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Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751

Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751


Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751

ratings:
4/5 (38 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Jan 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781937091286
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The attempt at murder failed. Risking everything to keep young David Balfour from his just inheritance, his wicked uncle has him kidnapped - condemning his nephew to seven long years of slavery in the Carolinas. However, on the way, David runs into one of the greatest characters in English Literature: Alan Breck Stuart. These two heroes band together, and before he knows it, David finds himself embroiled in political intrigues that chase him across the wild Scottish Highlands.
Released:
Jan 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781937091286
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson was born on 13 November 1850, changing his second name to ‘Louis’ at the age of eighteen. He has always been loved and admired by countless readers and critics for ‘the excitement, the fierce joy, the delight in strangeness, the pleasure in deep and dark adventures’ found in his classic stories and, without doubt, he created some of the most horribly unforgettable characters in literature and, above all, Mr. Edward Hyde.


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What people think about Kidnapped

3.8
38 ratings / 48 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Disappointing and dated.
  • (4/5)
    After his father's death in 1751, young David Balfour learns about an uncle he'd never heard of before. David is surprised to learn that he is the heir to an estate, but before he can get used to the idea, his uncle has him kidnapped on a ship headed for the American colonies. En route, he befriends Jacobite Alan Breck Stewart. Although the highland Catholic Alan and the lowland Protestant David make an unlikely pair, they share adventures including shipwreck and pursuit through the highlands. It's an entertaining tail of adventure, and it's worth reading just to get acquainted with David Balfour. I listened to the audio version and I found it difficult to understand the reader's accent and the somewhat archaic Scots dialect.
  • (3/5)
    I must say that, for once, I found a book a bit difficult to follow. He has written the book very well. No doubt about this. There is lots of local flavour when it comes to the language. However, I did not follow the plot as well as I usually do, and was a bit happy when the book finally ended!
  • (4/5)
    A young man is dispossessed by his 'evil' uncle and has many challenges on his way back to reclaiming his inheritance. Despite the unrealistic story line the hardships of young David Balfour are portrayed realistically.
  • (4/5)
    It's been such a long time since I've read this. A ripping good yarn!
  • (3/5)
    I found it simplistic and believe it's description as a boy's adventure novel fitting. It gives some good lessons for "coming of age" young people. I liked the Scottish dialogue, learning a bit of history and the description of the countryside to be an enjoyable part of the book.
  • (4/5)
    St. Barts 2017 #7 - Famous Stevenson tale that i have heard about my entire life, and is usually the case, i cannot believe i have not ever read. So off on my vacation it came, and i read it at the same time as a friend. I certainly enjoyed the adventure, but the Scottish dialect language, even with the Stevenson-installed footnotes, and the very confusing political climate at the time of this story left me spinning more than i wanted. Scottish clan battles and English Kings obviously dominated daily lives at the time of this story, and having absolutely zero knowledge of the players and the motives, it was just a lot of distracting clutter to me. Our hero David Balfour does struggle mightily with many things not going his way, and tells this story with a certain charm and self-deprecating style that saves this for me. Lots of swashbuckling sea-faring excitement, some time spent on an island, & a healthy dose of eclectic characters challenge David as he struggles to survive his ordeal. I always thought of this as a children's book, but i think i was either wrong, or I am just way in over my head. Very glad that it is now on the pile of books i have read!
  • (5/5)
    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!
  • (4/5)
    A young man is dispossessed by his 'evil' uncle and has many challenges on his way back to reclaiming his inheritance. Despite the unrealistic story line the hardships of young David Balfour are portrayed realistically.
