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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2014
Rob Roy is a fine novel and, perhaps, the best of Scott's Waverley novels. It manages to combine a truly exciting plot with a deal of emotional interest including a great love story. It would be really good if one of the more innovative audiobook companies, Naxos Audio Books comes to mind, would produce abridgements of the Waverley novels complete. They were at one time as popular as Dickens and deserve revival. This reading is clear and well done.
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on 21 March 2002
Few men can be credited with inventing an entire genre, but Sir Walter Scott is one of them. His ingenious intertwining of history and fiction created a type of novel that endures to this day.
And in Rob Roy, it is easy to see why. Yet the mechanism of history occupies only a secondary position; it is the young Francis Osbaldistone who occupies centre stage. His colourful adventures unfold in a flurry of action, the narrative stiffened by Scott's wonderful fluency and sublime descriptive powers. Combine this with the suspense and uncertainty surrounding Diana Vernon and Rob Roy in particular, and it would be difficult to imagine a more pleasing novel.
Certainly, Rob Roy is not as exuberant as Scott's other great work, Ivanhoe, but this is of little consequence. The book is an intricate tapestry of romance, adventure and mystery that simply oozes the irresistible charm of a masterpiece.
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on 10 October 2015
A classic good read. Unnecessary (and boring) justification at the start for a Scottish writer writing about England, best avoided. Also the quotes, poems, etc at the beginning of each chapter are missable. For those unused to the countryside Scots lingo, may be a bit difficult to follow in places and Wickipedia does not have translations of these.
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on 4 December 2001
Getting into this book means wading through an opening few scenes of London accountancy. It hurts, but it works
Once you have gotten through the early sections you follow the hero northwards, until you find him racing through the highlands and striving for the right to marry the beautiful, enigmatic and sly Di Vernon.
Not essentially a book about Rob Roy, although he does have a leading role. It is about the world of Rob Roy, which is full of brave, adventurous and unpredictable highlanders.
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on 29 April 2015
This wasn't quite what I was expecting. I've given it four stars as I really like Walter Scott and I enjoyed the style. However Rob Roy himself is a marginal character. It is the through Frances' eyes we see the story and I found him to be a bland and not especially engaging character. His observations on other people were acute and well delineated but when it came to himself, he was far less insightful. His clumsy courtship of Diana Vernon was only interesting because she was interesting - and it was hard not feel that she had been shoe-horned in for no other reason than to act as a romantic interest for Frances. Frances was such an unlikely Romantic hero that every time he said something along the lines of ' I reached for my sword...' me immediate thought was 'Where did he get a sword? Can he actually use a sword? Surely he'd be better off running away.' Which sums up how I felt about the narrator in a nut shell. That said this is described as one of Walter Scott's great Romances and deservedly so. He did after all create the entire genre and this is a good example of it. Not one of my favourites, however this still have much to recommend - not least of which Scott's beautiful descriptions of the landscape and of a time now lost.
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on 22 June 2015
A masterpiece, no less.

It took me a very long time to read, and I was helped considerably by the close companionship of a good Scots-English dictionary (the dictionary in the front of the book is too brief). It was tough-going in some places, where Scots dialogue predominated.

However, the perseverance was worth it. A fantastic tale.

P.S. Forget the movie, there is little resemblance. This is the real deal.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 March 2015
An all time immortal classic although new readers beware it is very much of its time and can be a bit slow going at times for the modern reader. Keep on with it as it is a great story and well worth devoting some attention to it.

This paperback edition is newly set in a modern typeface - not just a photographic reproduction of an earlier edition with fuzzy and hard to read antique type - and has a well written introduction.

A nice edition of a classic book.
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on 9 October 2012
I can imagine the young author of the Bond books reading this, goggle-eyed and thinking he'd love to write something exactly like it. International conspiracy! Devilishly cunning villain! Gadgets and booby traps! They say that Hamlet is full of quotations, so I guess Rob Roy seems full of the clichés of the spy/adventure novel simply because, well, Walter got there first. Someone else can do the Lit. Crit. on this but I have to say that I was as goggle-eyed as anybody. The whole book is so full of surprises yet never lets up - not even in the last chapter - in the rollicking pace of the story telling.

The story starts off in the City of London and wends northwards to Northumbria, weaving intriguing elements of the story all the way. Family feuds, Father versus son, business versus poetry, North versus South, Catholic versus Dissenter. There wildness of countryside begins to make an impact, and in the old family home of a wild and dissolute family of Northumbrian gentry various dubious, intriguing and mysterious connections begin to be set up. Including of course the elusive Scottish cattle drover, who proceeds to enter and leave the story in surprising and mysterious circumstances for the rest of the yarn. Business failures, frauds, robberies - set up?- AND a bright but imperious lovely all become involved provoking the young hero to set off for Glasgow in the company of his irritating Sancho Panza-like sidekick. The plot thickens and darkens as he is drawn further northwards into wild Highland territory, uncontrollable despite garrisons of redcoats and about to burst into rebellion. He is in the company of the pompous, irrepressible Glasgow merchant and magistrate Baillie Nicol Jarvie, who must be the most genial comic character ever created. Captured, rescued, captured, escaped, etc, etc, with adventure after adventure, amazing meetings and coincidences, booby-trapped sporran, etc, etc.

You can't put it down! You need to cope with Scott's version of local dialect in the dialogues, but there is never much doubt what is being said. This is a marvellous book.
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on 12 October 2012
I liked this better than Waverley, another of Scott's novels with broadly the same setting. It was that bit pacier and the characters were more varied and amusing, especially in their interactions. The plot is typically strong although I was a little surprised that Francis Osbaldistone was the pivot around whom the plot revolves, rather than Rob Roy himself. This in no way detracts from the strength of the book; indeed, it enhances it in the sense that RR himself is able to flit in and out of the narrative very much in keeping with mysterious and fugitive nature of his character.
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on 31 July 2007
The tale of Rob Roy follows Francis Osbaldistone, who rejects the family money making business for poetry. He is effectively disowned in favour of Rashleigh, and sent to the family home in Northumberland. While there he gradually falls in love with Diana Vernon, and uncovers some of the subterfuge of young Rashleigh. Rashleigh sets out to ruin Francis, and his entire family, forcing him to jounrey to the 'Hielands' in order to recruit Robin Macgregor to foil his plot.
But, this story could have been condensed considerably, and not to its detriment. Painfully long descriptions, running onto multiple pages when a paragraph could as easily covered it. But this was not my primary gripe. The biggest problem is with people like Macgregor, and Nicol, who speak with such strong, and antiquated Scottish accents (rendered into text), that you struggle to make head or tail of the conversations.
That said, you always seem to derive something more from a classic, than the run of the mill novels, and this is no different. But in this instance it is merely a sense of achievement for having struggled through such a book.
If you have already seen the film, expect surprises, for Rob Roy, in this, is almost a background character. The plot follows Francis, and Rob does not even appear in his true guise until halfway through the novel, and as such the book could hardly differ more from the dramtisation.
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