Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped is one of the few classics assigned in elementary school that I actually read in elementary school and one of the few books I had to read for school that I really liked. I think it's a great book for convincing kids that classics can be readable and fun, although it's an adventure novel for kids and as an adult, I found it thin in places.
David Balfour had a quiet upbringing in the Scottish Lowlands, but his parents died and it's time to go out into the world in search of fortune. The local minister put him on his way, pointing to a nearby town where he has relatives. From there, he discovers that he is the rightful heir to a family fortune, is betrayed by his uncle, kidnapped on a sea voyage, meets and pairs with a rogue, makes his way through the wild Scottish Highlands. And in short, it follows the standard coming-of-age adventure story way.
It's fun to see how much Kidnapped matches the standard blockbuster fantasy plot without being fantasy at all. This type of adventure story is often written as fantasy these days, with the otherness of magic and medieval cultures replacing the otherness of historic Scotland and its wild nature, and yet little of the plot changes without the element. of fantasy. Without the growing discovery of mythological power or structure, there is less to do, but the complexities of Scottish politics fill in and feel deeper than most fantasy politics.
Bizarre locations, sexy rogues, high seas adventures, and a bit of Scottish political intrigue make this an adventure and provide the obvious appeal, but the strength of Stevenson's writing lies in the interactions of the characters. Not so much the characters themselves: David is a solid man, young and a bit reckless and full of self-confidence. Alan is a classic rogue, with a certain fighting skill, a gift for the word, and a gambling problem. The other characters also tend to stick to the types of actions, and none of them change much in the course of the adventure. But they all feel deep and nuanced because Stevenson's touch with dialogue and interaction is exceptional.
David expresses an attitude of superiority and adventure in the first-person narrative that matches his age and is mixed with a direct attitude of his upbringing that occasionally takes him by surprise. Alan is not just a rogue with a heart of gold; He's also unpleasant to David when he's in that mood. David doesn't really know how to deal with his conflicting political beliefs. When they finally have a serious fight, it is one of the most honest fights I have seen in a book of this type; They fight like real resentful adults, true to character, rather than smug children or distraught teens.
There are some flaws. I found the beginning and end of the book by far the strongest, and I got quite tired of the long walk through the Scottish Highlands, marked by only a few major events. The final resolution of David's inheritance is a wonderful piece, but a touch too easy (although Stevenson does a great job of making the victory a little less complete for practical reasons). And this is still an adventure novel for children, an exciting game, and not much more than that. But it is a great example of the genre.
Treasure Island is a pirate adventure novel that was originally considered a coming-of-age novel and written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. It was originally named The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys and published in 1883.
Treasure Island narrates a tale of pirates and buried treasure, heavily influencing modern day stereotypes of pirates, including: treasure maps marked with an "x," massive ships, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders brandishing swords.
This beautiful reprint of the original story is unabridged and unedited, preserving Treasure Island for your reading pleasure. It makes a wonderful gift for the pirate-loving reader in your life or a wonderful addition to your library of action, adventure, and children's classic literature. Enjoy!
At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest" to be that identical big box of his upstairs in the front room, and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares with that of the one-legged seafaring man. But by this time we had all long ceased to pay any particular notice to the song; it was new, that night, to nobody but Dr. Livesey, and on him I observed it did not produce an agreeable effect, for he looked up for a moment quite angrily before he went on with his talk to old Taylor, the gardener, on a new cure for the rheumatics. In the meantime, the captain gradually brightened up at his own music, and at last flapped his hand upon the table before him in a way we all knew to mean silence. The voices stopped at once, all but Dr. Livesey's; he went on as before speaking clear and kind and drawing briskly at his pipe between every word or two. The captain glared at him for a while, flapped his hand again, glared still harder, and at last broke out with a villainous, low oath, "Silence, there, between decks!"
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
"For sheer storytelling delight and pure adventure, Treasure Island has never been surpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle, the novel creates scenes and characters that have fired the imaginations of generations of readers. Written by a superb prose stylist, a master of both action and atmosphere, the story centers upon the conflict between good and evil - but in this case a particularly engaging form of evil. It is the villainy of that most ambiguous rogue Long John Silver that sets the tempo of this tale of treachery, greed, and daring. Designed to forever kindle a dream of high romance and distant horizons, Treasure Island is, in the words of G. K. Chesterton, 'the realization of an idea, that which is promised in its provocative and beckoning map; a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas.' G. S. Fraser terms it 'an utterly original book' and goes on to write: 'There will always be a place for stories like Treasure Island that can keep boys and old men happy.'
Stevenson was fascinated by eighteenth century Scottish history. Kidnapped, set in eighteenth century Scotland, is inspired by real events, notably the "Appin murder" which occurred in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745; many of the characters, such as Alan Breck Stewart, are based on real people. The hero, David Balfour, was a composite of members of Stevenson’s family. However, Stevenson writes:
“This is no furniture for the scholar’s library, but a book for the winter evening … to steal some young gentleman’s attention from his Ovid, carry him awhile into the Highlands and the last century, and pack him to bed with some engaging images to mingle with his dreams.”
Kidnapped does just that, and, with its mix of suspense, crime, danger, escape, shipwrecks and pistols, it was an immediate success. However, Kidnapped is more than an adventure story, and has been praised by writers including Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Hilary Mantel.
This unabridged edition contains 60 illustrations by Louis Rhead, the well-known children’s book illustrator. The text is set in modern crisp easy-to-read font and would be a pleasure for children or adults to read.
The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, a celebrity during his lifetime, is best known for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verse. He was a great traveller, journeying to Europe, America and the South Pacific, where spent his last years in Samoa. There he was much loved by the Samoans who called him Tusitala (Samoan for "Teller of Tales").
A beautiful edition with 100 original illustrations by Louis Rhead.
Gulliver's Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, consists of four parts and was initially published in 1726. It satirizes both human nature and the "travellers' tales" literary subgenre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. Swift claimed that he wrote Gulliver's Travels "to vex the world rather than divert it". The book was an immediate success. John Gay remarked "It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery."
A classic illustrated collection of 66 fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm.
Includes Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Little Red Ridinghood, Hansel and Grettel, and many more. Illustrated with more than 100 illustrations by Louis Rhead.
A beautiful edition with over 100 illustrations by Louis Rhead
Andersen produced more than 3000 works that have been translated into more than 100 languages. He is best known for his fairy tales. This book is a collection of 43 of his better known tales, including "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories present lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well as children.
A very nice illustrated edition.
Swiss Family Robinson is one of the most popular books in the world. Our edition has:
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