  • (4/5)
    It's always fun to revisit childhood favorites. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure story Kidnapped held two distinct memories for me—David's terrible climb in the dark up the stairs (which somehow seemed much longer and more tortuous to my younger self), and the hideout on the top of the rock, right above the heads of a whole troop of soldiers (so clever!). To get a start in life, recently orphaned David Balfour must make his way to his uncle Ebenezer, but miserly Ebenezer Balfour has a secret to guard. He arranges for David to be kidnapped aboard the Covenant, where the young man has little hope of rescue until a rich stranger is picked up from a shipwreck. Overhearing the captain's plans to ambush and rob Alan Breck, David assists the little Highlander in defending the ship's cabin and winning free. Then follows a wild adventure through the heather, as David must flee or be caught up in a Highland feud. And behind it all is the mystery of why Uncle Ebenezer would go to such lengths to rid himself of an unwelcome nephew.Stevenson's gift for writing believable characters never shows to better advantage than in his depiction of Alan Breck. Despite his diminutive stature, Alan towers large in both vanity and open-hearted friendship. Generous and brave but possessing a quick temper and a weakness for gambling, Alan becomes David's constant companion and guide through the physically and politically treacherous Highlands. I appreciated the realism of their friendship, quarrels and all. It was fascinating to read this directly after finishing Rob Roy, which was apparently Stevenson's favorite of Sir Walter Scott's historical novels. I can see the influence. Stevenson dials the Scots back a bit (thank heavens) but still manages to give his dialogue a little Highland flavor. It was also interesting to note the passing mention of the estate Rest-and-Be-Thankful, which is the setting of Elizabeth Marie Pope's novel The Sherwood Ring. Actually, reading Kidnapped and Rob Roy so close together gave me several insights on Pope's story, which takes elements of both novels (notably the villainous uncle and the Robin Hood-like outlaw characters) and reworks them into a fully satisfying tale in its own right. Young readers can't do much better than to read Stevenson, and I look forward to reading his novels to my son when he's old enough. Recommended!
  • (5/5)
    An awesome adventure and nothing trivial or cliche about it. It is really the first part of a two volume story; it ends abruptly in Edinburgh with only some things resolved and its sequel, Catriona, picks up the story of David Balfour about an hour later. It inspired some thrilling illustrations by N.C. Wyeth and has some very funny bits. David's internal musings are moving and amusing and Allan Breck is a right handful. There is no extreme of weather that poor David does not endure.
  • (4/5)
    Coming late to this adventure, I enjoyed reading it, even with the use of the Scots language (the free Kindle version has frequent footnotes translating the more unguessable words). The story is set in the year 1751, five years after the battle of Culloden which finally ended the Jacobite uprisings. Scotland is a divided nation and the old clan system is under threat. Highlanders are forbidden to carry arms and wearing the tartan is proscribed. The divisions between the clans are deep, particularly between those that have accepted Hanoverian rule and the Jacobite sympathisers.The book's hero, David Balfour, is a Lowland Scot. His parents both dead, he sets out to find his extended family. The book starts and ends with his search for his rightful inheritance but the bulk of the book is the story of an epic journey, first in an ill-fated brig around Scotland and then across the country on foot as a fugitive with a colourful Jacobite companion, Alan Breck Stewart. Stevenson takes a true event, the Appin murder, as the start of this. Colin Roy Campbell, the King's factor in the Western Highlands was shot and killed by an unknown sniper. Alan Stewart (an historical character) was blamed by many, probably wrongly, but never apprehended. In a major miscarriage of justice, James Stewart, a clan chief, was hanged as an aider and abetter. Kidnapped has David Balfour joining up with a fictionalised Alan Stewart and sharing his flight to safety.The first part of the book with the kidnap and the time at sea is exciting although, to be honest, the flight across the heather in the second part is fairly uneventful, focussing more on the variable relationship between David and Alan than any derring-do. The descriptions of the changing Highland weather and landscape are worth reading for the sense of atmosphere.This was regarded, like Treasure Island, as the equivalent of a YA book in my youth and it is interesting to read in Stevenson's dedication that he doesn't necessarily expect the dedicatee to enjoy it but he thinks his son might. I am glad I caught up with it.
  • (3/5)
    Written for teens. Has much more character development than Treasure Island and covers quite a bit of Jacobite history. Good stuff.Read in Samoa June 2004
  • (4/5)
    Two hundred page buildup for a four page payoff. Reminds me of a much shorter "Count of Monte Cristo". All setup for revenge. But with both writers, what a sweet payoff as we see Balfour's uncle get his due. Fantastic. I can read it fairly easily, but the dialect is beyond children now.
