(P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Frederick Davidson delivers the text of this nineteenth-century novel with a thoroughly convincing variety of Scottish brogues and English accents." (AudioFile)
This was an unexpected treat. I read "Kidnapped" in high school (and have listened to several audiobook versions since), but I never got around to reading the sequel. It is, in some ways, an even more interesting story than its predecessor.
David Balfour here completes the process of growing up that he began in the highlands of Scotland. "Catriona" shows the final unfolding of the events that began with the Appin murder. In the process, David is kidnapped again, finds friends in unexpected places, and falls in love. His alliances are complicated: there are few complete saints or sinners here, and even his greatest benefactors are motivated more than a little by self-interest. In the process, David demonstrates physical courage, but more importantly he also shows great moral courage.
There's also, unexpectedly, some sexual tension. David never labels it as such, and Stevenson is discreet in the best Victorian manner, but at one point in the book it's clear that's what's going on. At that point, David and Catriona are thrown together in close proximity, but it's not just the frustrations of love that drive David into frightening mood swings, complete with slammed doors and paroxysms of guilt.
Frederick Davidson is an acquired taste, as I've said in other reviews. I acquired the taste a few years ago and can listen to him now with pleasure and even affection; but my first reaction to his unusual voice was dismay. So I understand that this audiobook may not be to everyone's taste. But if you liked "Kidnapped," and you enjoy Stevenson, and you want to find out how things turned out for David, Alan, and the rest of the gang, give this one a try.
It's hard to say what I liked best about this book -- the writing, the story, the narration -- but it was just one of those books that was so enjoyable to listen to sitting in a park by a pond with ducks and geese, that it will always stay in my memory. The story carries one along effortlessly as you get to know the characters and discover their dilemma. A delightful book that will leave you wanting more.
The story is about David Balfour (main character of Kidnapped) further adventures.
This romatic sequel was written in about 1893 (seven years after Kidnapped). This story stands on it's own, and you do NOT need to read Kidnapped to fully enjoy this book.
Be prepared that this story requires more focused listening because of the language used during the period. Be sure to listen to the sample.
The story is narrated by Fredrich Davidson who has many excellent voices. If you like 'classic' novels, I would also suggest Dombey and Sons by Charles Dickens also narrated by Fredrich Davidson.
I love history and I really love a good story based in historical events.
The narrator is just a joy to listen to. I have always been a big fan of Kidnapped. I remember reading both books as a kid but I've never read Catriona again. Having seen a movie version of Kidnapped (the Michael Caine version) recently I felt like reading the follow up book again. Wasn't exactly like I recall. Somehow I liked James Stuart of the Glenn getting off better than his being hanged in almost an afterthought. Still an enjoyable book.
David Balfour was as clueless with women as so many of us are. I am still with David, I have no idea why Miss Grant's letter to him would so upset Catriona. I rather wish the author had shared the secret with us.
I want to say he did "Farewell to Catilonia" by Orwell. If it wasn't him it was his audible double. They both were very pleasant books.
Some parts of the story were a bit disjointed. RLS made a big deal of Davie trying to get James of the Glenn exonerated and then announces his hanging as almost an afterthought. Kidnapped was a better thought out book. It was nice to see David get the girl in the end though.
You will need to have read Kidnapped before reading this book. It is the conclusion of the life of David Balfour after he returns from his escapades. Some parts of this dragged slightly and I didn't fully understand the character of Catriona, despite being female. Shall I conclude that RLS didn't understand women's characters, or perhaps I'm a female oddity? Otherwise it was all good and satisfying, the conclusion had a good pace to it, and it finished well. I would have preferred a native Scottish narrator as sometimes his accent veered into Irish or home counties.
This is surely the best of Robert Louis Stevenson enjoyable whitty dialogue
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