Sunday, January 23

Book Review: Kidnapped

Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Pages: 319

Summary: As with his other "children's stories" (Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde), Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped is truly a tale for all ages. Bursting with heroes and villains, romance and intrigue, treachery and rebellion, Kidnapped follows the adventures of David Balfour as he journeys across Scotland in an attempt to claim his rightful inheritance from his unscrupulous uncle. Along the way, David is held hostage on a boat bound for the New World, which he is able to escape with the help of an outcast hero named Alan Beck Stewart. The unlikely pair travel through Scotland encountering dangerous conflict at nearly every turn, testing their friendship and honour. Stevenson's gift for incorporating mature and powerful themes into what he described as a "boys' novel" shines through in Kidnapped, giving the reader not only a heart-pounding adventure tale, but also a sophisticated and powerful coming-of-age-story.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall I enjoyed the book. I loved the way the story was told, Stevenson has such an amazing narrative voice in this novel, and it was written so wonderfully, I found it hard at times to believe it was meant for children. There was such a clear voice throughout the novel, the storytelling was wonderful and elegant, everything love in an old classic book! Which was what kept me reading the book, as I found that the story wasn’t as interesting at I had hoped it would be. The idea behind the story was an interesting one, but I think it fell short of my expectations. I’m not sure exactly what I was hoping for, but the story wasn’t exactly what I expected, it wasn’t as adventured filled as I thought it would be, and it was slow paced for me at times. Although the storytelling ability by Stevenson certainly made up for that, there were times, I was bored. I found my self flip-flopping on whether I liked David as a character, I found him to be a bit inconsistent at times, but I did enjoy his adventure and the book overall.

Would I recommend it to read: I think I would probably recommend it to read. It isn’t my favourite classic book or story out there, but it isn’t a bad story, it just fell short of what I expected to be. Still worth reading, just on the Stevenson’s ability to tell a good story.

What to read next: I believe there is a sequel to this book, so if you enjoyed the book and want to find out what happens next, I’d say start there.

Challenges: 11 in 11 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 1001 Books Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Book Blogger Bucket List Challenge, Global Reading Challenge, NaJuReMoNoMo,


  1. I remember this book. It's actually my favorite of Stevenson. But the part I always remember best is when he was stranded on that little island for a short time. I had no idea there was a sequel, what's it called?

  2. I had never heard of this book, but I think it would be perfect for my son who loves action and adventure stories. He hasn't read many classics, so I think it would be a really good experience for him to try this one. I am sorry to hear that you were a little bored with it at times though. I appreciated reading your thoughts on it!

  3. Great review. I've heard of this book, but I didn't know what it was about until I read your review. It sounds very interesting, particularly the sinister uncle. I didn't finish Treasure Island when I started reading it years ago, so maybe Kidnapped will be a better reading experience. :)

  4. Jeane - The sequel is called Catriona. And that's all I know about it, I didn't know it was a series either and till I added it to LibraryThing and saw it had a series field.

    Zibilee - It would be good book for young adults, especially boys. I ws bored, but looking back I think a younger audience may find it worthy read - especially for a classic one.

    Darlyn - The uncle was character you'd love to hate. You were routing for something to happen to him. Or maybe that's just me.