnapped try Master Of Ballantrae. Same era (post the '45) but darker. Sibling rivalry, madness, a duel, love triangle. Needless to say, it ends badly.
I recently read Sabatini's The Lost King, which in hindsight has a broadly similar story ark. Adventurer hooks up with disinherited youth...but in this case the youth may be Loius XVII. Enjoyed it too.

Old-Barbarossa John, you refer to weird customs...what? I may be able to shed some light (as a haggis eater myself).

QueenB18 I HATE THIS BOOK OK!!!!!!

Old-Barbarossa OK...
So read something someone you like.
Problem solved.

QueenB18 watever

QueenB18 wait... u like haggis???!!!

Old-Barbarossa I do indeed like haggis.
Were you forced to read this book?
You seem slightly angry with it for some reason.
I don't think anyone should read something if they're forced to.
I enjoyed the book due to a few factors. I like RLS's writting style, the story is a chase across land I've walked on, the characters are memorable, a wee bit of revenge at the end.
As I said, if it's not for you there's probably something else you'd prefer to read...go find it.
Or if you want to discuss this book please do. I'd be interested to hear why you dislike it.

QueenB18 well i had to read it in school. and i thought it was really dry. the only part i liked was at the end where the guy "forgot his glasses" when he went to question alan breck and so he couldn't say he saw him. but other wise i really disliked it

QueenB18 im still a student anyway but do you really live in Ireland?

message 12: by Pandora (new)

Pandora I enjoyed Kidnapped but, I chose to read it after seeing the Roddy McDowall movie. The book was a bit slow but, I remember it being good - three stars.

Schools though unfortently do have a talent for choosing the wrong books. With me it was The Pearl by Steinbeck. Fortuntely I discovered John Steinbeck had better books.

Did anyone in your class enjoyed the book? I'm asking because it is our the summer reading list for my area and I don't want to lead anyone down the wrong path. It is our the list for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

Old-Barbarossa Best line in the book:
Wee Alan standing amidst the carnage after fending off the smugglers/pirates, "Am I not a bonny fighter?"

QueenB18 pandora kat to answer ur question everyone in my grade strongly disliked kidnapped except for one girl who only liked the book for alan breck and she's unnaturally boy crazy

QueenB18 i liked that line too because my friend in class readit sooo funny u shud have been there

QueenB18 does barbarossa really live in ireland?

message 17: by Pandora (last edited Aug 28, 2008 11:12AM) (new)

Pandora Thank you QueenB18 for your answer. I will keep it in mind. Does QueenB18 refer to chess? Darren Shan has a teen series that mixes werewolves, chess, and demons.

If I could get Stevenson off the list could you suggest a classical author that you or your classmates did like?

Anyone has an opinion about this? Stevenson yes or no for middle school.

QueenB18 no i trained a horse named queen bee and stevenson is a no for middle school...... well maybe i wud be ok 4 eighth grade

oh and also everyone enjoyied richard adams, he wrote water ship down and if u havent read it u absoulutely have to

message 19: by Pandora (last edited Aug 29, 2008 06:35PM) (new)

Pandora Richard Adams I will look into that. What do you think about HG Wells? I noticed we had some Time Machine novels sitting on the shelf. Dysutopia - men eating monsters. Followed up with a mad crazy invisible man and Martins attacking the world (War of the Worlds)

We do have Jack London on this list which all the boys and I think some girls are enjoying. What we have is White Fang and Call of the Wild. Are you famliar with his writings?

QueenB18 yes ive read call of the wild and i give it 3 stars but it is pretty grusome and i started white fang when i was very young and then got bored w/it but i was just a child. i am considering reading it fully. oh and i haven't read any hg wells yet . i will remind u i am but a student

message 21: by Pandora (new)

Pandora White Fang is a great book. We have it on the middle school list. We inculded also Call of the Wild. Both books have been very popluar but, then again we do have horror fans. Haven't read Call of the Wild yet. Know the plot line and knowing how it ends is holding me back from reading it.

As for grusome I have become the horror librarian so I have to read the grusome books.

I was asking for your opinion because you are a student. I have always been a reader and was always reading above my grade leval so I have difficulty sometimes judging at what age a book is suited for. Your comments on Kidnapped got me to rethink the book and may have save one teen from a bad book experience. A librarian nightmare.

I always enjoy talking about books but, especially with kids and teens because I like to stay in touch with what my patrons might or might not like.

QueenB18 yes and might i tell u tht i am in the middle school range of ages and many children have enjoyed the twilight series which is a new series out. i was not allowed to read it b/c i go to a classical christian school but ive heard tht everyone who reads it falls in love with it. it is a romance/action/horror book

message 23: by Wayne (new)

Dear QueenieBee18,
Such a shame you dislike "Kidnapped" so much, but don't worry, nobody's perfect.

Dear John,
I read "Kidnapped" last year after watching and enjoying yet another version on TV and suddenly realised that I had NEVER read it. Enjoyed that experience immensely, especially having all of Hollywood's obligatory romance cut out. At last I had the genuine article!!!
Have you read the second book "Catriona"? Alot harder to come by. I believe it continues the adventures of Alan Breck and I imagine he would meet up with David. Poor old Queenie, he/she will now have two books to loathe!!Another victim of the school system.
regards ,Wayne

Dear QueenBi8,
Perhaps your dislike of "Kidnapped" is misdirected and should be directed at the school system. As a retired teacher who made sure my kids loved books because I had suffered like you I well understand what you may have had to endure.Enjoy your reading now.
Fond regards, Wayne.

message 24: by Pandora (new)

Pandora QueenB18

Yes, I do know about Twilight. I haven't read and doubt I ever will. I don't like "it" books - the ones everyone is reading and talking about and about. I got sick of Twilight from goodreads seeing all the posts on it. Fortuntely it is a YA book so I don't have to deal with it. At least the teens are reading.

