Read Arundel by Kenneth Roberts Online


This is the classic series from Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novelist Kenneth Roberts, all featuring characters from the town of Arundel, Maine. Arundel follows Steven Nason as he joins Benedict Arnold in his march to Quebec during the American Revolution....

Title : Arundel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780892723645
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 496 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Arundel Reviews

  • Monica
    2019-03-21 17:40

    I LOVED this book. It was our May Book Club selection and I was pretty lukewarm about it as a choice, turned into one of those gems I never would have read on my own. Roberts lived in Kennebunkport ,ME. and a book club member has a house there and that was our venue. We wanted to read a book with Maine as a theme and this was GREAT. The genre is historical fiction.Basically it tells the story of a young man in love going to get back his girl who has been kidnapped. But,it is sooo much more. Details about the settler's life,their relationships with the Indians, (P.S.-the Abenakis saved the settler's butts on more than one occasion) what they ate,everything is wonderfully chronicled. The story involves real people as well,Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr feature prominently. So it's researched day-to day life in them thar woods around 1775 and historical reporting of some early revolutionary war patriots. If you love to know what it was like to live in other times and if you're fantasies include a rough and rugged Daniel Boone type guy,then read this book.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-26 13:58

    Arundel is one of the finest books I have ever read. The characters come alive in such a manner that rereading the tale has been a yearly pleasure for me. The time period covered in "Arundel" is unique, our country before it was a country, only colonies and some men with ideas. The cast of characters is a mix of fictional and real, Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr and others created in sync with the time and place. It is an epic tale of war, revenge, romance and friendship that entrances you from the beginning. I don't recall every learning of Arnold's fateful March to Quebec in school, only that he was a traitor to The Cause. In "Arundel" you get a glimpse of just maybe who he really was. The tale also encompasses our own illusions of what we want, or think we want to be content and how all that works out in the end.

  • John
    2019-04-04 15:42

    This is probably the best work of historical fiction I have ever read. It is the story of Benedict Arnold's March to Quebec (when Arnold was still a good guy), as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy who comes along. It's like Last of the Mohicans meets Annakin Skywalker. It blows the Harry Potter books away, and I say that as one who absolutely loved the Potter series. Arundel is full of adventure, great characters, unforgettable scenery, romance, humor, just about everything you could hope for in a book. And it is based on real history. Roberts used the journals of Arnold's soldiers as his primary source material. I started reading this last night to my 7 year old when he couldn't fall asleep. Looking forward enjoying this adventure again.

