Monday, October 13, 2014


Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stevenson

David Balfour goes to live with his uncle after his parents' death. He expects a warm welcoming but instead is nearly murdered and then his uncle allows pirates to kidnap him. David's bright future now looks to be over, replaced by a life of slavery in America. That is until he meets Alan Breck Steward who bares the king's name. Alan and David are thrust together and forced on an adventure that changes both of them.

There is little in this book to dislike, which makes me ashamed it took me so long to read. I started it two years ago, but for some reason stopped and never picked it up again until recently. This time I had trouble putting the book down.

David and Alan spend most of the book traveling through Scotland, trying to avoid the soldiers Alan has angered by his various exploits. David is thrown into the same danger when he becomes known as Alan's companion, something David sometimes to be more of a trail than a blessing.

The adventure itself is worth reading. David and Alan run into danger at almost every turn. Not only is there the constant dodging of troops, but David also ends shipwrecked alone on an island, witnessing a murder, as well as sickness, hunger, and all those lovely mishaps one faces while fleeing for ones life. The book is one constant twist and turn as David and Alan try and keep their necks from getting stretched.

As for Alan and David, their friendship is a rare one. Both are loyal to each other and determined to keep the other alive, but both were so stubborn there were constant bickerings between them. During one part of the book neither so much as spoke to each other since both were unwilling to admit to his own fault. Part of the time I was laughing at them and the other part I was wanting to hit their heads together and tell them to behave.

For a while I thought Alan was the worse between them. He brags non stop about his name, is as vain as a peacock, and seems determined to get himself hanged just so it can be known he's a Steward. (And let us not forget his mockery of David's title, except for the moments when someone else mocked David's title, then they had to answer to Alan.) However, as the story progressed, I realized David had his own will and determination to seemingly get himself killed if it meant proving to the world he was a proud Whig. Of course, these qualities only endearing the two of them all the more, and makes their moments of standing up for each other all the better.

It is one of my top favourite classics now and I'm glad I own it so I can travel all over Scotland with Davie and Alan again, because it is hard to say goodbye to characters such as them. 

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