  • (4/5)
    A great story with a good narrative drive involving the betrayal and kidnapping of the central character, David Balfour, his flight across the Scottish landscape and his eventual rescue and restoration to his fortune. There are a number of other colourful and intriguing characters especially David's uncle Ebenezer (similar to his Dickensian namesake) and Alan Breck Stewart. Good stuff, though there are an awful lot of Scots words not recognised in the OED and only a few of which are explained in footnotes in the Delphi Collected Works edition.
  • (2/5)
    The overall story for this book was good, but the strong Scottish dialect made it difficult to follow. Once I gave up on trying to figure out exactly what was going on, the book was more enjoyable.
  • (3/5)
    Forty plus years after reading "Treasure Island", I have finally completed my second book by Robert Louis Stevenson, "Kidnapped".Protagonist David Balfour is the heir to his uncle's estate, but his uncle doesn't want to share, so he arranges for his nephew to be taken to the Carolinas as a slave. Sometimes plans just don't follow through as we'd like, and David finds himself on the run, trying to survive long enough to get home and enact revenge.Good story, should be interesting and/or readable for youth and up.Note: I gave this book three stars: the story moved along nicely, although the Scottish words used throughout the text had me skipping to the glossary in the back of the book, a lot.
  • (3/5)
    Swashbuckling adventure set in Scotland, the author of Treasure Island revels in this wild story. It didn't really come alive for me until the shipwreck. Even then, it's not one that sucked me in with every page. An entertaining adventure story. I can see loving this one if I read it when I was young, but as an adult it didn't hold my attention as much.It fell into the same category as The Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, all excellent stories. But I think I would've loved them more if I had read them when I was younger."To be feared of a thing and yet do it is what makes the prettiest kind of a man."
  • (3/5)
    Well, even though this is supposed to be a kids' book, it was pretty engaging even for this Mom. I loved the fact that in my 1948 edition anyway, that even though the author sometimes writes in dialect, he takes the time to do footnotes of unfamiliar Scottish words that he uses in his writing. Most of it is fairly easy to figure out, but I appreciated it.The story itself is of a young man of 17 who's father passes away & leaves him an orphan, since the mother passed years before. David gets instructions from Mr. Campbell, his father's laird, to go seek his uncle Ebenezer, since he is the last of the Balfour family. Uncle Ebenezer, like the other famous character by that name, is not a nice guy. He arranges to have his nephew shanghai'd by a boat crew, to be sold as a white slave in the Carolinas. Well, all manner of mishaps occur, & the boat never makes it because it's wrecked off the coast. David makes his way across Scotland with Alan, who's a bit of a bad guy himself, but, he takes care of David, & that's how that odd friendship develops. Eventually, David makes his way back...I won't give away the ending, you'll just have to read it for yourself
  • (5/5)
    This story grabs the reader's attention through an action packed adventure around Scotland. We follow David Balfour through his travels to find who he is and claim his true inheritance. This story would be suitable for readers in grades 6 and up.
  • (4/5)
    It's always fun to revisit childhood favorites. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure story Kidnapped held two distinct memories for me—David's terrible climb in the dark up the stairs (which somehow seemed much longer and more tortuous to my younger self), and the hideout on the top of the rock, right above the heads of a whole troop of soldiers (so clever!). To get a start in life, recently orphaned David Balfour must make his way to his uncle Ebenezer, but miserly Ebenezer Balfour has a secret to guard. He arranges for David to be kidnapped aboard the Covenant, where the young man has little hope of rescue until a rich stranger is picked up from a shipwreck. Overhearing the captain's plans to ambush and rob Alan Breck, David assists the little Highlander in defending the ship's cabin and winning free. Then follows a wild adventure through the heather, as David must flee or be caught up in a Highland feud. And behind it all is the mystery of why Uncle Ebenezer would go to such lengths to rid himself of an unwelcome nephew.Stevenson's gift for writing believable characters never shows to better advantage than in his depiction of Alan Breck. Despite his diminutive stature, Alan towers large in both vanity and open-hearted friendship. Generous and brave but possessing a quick temper and a weakness for gambling, Alan becomes David's constant companion and guide through the physically and politically treacherous Highlands. I appreciated the realism of their friendship, quarrels and all. It was fascinating to read this directly after finishing Rob Roy, which was apparently Stevenson's favorite of Sir Walter Scott's historical novels. I can see the influence. Stevenson dials the Scots back a bit (thank heavens) but still manages to give his dialogue a little Highland flavor. It was also interesting to note the passing mention of the estate Rest-and-Be-Thankful, which is the setting of Elizabeth Marie Pope's novel The Sherwood Ring. Actually, reading Kidnapped and Rob Roy so close together gave me several insights on Pope's story, which takes elements of both novels (notably the villainous uncle and the Robin Hood-like outlaw characters) and reworks them into a fully satisfying tale in its own right. Young readers can't do much better than to read Stevenson, and I look forward to reading his novels to my son when he's old enough. Recommended!