I had not realize that Twilight got into the same trouble as Harry Potter. It was written by a Mormon. As for me well I just leave it that I'm a librarian and follow ALA guidelines.

i see wat u mean and have u looked into "watership down" yet by richard adams? it is an amazing book im 100% sure u would absolutley adore it and (almost :) every character. dont believe wat ppl say if they tell u its a book about bunnies because very much is not. its is about a courage band of TOUGH rabbits who barely escape from their hole being developed by men and being gased out, and their adventures along the way as they try to find a the best location to live. In my class, a year or two ago, i had the reading part of fiver, hahaha read the book and find out why im laughing!!!

message 26: by Pandora (new)

Pandora Actually I remember reading The Plauge Dogs by Adams. I saw the movie of Watership Down and from that I can how the book would be a great story. Unforntunely Watership Down is not avaialable from the place we order books for the library so I couldn't suggest it for the Summer Reading list.

I will keep in mind for future ordering and see about getting a copy perhaps. Right now I have a backlog of books I want to read but, I will keep Watership Down in mind for the future.

Have you read Shiloh? That is one of my favorite books on the children's shelves. If you missed it is worth going back for. It a fifth to sixth grade book.

QueenB18 I have read Shiloh and I've forgotton it. It was a great book, i had better add it to my list of books. I'm sorry you watched the movie watership down before you read the book. The book im sure is much, much better because one of my teachers watched the movie and told me she wished she hadn't because it kind of ruined the book so yeah. but be sure u read it yourself sometime. I promise u wont regret it, because its one of my ABSOLUTE favorite books!!!

message 28: by Pandora (new)

Pandora I will try to get to Watership Down but, I have a long list of books right now. Inculding Les Miserabels and books almost as long. As for seeing the movie it has been a long time so the details are not fresh to me. With me it is usually best to see the movie first because if I like the book I won't forgive the movie for cutting out the best parts. Wheres if I like the movie I enjoy the book for adding so much more.

That's the way it work for me with Razor's Edge, Les Miserables, and The Three Musketeers. Read Count of Monte Cristo first and have not be able to enjoy any movie version of the story. But, it could also be because none of the movies have all the important characters and the Count keeps ending up with the wrong girl.

Lesley Arrowsmith I'm just wondering how any teacher could make this a boring book! That scene near the beginning - our young hero on the first evening with his uncle, groping up the stairs with a guttering candle.... How can that not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end? Or at least go "OMGhisuncleistryingtokillhim!"
Or the fight on the sailing ship? Stevenson was good at sailing ships - and that very Celtic thing Alan Breck did, of killing someone one minute and composing a poem about how great the fight had been the next?

Roxanne Werner Read Kidnapped as a teen and loved it. Then I found out there was a little known sequel called David Balfour. Found that and was happy to have further adventures with the main characters of Alan and David. I actually liked the second book better than the first one. It is a fun adventure but the style is of course dated for today's readers.

message 31: by Katherine (new) - added it

Katherine I thought there would be more seafaring but it was good. The guy with the staircase was quite troubling.

Denise Lesley wrote: "I'm just wondering how any teacher could make this a boring book! That scene near the beginning - our young hero on the first evening with his uncle, groping up the stairs with a guttering candle...."

Read this long ago and far away when we were living in the Marshall Islands and didn't have TV. It started me reading lots of RLS--"Black Arrow," "Treasure Island," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Master of Ballantrae." Some I liked more than others, of course, but I always like the adventure in "Kidnapped." I was 11. How could his uncle of all people want to kill him?

I have to echo your question: how could a teacher make this a boring book? And almost as bad, leave his/her students with the impression it took place in Ireland?

message 33: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Woods I first read "Kidnapped" when I was twelve. Picked it up one day having virtually no idea what it was about, and tumbled into one of the most thrilling books I have ever experienced. I read it in a single day. The Scottish dialect didn't bother me at all; I loved it more for the richness and flavor it brought to the dialogue. (Actually Stevenson's Scots in "Kidnapped" is quite mild, compared to the dialect he uses in some of his other pieces such as "Thrawn Janet", or to the Scots dialogue in Walter Scott's novels. Real Scots is far more intimidating than what Stevenson employs in this book!)

A couple years later I reread it and fell in love with it, Alan Breck, and Scotland in general. I can trace the blame back to "Kidnapped" for my interest in Scottish Gaelic, which I've now been studying for over a year. Also the writing style is beautiful and Stevenson has been a major influence on my own writing.

Many people I've talked to found the book a little dull, which I can understand, as the pace is much slower than the typical modern action novel. Personally I think it's a perfect balance between some of the more longwinded classic adventure novelists and the hyperspeed-paced YA books of today. I will admit that my tastes are very different from the average teenager and that I prefer classics to contemporary novels. We're all different. I simply love this book and wish more people could appreciate it.

I've also read "David Balfour/Catriona" and while parts of that story were very slow and even unconvincing, I thought the whole thirty chapters worth it for the five in which Alan appears. He is too much fun. Favorite quotes? I don't know--I've got too many. :)

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