Kidnapped : Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751, Paperback

Kidnapped : Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751 Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


When young David Balfour's father dies and leaves him in poverty, he tracks down his Uncle Ebenezer to seek his inheritance.

But his uncle is a mean, nasty man with a dark family secret.

David finds himself in terrible danger when he is kidnapped and taken prisoner on board a ship bound for slavery - he must escape.

With the help of daring rebel Alan Breck, David faces a wild adventure as he is hunted across the desolate Scottish moors.

Robert Louis Stevenson's action adventure novel is brilliantly introduced by Alexander McCall Smith.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic
  • ISBN: 9780141326023



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

This was a great story with often unpredictable events. As I am very lucky to have a version that is of original published dates it made it so much more enjoyable. Highly recommended!

Review by

"Kidnapped" is the third-most famous of Robert Louis Stevenson's novels, overshadowed by "Treasure Island" and "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde," but it's the first of his that I've read. If it's anything to go by, I should definitely check out his other works.The novel begins in 1751 with David Balfour, our young and resourceful Scottish protagonist, setting out to the house of the Shaws upon the death of his parents. Here he meets his uncle Ebeneezer, a wheedling little man who, rather than welcoming him with open arms, attempts to murder him to seize the family fortune. When this fails he sells David into slavery aboard a ship bound for the Carolinas.What follows is a swashbuckling adventure of the highest order, containing shipwrecks, gunfights, sword duels, murder, pursuit by the British Army, outlaw hideouts and all manner of boy's adventure tropes. Yet it's a far more serious and polished novel than I make it sound, set against a well-developed political and historical backdrop and featuring several real-life figures - most notably David's friend and mentor Alan Breck, a Scottish Jacobite. I don't quite know what that is! Nonetheless, it grants "Kidnapped" a solid sense of time and place, which drags a little during David's endless flight across the heather but which, on the whole, contributes into making it a more refined novel than the sort of typical adventure tale that any halfway decent writer can churn out (and which, indeed, I have been churning out for many years).It's also, despite being written in the nineteenth century, a remarkably easy book to read. Writers back then often had higher standards of vocabulary and style, which means contemporary readers often have trouble reading them, but "Kidnapped" could easily have been penned in the mid-twentieth century. This is probably the oldest book I've read that I found both enjoyable and worth my time. ("Moby-Dick," written in 1851, was certainly worth my time, but "enjoyable" is not the first word it brings to mind.)Overall "Kidnapped" is a pretty fun read, and I'll check out "Treasure Island" when I get the chance.

Review by

Adventure, murder and friendship. Young boys will find adventure along with David Balfour in the Scottish Highlands during this historical novel of trials through war and the relief of homecoming.