  • Chris Gager
    2019-03-26 09:49

    It's been a LONG time since I read any Kenneth Roberts, a writer very popular among my parents generation. Early American Colonial historical fiction is his specialty. I've read "The Lively Lady" and "Boon Island" previously. This one starts out in Maine, down along the southern coast not far up from Kittery, where my parents lived for many years. I was looking for an interesting and adventurous read and it looks like I made the right choice. The cover image is correct for the book I have, but the background is much more blue-ish than the gray-blue pictured. BTW, there is still a town and Village of Arundel, Maine. It has not been replaced by Kennebunkport, but rather sits right to the north and east of Bush-land. It was not clear in my Maine Atlas where exactly the town line sits as you get closer to the ocean, but it looks like Kennebunkport was carved out of old Arundel, taking it's coastline. Or vice versa - see Wiki for clarification if you so desire it!Moving along as the baddies(French and Indian) have struck a blow. I assume this the fictional side of things, although random acts on nastiness did occur regularly along the lengthy interface between the French and British colonial territories. The narrator does point out that the French and Indian War was still dragging on and that nasty northern Indians and their French instigators were still a problem, even on the southern Maine coast. The massacre at Fort William Henry is mentioned. That's an important event in "The Last of the Mohicans" too. The specific French agent in this story points out cynically that when it come time for the colonists to fight for their freedom from England(coming VERY soon) their only allies will then be their current foes, the French. As we well know, he was right about that!Moving on with plenty going on, but the big story hasn't started yet. I do know that Steven does not marry Mary, as the promotional "extras" at the end of the book identify his wife as Phoebe. At this point she's a mere annoyance to him! One of the things I'm liking so far is the setting(s). Very close by to my own domicile and many familiar place names come into play. The Kennebec, the Androscoggin, Brunswick, Swan Island. Lots of good history to be learned. The author/narrator is not terribly sympathetic to white/European culture/settlers. Much more liking is sent the way of the Abenakis, who are pretty much gone nowadays. Sad, indeed ...Arnold's ill-fated Quebec trek has begun and Roberts spares now details on how challenging and miserable it was. In particular the weather was an obstacle. Not a bad time of year(Sept.-Oct.) ... depending. I remember climbing to the top(almost) of Saddleback(close to Arnold's route) one early November and it was a white-out blizzard. I went back a couple of weeks later and all the snow had been rained out and it was about 45 degrees and calm. Youneverknow ... Readers nowadays may grow impatient with the story as the author takes his time to paint a pretty detailed picture. Interesting to read of the differing attitudes of the white people toward the natives. Both Washington and Arnold seriously disliked and distrusted them - especially after the French and Indian war. I've stood on top of what Roberts calls Dead River Mountain(now called Bigelow) and looked down on Flagstaff Lake, whose creation covered over all those twists and turns of the Dead River that Steven complains about.- more local shoutouts - Georgetown, Arrowsic, Popham Beach- Major Return Meigs! No doubt an ancestor/relative of my neighbor Montgomery(Monty) Meigs Smith. He also had a famous Civil War General Meigs ancestor. The guy who created Arlington cemetery.Will finish this tale tonight. The Arnold "Brigade" has finally made it to the Plains of Abraham with 2/3 of its original strength. Many left behind(and many of those dead) who succumbed to malnutrition and exhaustion, not to mention disease. What a mess. Roberts strongly implies that the expedition was dogged by spies and sabotage. I guess historical research must have revealed this. The lads will not be able to "take" Quebec(City) despite getting help. They will go on to glory in Upper New York at the critical battle of Saratoga. I assume that's not a part of this book, except for being mentioned a few times. BTW, a doggie gets killed and eaten by some hard-up troops. You eat a dog ... your going to hell. IMHO!Finished with this sturdy, exciting tale last night. The historical accuracy is strong, as I assume it is in all of KR's books. The sequel to this book is "Rabble in Arms," which follows the further adventures of Cap, Steven, Phoebe et al during the northeast portion of the Revolutionary War in America. The only sort of "issue" with the books is the out and out fictional stuff: the Phoebe-Steven-Mary romantic triangle, the broad and boring antics of Cap(think Victor McLaglen in John Ford's western movies) and the speculation through prose about the personalities of Washinton, Burr, and Arnold. Other historical characters(Daniel Morgan) are more shallowly and straight-forwardly presented. An excellent book if you can stand the slog. How ironic that Steven's "gang" has such an easy time for it in their winter-time return to Arundel over the same path that Arnold's army took. All those obstacles were frozen and covered in snow.- 4.25* rounds down to 4* - Mr. Roberts is solid, but he's not Hilary Mantel.

  • Donna
    2019-03-20 15:38

    This was my first venture into the writing of Pulitzer Prize winning (1957) Roberts but definitely will not be my last. This masterfully written account of Benedict Arnold's doomed 1775 march to Quebec has all of the hallmarks of fine historical fiction - impeccable research, a fascinating human story, wonderful period detail, and, in this case, there's humor, too. What Arnold's forces endured during their journey through Maine is a story of steely determination and bravery in the face of unimaginable hardships and it's one that should not be forgotten.

  • Stephen Brooke
    2019-03-31 12:53

    First, the grumbles: Roberts seems to be fond of his own voice and sometimes goes around and around before getting to things. The characters he introduces are often closely described but there seems little to them beyond that, no depth, just surface. Motivations are questionable. The romantic scenarios are a bit laughable and the whole kidnapping-of-Mary that unifies the plot doesn’t make much sense.When it comes to portraying a time and a place, however, the novel excels. “Arundel” is top-notch historical fiction — the causes of the Revolution are better explained than in many a history book, and the glimpses of Native American life are well done. It is not quite one story but a series of connected ones, episodes in the narrator’s life in colonial New England (primarily Maine), through both the French and Indian and the Revolutionary Wars.An interesting enough read most of the time, despite the occasional tedious stretches that could be well have been condensed with no loss to the story (but important, I suppose, to thorough historical accuracy). Recommended more to those interested in the history of the period and willing to deal with a not-particularly-focused plot, than to the reader seeking a fast-paced adventure.

