Genre: Adventure, Classics
Synopsis: Francis Osbaldistone doesn’t want to continue in his father’s business, forcing his father to appoint his cousin Rashleigh. This is the beginning of an adventure that will involve Francis in the Jacobite Rebellion and the ways of highwayman Rob Roy. He also meets the love of his life, Diana Vernon who is involved in events more than he can imagine.
Reading Challenges: TBR Challenge. Time on Shelf – 20 years.
The synopsis I’ve just written makes this book sound more exciting then it actually is. The book is 500 pages long – the story could easily have been told in a lot less. It takes a long time to get properly started and even once there is action, Scott insists on documenting just about every second of our hero’s life. Every meal and conversation. This makes it very hard going, particularly Frnacis’ conversations with his servant which are written in a dialect that bordered on incomprehensible at times.
Francis is not a very exciting character. Quite why he didn’t wanted to become a clerk when he was so well suited to it is beyond me. He is not nearly as interesting as Rob Roy. Given that the book is named for him, he is in remarkably little of it. This is a shame as he seemed much more interesting than Francis.
When there is action. it is exciting and well written and the plot is actually quite interesting. It became a slog because of all the extra information and scenes that weren’t strictly necessary. Like Dickens, Scott tends towards long and complicated sentences with multiple clauses which sometimes left me wondering exactly what I’d just read. This also made it less enjoyable.
Towards the end, when the story was quite action packed, I started to enjoy it more. And any part of the book where Roy was mentioned was also exciting. It was a shame that those parts weren’t more frequent. I’m not sure I would read anymore of Scott’s novels based on this one.