Kidnapped

  • Author: R. L. Stevenson
  • Genre: Thriller
  • No. Of pages: 136

One word, and only one word, can sum this book convincingly- Adventure. Adventures of a mere teenager who unwantingly risked his life only to be saved by a stroke of luck and some humanity.

One of R. L. Stevenson’s lesser known novels, Kidnapped, does justice to the smooth wit that Stevenson is famous for. The narration glides and flies through the heavy turmoils that the protagonist goes through.

Why, David,” said he, “the innocent have aye a chance to get assoiled in court; but for the lad that shot the bullet, I think the best place for him will be the heather.”… When it came to this, I gave Alan up. But he looked so innocent all the time, and was in such clear good faith in what he said, and so ready to sacrifice himself for what he deemed his duty, that my mouth was closed. Mr. Henderland’s words came back to me: that we ourselves might take a lesson by these wild Highlanders. Well, here I had taken mine. Alan’s morals were all tail-first; but he was ready to give his life for them, such as they were.

The only kink in this well oiled chain are the foreign words. As is quite evident from the excerpt above, the writing contains one too many Scottish words which are difficult for the non-Scottish readers to decipher. But mostly the context renders it proper meaning so even that problem is not much of a problem.

Lastly, the writing is filled with an adrenaline filled ride as the protagonist fights against all at land and sea, as we empathise with him and disbelieve him but constantly hope he gets what he badly seeks.

Ratings:

Critics- 3.8/5

I’d rate it- 4/5

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The Diary of A Young Girl: Anne Frank


  • Author: Anne Frank
  • Genre: Autobiography, Historical
  • No.of pages: 312

Now here’s a book nobody can really review. How could anyone possibly review the words of determination and will by a girl of mere 13 years of age, who’d written them in hiding from the mass murder of the Holocaust?

So hence this is less of a ‘review’ and more of ‘my opinions’ about the diary.
Imagine being in hiding behind a faux bookcase, away from all normal life without even the liberty of making the daily household noises. And all this while hoping the Nazis do not catch-and-cook you! Well that was Anne’s life for years on an end.

In conditions like these, Anne showcased such optimism, such clarity of thoughts that has perplexed both the young and the aged alike!

I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right.

There were times when I read the books and could not help but look at her picture on the cover page and wonder HOW in the world could a child so young have so much to think, so much to write, so much to look forward to!

I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. But, and that is the greatest question, will I ever be able to write anything great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, for I can recapture everything when I write, my thoughts, my ideas and my fantasies.

This is one of the books that gives the reader much more than mere reading pleasure; it gives the teachings of sheer hopefulness and optimism what come may.

Ordinary people simply don’t know what books mean to us, shut up here. Reading, learning, and the radio are our amusements.

She’s so “us”, isn’t she?

Ratings:

Critics- 4.1/5

I’d rate it- 4.5/5

The Three Musketeers

  • Author: Alexandre Dumas
  • Genre: (Fiction) Historical, Romance, Social Commentary, Adventure
  • No. of pages: 554 (the Wordsworth Classics edition)
  • Book synopsis: The Three Musketeers is one of the most celebrated historical romances ever written. It tells of the hot headed young Gascon, d’Artagnan, and his three companions Athos, Porthos and Aramis. In their gallant defence of the Queen of France, Anne of Austria, they put their wits and their swords against the machinations and men of that archetypal eminence grise, Cardinal Richelieu, as he schemes to hold on to his political influence over King Louis XIII. Their swashbuckling adventures take them from the high fashion of the French Court to the murkier aspects of espionage on either side of the Channel in a thrilling story of seventeenth century international intrigue. 

The drama! The theater! The excitement! That’s what The Three Musketeers is primarily about. Alexander Dumas’ debutante novel with its calm and its utter zeal, is a real page turner.

A hefty 600-pages novel, The Three Musketeers is big and plush but sinfully comfortable. It’s one of those books which could make you nostalgic when you’re done reading, nostalgic about the times of the French when horses were the only vehicles, when men were still chivalrous and when women were wasp-waisted.

Easily one of the best French classics, the quotes that Dumas’ offers in this book are numerous!

I do not cling to life sufficiently to fear death

Athos liked every one to exercise his own free-will. He never gave his advice before it was demanded and even then it must be demanded twice. 
“In general, people only ask for advice,” he said “that they may not follow it or if they should follow it that they may have somebody to blame for having given it”.

All falsehood is a mask; and however well made the mask may be, with a little attention we may always succeed in distinguishing it from the true face.

Oh how I’d love to keep quoting Dumas forever! That’s the effect of him right there!

Finally, The Three Musketeers winds up saying that everything that matters — love, courage, pleasure and, especially, all-for-one-and-one-for-all friendship — exists most vividly not in the supposed centers of power, but elsewhere: in the margins of history, where the musketeers, immortally, live.

Ratings:

Critics-❤️❤️❤️❤️

I’d rate it- ❤️❤️❤️❤️ for these original friends-forever!