"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde


Monday, May 30, 2011

Kidnapped



By far, this has been the best book I've read this summer (and yes, I know there have only been three...) and also one of the best I've read in a long time. I have to send out a HUGE thank you to Sarah, who finally convinced me to read this book (honestly, the best way to get me to read anything is to put a copy in my hands, and tell me to read). I'll admit that at first, I had my doubts. True, she had told me wonderful things about this book, and I always hold Sarah's recommendations in high regard, but as I started reading, I wasn't totally convinced. But, all of a sudden, I just found myself grabbed by the shirtfront as it were, and dragged right into the action. This is an AMAZING book!

Kidnapped is the story of David Balfour. After the death of his father, he is sent to his uncle Ebenezer with a mysterious letter. His uncle, a strange, secretive man, tells him that he owes him a small amount for an inheritance, and after attempting to have him killed off, gets him kidnapped and sent off to the Carolinas to be sold into slavery. On the ship, he meets Alan Breck, a hot-headed young man from the Scottish Highlands. Together, the two of them get into all sorts of trouble, and set off on an adventure to earn David's inheritance back from his corrupt uncle, and to save Alan from the gallows.

I cannot say how much I loved this book! Stevenson is a master with words, and I can guarantee that I'm going to be reading more of his books in the future. Of course, I already read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last summer, and I'll be reading it again this summer for my LXG Reading Challenge. But, I also hope to be able to read Treasure Island sometime in the future. I'm not sure what else Stevenson wrote....does anyone else know? If not, I can always Google it, haha.

When I learned that much of the dialogue was phonetically written in a Scottish dialect, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to understand it. However, I was delighted to find that it was not at all hard to decipher once you started reading for a bit. In fact, it was pretty easy to understand. And even better, I found that my limited knowledge of Middle English actually helped me greatly in understanding some of the more unusual terms that weren't mentioned in the book's meager gloss.... ken and bairn are terms that one doesn't hear every day, and it might have been confusing if I didn't know them from somewhere else, first. (Just for the record, they mean "know" and "child" respectively).

Overall, a wonderful book! Please read!

8 comments:

  1. see, i occasionally know what i'm talking about. Stevenson wrote a lot of poetry. i'm really glad you enjoyed it. now i just have to get you to read gormenghast.

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  2. I have the BBC radio production of Kidnapped which is brilliant too. Recorded in Scotland, using some of the same moors as David and Alan traverse it is a wonderful read... and don't forget there is a sequel, Catriona. (pronounced in Scotland Kat-rina). Love...

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  3. Sarah, you know I always trust your literary judgement ;)

    Evan, I'm glad you liked it, too :)

    Roger, I had no idea there was a sequel! But I'm going to have to check it out now! Thank you so much!!

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  4. the sequel is not as good as the first obviously but i read it just because. you should chick it out if you love the thought of David being in love and cute awkward moments. it is also published under with the title David Balfour.

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  5. Sarah,

    Thank you for the update :)

    I'm still interested in checking out the sequel, although of course, I understand that it won't be as good as the original. Is Alan in this one, too?

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  6. yes, he is but he and David don't have the same kind of adventures and the book partly takes place in Holland.

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  7. Hmm....okay. I still would like to read it though. And besides, as soon as Roger told me about the sequel, I requested it at the library! :P

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