  • Mary
    2019-04-18 10:58

    I picked this book off my father's bookshelf. I am not sure how I missed it 50 years ago, or if it just recently appeared in his living room. When I asked Dad about it, he said that he read it in the 1930s as a boy, that it was very popular, and that he liked it a lot. I liked it a lot too. It is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. It was such a pleasure to read about ordinary people who are depicted with crystalline clarity in all their heroic strengths and foolish weaknesses. The bad guys are motivated by the usual normal vices. (Oh, for the good ol' days of the seven deadly sins driving antagonistic human behavior without any hint of brain-chemistry induced psycho/socio pathology a la a recently read novel by Dean Koontz.) The story revolves around Benedict Arnold's torturous expedition with a rabble of an ill-equipped army through the Maine wilderness to assault and take Quebec in 1775. Through the voice of Stephen Nason, a young settler in coastal Maine, Kenneth Roberts depicts his characters with compassion, respect, love, and humor. Stephen's quest for the infatuatee of his life energizes his scouting efforts for the army. Betrayal is woven very democratically through relationships and events, and everyone suffers from the extreme Maine winter weather which Roberts makes the reader experience through Stephen's narration. There is a refreshing unselfconscious lack of stereotyping whether speaking of women, indigenous people, French Canadians, farmers and merchants turned soldiers, and even Benedict Arnold. Roberts researched details using many local (Maine) sources which are referenced at the back of the book. I was also happy to discover some recommended books there and that Roberts has a few more books drawing on the same characters. Time to get online with my library to see what is actually available.

  • Bruce
    2019-04-17 09:39

    A couple years ago while we were up visiting our friends in Maine, we ventured into a used bookstore. I don't recall what I bought, but my friend found a copy of a book and purchased it. As we left the shop, he handed the book to me and said that he thought that I would really enjoy it. I do recall his saying it was a work of fiction although based on historical fact. He and I are both fans of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, which are in the same genre.It wasn't much later that I got my first Kindle and got hooked on reading digital books. My physical book collection has been collecting dust, but before heading to the beach, I decided it was probably wiser to take a physical book, than the Kindle Reader. Arundel was the first book that came to mind, and boy, am I glad it was!By the end of the chapter I was hooked! The characters are just so well written that you almost feel you know them. One of the characters, Cap Huff, is a bit of a lovable scoundrel, and as such, easily one of my favorite characters. But anyway, the story of Benedict Arnold's expedition to surprise the English at Quebec is an amazing story and damned hard to put down! Add to that the story of Steven Nason's quest to rescue his lost love, and you've got a winner that I will easily give 5 stars on Goodreads. Just on that alone, I can't imagine this book hasn't been scooped up to make a teen angst movie (and no, it doesn't read that way, I can just see how easily it could be played that way).Highly recommended!

  • Mike
    2019-04-01 09:33

    My wife read this first and told me I'd like it. And I did. I don't read a ton of historical fiction, but I was a history major and mainly focused on 17th-19th century America (well, as much as an undergrad major can be focused anyway), so this seemed like it would be a fun read. It is.It's narrated by Steven Nason, who is from Arundel, Maine (now Kennebunkport), who leaves his home to become a guide/soldier in the Continental Army under Benedict Arnold as Arnold is charged by George Washington to take Quebec from the British.It's not so much written as a page-turner but the book just moves along, just pulling you with it so you discover you've read 100 or so pages without even knowing the time has passed. And then you want to read more. There are all sorts of examples of dry, droll New England wit, with plenty of puns here and there. One of my favorites is when the young Steven and his father meet Arnold, before the war, and swap animal pelts for a short passage on Arnold's boat. After the deal is made, his father says to Steven, of Arnold: "That boy's a trader, Stevie. That was good trading you listened to, and your pa sort of out-traded him."Finally, this book was enjoyable enough that I was happy to see that there was a sequel with the further adventures of these characters.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-19 16:53

    This 1929 historical fiction novel about the American Revolution has not been made into a movie yet and I do not know why. It's a dense, academic read, but if you can read slowly and carefully, you'll find such rich characters and very funny lines -- especially those observing women. It might be my new favorite book. And it also highlights why Americans always go for the underdog -- we WERE the underdog. The other thing I like is that it's a quest book but on familiar landscape -- the trees and animals and such are all in MY backyard. Lots of quest books have hobbits and things I don't know well. This one is true. Loved it.

