After his father dies, David Balfour is told to go to his uncle for his inheritance. But the uncle has no intention of letting the riches go - so he plots to kill Balfour, ultimately arranging for him to be kidnapped as a slave bound for the American colonies.
Balfour's future looks bleak - until he witnesses a shipwreck and befriends the lone survivor, a rugged Highlander named Alan Breck Stewart. Together, they plan their rebellion - and the fight back home to claim Balfour's inheritance.
Spirited, romantic, and full of danger, Kidnapped is Robert Louis Stevenson's classic of high adventure.
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
I admire Stevenson's work. He's smart, funny, thoughtful, sensitive, and a terrific storyteller, and "Kidnapped" is deservedly famous. But this narration doesn't do the book justice. I found Steven Crossley to have a beautiful voice but a limited range of expression, which he applies with little regard to the actual words being spoken. This is particularly problematic with a book like this one, which has dialect and unfamiliar historical references, so that you really lean on the narrator for meaning. I also didn't think that Crossley distinguished adequately between voices; when one character says to another, "I have twelve files of soldiers at my back," and you can't tell which character is speaking, that's also a problem. There are other narrators available for this title and I'm sorry I picked this one.
Because of the age and writing style of this novel, the narration was key to the success and enjoyment of this book. It's a great story and surprisingly upbeat. The misfortunes are many, but the main character never gives up spirit as one catastrophe leads to another. Along the way, he encounters the worst and best that men have to offer each other and manages to survive the process.
An excellent fast-moving story which is very well read.
I remember thoroughly enjoying Kidnapped as a teenager and wondered if I would be disappointed hearing it so many years later. Not so! As an adult I still enjoyed the rollicking adventure and but now picked up on some of the other features of the book, for example the humour in some of the exchanges and the historical background. Knowing many of the Scottish settings only added to the enjoyment.
Full of great characters and with a real feel for Scotland this was an excellent holiday listen.
Kidnapped is one of my favourite books and I know almost every line by heart, so I'm very hard to please with an audio version. I loved this reading. The reader takes a friendly, leisurely tone that suits Stevenson and lets the poetry come out of his prose; he also does an excellent range of voices for the characters.
I'm no judge of accents, so I can't tell if Crossley (who is English I think) carries off the Scots dialects well enough for a native ear.
"Plenty of Action"
Our boys are really enjoying this story and it is well presented. Some of the other versions of Kidnapped are quite a bit shorter, but this one is read at what feels like the right pace.
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