Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson

"In those days folk still believed in witches and trembled at a curse; and this one, falling so pat, like a wayside omen, to arrest me ere I carried out my purpose, took the pith out of my legs."

David Balfour is an orphan, bereft of family but for his Uncle Ebeneezer. He imagines his troubles are over only to find himself sold off and shipped onto a boat bound for the colonies. Fortunately he finds a kindred spirit in Alan Breck Stewart. During a storm they defend themselves against the treacherous crew, a scene ending in a shipwreck. David washes up on a island and from there tries to make his way home while being implicated in a murder and avoiding British redcoats, all to reclaim his inheritance.

I've only read one other Stevenson book "Treasure Island and it is by far the superior book. "Kidnapped" isn't a bad book per se but nothing much really happens in the entirety of the story. In fact, there were several times I had to put the book down because it wasn't very interesting. I would put this in the lesser canon of Steveson's work. David spends a lot of time travelling and not a lot of time actually doing anything. The main disappointment is there was so much potential here but Stevenson doesn't do much with what he has.

I was expecting more, having seen one of the movie versions but now I think I'll remove it from The List.

Rating: 2/5

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