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 across the wild highlands of Scotland.
Acclaimed by Henry James as Robert Louis Stevenson's best novel, Kidnapped achieves what Stevenson called "the particular crown and triumph of the artist...not simply to convince, but to enchant."
Public Domain (P)2015 Recorded Books
Upon the death of his father, David Balfour is given a letter of introduction to Ebenezer Balfour, of Shaws House in Cramond. The welcome he receives from that man runs hot, and cold in turns. Mr Balfour proposes a visit to a lawyer, having been foiled in an attempt to cause David's death by sending him up a tower without light. The next day a young cabin boy arrives, Ransome, and he guides them to a ship, where David is coaxed on board, before being knocked out, and so the adventures begin.
This is a "boy's own adventure" style story, and it did keep me wondering at how it would be resolved. I liked the mixture of fact with fiction, and the characters were very well drawn. There is a romantic taint to the tale, which, thankfully, refrained from being overly sentimental.
It was a slow start. I struggled to hold on through those first few chapters, but I'm glad I did. The language, being a little old fashioned, took some getting used to - and I am used to the language of Jane Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. Eventually I was able to follow the rhythm, if not the Latin.
Mr Kieron Elliott gave an excellent performance as narrator with his Scottish accent. I chose this edition over other audio formats, based on samples of voices, and I'm glad I chose this version. It was a lively narration, clear, even with the Scottish dialect. In fact, the audio production was good overall, with only one or two changes in tone, voice, and quality to mar the presentation.
I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good, rollicking tale. I think pre-teen boy readers might enjoy the tale far more than adults. For my own part, I am going to seek a copy of the sequel, Catriona, hoping Kieron Elliott has recorded it.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I have never read many of the classics in literature and so in 2017 I am attempting to remedy that. Reading Stevenson's tale made me realize that I have missed out on much. This was an excellent listen. It is at once a picturesque travelogue of Scotland, an informative piece of historical fiction, a rollicking adventure story, a tale of friendship and a very silly comedy. Luckily my brain can multitask.
Young David Balfour just may be the unluckiest lad in all of literature. If something can go wrong for him ... it will. He travels from one mishap to another. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions.
There were moments when the Scottish brogue confused me and I found myself researching Jacobites and looking up language I didn't understand, but it did nothing to harm my enjoyment. I actually found this book highly entertaining. And Kieron Elliott gets much of the credit for that. I could not have read this in my head nearly as well. I am not blessed with the ability to speak or hear accents well. So, having Mr Elliott read it to me in the way it should be read was wonderful. He also put so much inflection into his voice, building tension when appropriate, quieting his voice at the right times and creating a vivid picture in my mind. Superbly done!
It was an absolute joy to hear. Mr. Elliott's phrasing, intonation and accent brought this book to life and made it a delightful read. This is the absolute best rendition.
Report Inappropriate Content