Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Scottish Tale

Many years ago we visited the cabin of Robert Louis Stevenson on the Island of Oahu where it was purported that he wrote Treasure Island and Kidnapped. The two stories are similar in that they are adventures of young men being stranded, but the locales are quite different, one taking place on a south seas island and the other in Scotland.  
Kidnapped is a great story at its beginning and its end, but unless one is very familiar with the clans, the history, and the geography of Scotland, it is a bit cumbersome in the middle. 
David Balfour is a young man who is orphaned and sent to an Uncle for 'consideration'. The uncle behaves strangely toward him and after young David begins to understand the relationship between his deceased father and this Ebenezer, his uncle hatches a plan to get rid of David by having him kidnapped. And so begins the adventure that involves ships at sea, fights at sea, storms at sea, and shipwrecks.  He makes a lasting friend in Allan Breck Stewart who lands on board the ship quite by accident. After the shipwreck, they set out across Scotland, avoiding the 'red coats' who are out to get them on a trumped up charge of murder.
In the end, after much trial and endurance in the wilderness, all is well and Davie gets his just rewards.
I will not criticise this classic other than to say that it was a bit weak in the midpoint of the story, but then again, others may enjoy that sort of thing.
If I speak with a bit of a brogue for the next few days, it is because of having read this book.
3 stars   

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