  • (3/5)
    KidnappedBy Robert Louis StevensonNarrated by Kieron ElliottⓅ 2015, Recorded Books9 hrs and 7 minsCLASSIC / ADVENTURESet in the seventeenth century, newly orphaned seventeen-year old David Balfour, discovers that he is of the wealthy House of Shaws and heads to Edinburgh to meet his relatives. Once in the city, however, he finds that his only extant relative is a squirrelly uncle who is clearly a threat to David’s own life. After a particularly close brush with death, David is tricked onboard a ship and whisked away on to a life of hardship and adventure including ship battles, ship wreck, mutiny, and running with outlaws. The story is everything you would want and expect for a tale of swashbuckling heroism, clever ruses, and breath taking scenes of danger! The only thing missing is a damsel in distress; but as a “boy’s tale” the lack of a romance isn’t surprising.Kieron Elliot is a “Scottish actor, host, voice over artist and comedian” who narrated this classic tale, slowly and carefully; and with a full-on Scottish brogue. There is the temptation to speed up the recording; but the special (nautical), archaic, and idiomatic language of the novel demands a more considered approach, especially to American listeners’ ears. However, as much of a sucker for a Scottish accent that you may be [Ahem, me], his deliberate pace and lack of narrative flow mark him as a novice audiobook narrator. Indeed, it appears that he has only narrated one other audiobook, a romance for Harper Audio under the name Kieran Elliott, 'To Marry A Scottish Laird' (by Lyndsey Sands). Still, I would have liked to have heard more from this narrator. There is the sense that once he “gets” narration as an admixture of voice over and performance, he would be a top tier narrator.OTHER: I received a CD Library edition of Kidnapped (by Robert Louis Stevenson; narrated by Kieron Elliott) from Recorded Books in exchange for review. I receive no monies, goods (beyond the audiobook) or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
  • (4/5)
    Book Description
    Spirited, romantic, and full of danger, Kidnapped is Robert Louis Stevenson's classic of high adventure. Beloved by generations, it is the saga of David Balfour, a young heir whose greedy uncle connives to do him out of his inherited fortune and plots to have him seized and sold into slavery. But honor, loyalty, and courage are rewarded; the orphan and castaway survives kidnapping and shipwreck, is rescued by a daredevil of a rogue, and makes a thrilling escape to freedom.

    My Review
    I love Robert Louis Stevenson's writing and Kidnapped, I believe, is his best book. He gives us the character of David Balfour who you can't help but wish that things would go his way and he would come into his inheritance. It is set in the 18th century Scottish highlands and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.
  • (5/5)
    This book is appropriate for the upper elementary school grade levels. It is an exciting book of a boy who is kidnapped onto a pirate ship. It is a classic that children will enjoy reading for years to come.
  • (5/5)
    This adventurous story follows a seventeen year old boy who is told to find his long lost uncle after his parents die. His travels take a dangerous turn and he ends up being in way more than he had bargained for. If you are looking for an adventure that is steeped in Scottish history and culture, this book is for you. Appropriate for ages 5th grade and up.
  • (4/5)
    At first sight, this work seems disquietingly similar to Stevenson's better known Treasure Island: around the middle of the 18th Century (not Stevenson's own 19th Century), an impoverished, inexperienced, but self-respecting teenage hero is set to sea by circumstance. Here he faces a crew of thugs whom, supported by strong role-models, he valiantly defeats. Then follows a long voyage of wandering & discovery until at last he comes to spiritual & material independence under the wise & watchful eye of his mentors, portrayed as very pillars of a romanticized British Empire.But there the similarity does stop. Kidnapped is exclusively about 18th Century Scotland & its entirely unforgettable inhabitants. Its sea voyage is a circumnavigation of Scotland, no more, no less. The perilous return to the home town takes place across hills & heather. Finally & most important, every character in the novel is as Scottish as its teenage hero - or as Stevenson was himself.You might say that Kidnapped offers all the assets of Treasure Island, plus one: the tense but warm atmosphere of an independence-loving nation during the waning years of its armed rebellion against the English. Stevenson, in loving mastery of his subject yet never as uncritical as he seems, ignores neither politics, intrigues, & clan quarrels, nor the (predictable) homage to bagpipe & tartans. The book is therefore flavoursome in a manner that even Treasure Island, for all its power, never attains. The historical & cultural depth here is simply greater - & the book perhaps as entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    When 16-year-old David Balfour meets his estranged uncle for the first time, he is shocked by the man's cruelty. Soon, Balfour has been kidnapped and he must rescue himself and travel back to the town of his uncle to claim his inheritance. This is an exciting little book...not quite up to scratch with Treasure Island, but still has quite an adventure. It would probably be a fun book for teenagers to read, if they like classics (or if you want to thrust classics upon them).
  • (4/5)
    Previously I have ranked Robert Louis Stevenson among my favorite authors simply on the basis of Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses. Now I’m pleased to add Kidnapped to that list.In my review of Treasure Island, I called Stevenson a master of atmosphere, and that’s true here as well. He has a most miraculous ability to make me feel like I’ve stepped into a new world and am experiencing it for the first time, side by side with our hero, David Balfour: On the forenoon of the second day, coming to the top of a hill, I saw all the country fall away before me down to the sea; and in the midst of this descent, on a long ridge, the city of Edinburgh smoking like a kiln. There was a flag upon the castle, and ships moving or lying anchored in the firth; both of which, for as far away as they were, I could distinguish clearly; and both brought my country heart into my mouth.But while every page of Treasure Island seems to be bathed in salty air, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in grimy fog, in Kidnapped the atmosphere varies from setting to setting, from scene to scene. There’s a Gothic air pervading the encounters with Uncle Ebenezer (truly one of the lowest and most despicable of Stevenson’s characters, and not at all similar to his usual Devil-as-Gentleman villain), followed by a nautical section that invokes all of the danger and little of the lightness of Treasure Island. The majority of the tale, however, centers on the romance and mystique of the highlands.The character who best embodies Stevenson’s idea of highland honor is Alan Breck Stewart; all the complexity that Stevenson spared in creating Uncle Ebenezer he seems to have kept in reserve for the portrait of this adventurous outlaw, who was a real historical personage. Stevenson’s Alan is alternately heroic and petty, friendly and shortsighted. At times he almost seems younger than his juvenile companion, although he’s never less than sympathetic.By my calculations, David himself ought to be roughly the same age as Jim in Treasure Island, but David is the more complicated character, and thus Kidnapped reads as an “older” story. Unfortunately, it’s also more episodic than Treasure Island, with a weaker plot and an open ending. Still, I enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more Stevenson—including the sequel, Catriona!
  • (2/5)
    It took 2 weeks of struggle and 3 formats to get through this book. I found it a slog, whereas I enjoyed "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde." I liked the e-reader format because of the built-in dictionary (though quite a few of the words are not in a modern e-dictionary), but ultimately I had to finish it on audiobook. I am interested in the author's use of the name Ebanezer for a Scrooge-like character.
  • (4/5)
    A 1001 CBYMRBYGU.Young David Balfour discovers after his father’s death that his family has unexpected wealth and power. David ventures off to meet up with his father’s only brother and finds a man who deceives him and sells him off into slavery, sending David off on a ship bound for America. On the ship, David meets lots more bad guys and there is a lot of shooting and fighting. He falls overboard, survives to live for a while on an isolated island, and then gets thrown into a Scottish struggle for power, with more shooting and scavenging. I loved the action in this book. With books like these available, you can see why so many boys read books a hundred years ago. I also loved all the new-to-me words in this book. I could write a whole post on all the new words I discovered while reading this book. Ay, faith, I ken Scotland be a braw place, no sae bad as ye would think, in this bonny tale of a man and a halfling boy, who werenae feared of being laid by the heels, hoot-toot, hoot-toot.