  • Art
    2019-04-20 11:46

    My view of Maine and what life was like in the Colonies was shaped by this book. This was the 1st one of Mr. Roberts that I read. I meant a person while I was a Boy Scout in MN who knew the author personally. I have forgotten who this person was, just that he had a British accent.Thank you, thought for the memories.Great book.

  • Heatherhh
    2019-04-01 10:33

    I struggled to get interested in this book. I read a lot of historical fiction and non-fiction, but I didn't enjoy this. I kept forcing myself to read a few more pages, which is not me at all. Finally, I decided it wasn't worth it. Also of interest is that my teenage son who devours all history books fiction and nonfiction just felt that it was "okay."

  • Margaret Skrivseth
    2019-03-24 13:02

    This book provides a fictional look at a factual event: Benedict Arnold's ill-fated attempt to take Quebec during the American Revolution. I can't say enough good things bout this book. The writing is superb, the little-known tidbits of Abenaki lore are fun, and the historical detail is great.This book is perfect for a wintery seasonal read.

  • Jeri
    2019-04-18 14:56

    Fantastically written fictionalized tale of the failed attempt to take Quebec by Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan in the winter of 1775, told by a young man from Arundel(now Kennebunkport) Maine. The reader feels not only the bone freezing cold of the river crossings, but also the lack of food, warm clothing, and decent maps. There is a new appreciation of all that the Native Americans did to help the Patriot Army. Amazing descriptions of Revolutionary War main players, especially Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. It is clear that Arnold was a brave and charismatic leader. Roberts' tale is based on his own ancestor's involvement in this heroic, although failed attempt to pluck Quebec from British rule. My brother gave me this book for my birthday. It is one of his favorite books and it is now one of mine.

  • Paul
    2019-03-23 11:37

    This is how novels are supposed to be.I came across this book by way of the Goodreads recommendation engine, which presented it to me when I was searching for "epics." The American Revolutionary War is far out of my time zone with respect to my own epic in progress, but since true epics are about the birth of nations and societies, and this book seemed to be very favorably viewed by critics, I thought I would give it a chance.Am I ever glad I did. As soon as I downloaded the e-book to my Kindle and started reading the prologue, I was drawn in. The narrator and central character is one Steven Nason of Arundel (modern Kennebunkport) in the province of Maine, who, against his natural inclinations, is writing a book describing his role in Benedict Arnold's 1775 expedition to Quebec. He is driven reluctantly to this task by the grossly inaccurate tales that are current about the expedition and its members; he feels driven to set the record straight. In his own words:Above all, because of the lamentable occurrences at West Point, the countryside is filled with men of mighty hindsight who speak with scorn of Colonel Arnold, whose boots they were not fit to clean, and belittle or ignore the expedition to Quebec.What follows is a stirring tale of adventure, courage, passion, and humor, filled with surprises of all kinds.For reasons that in time are revealed, Nason starts the story in his own boyhood, describing the circumstances that brought his father, a blacksmith, to settle on the bank of the Arundel River, and describing his family's way of life there. Everything about it is striking and has the stamp of authenticity (the author, Kenneth Roberts, was something like a fourth-generation native of Maine): the trees, the weather, the ocean, the food, down to delightful surprises like young Steven's pet seal Eunice. These are frontier people, and in fact their property is surrounded by a palisade and he refers to their residence as a "garrison house." Steven's family are in close, intimate contact with the Abenakis, the local Indians.Indian characters and lifeways form a big part of the story. Roberts swings a wrecking-ball through the cliches of Indian-European relations and shows frontier society as a place where these two cultural groups collided, intermingled, interacted, and interbred. The Indian characters, like the white characters, are all distinct, vividly portrayed individuals with their own foibles and strengths. There is no monolithic them-versus-us consciousness, but rather a sense of individuals and groups acting from diverse motives as events swirl around them. When some Indians join the expedition to Quebec, their motives vary from personal loyalty to monetary gain to political calculation, among other things. In a book filled with memorable characters, one of the most vivid for me was the Indian Natanis, a superb woodsman who forms a strong bond with Steven and becomes an unsung hero of the expedition.Another memorable character is Benedict Arnold, stocky, athletic, temperamental, and passionate. Nowadays his name is proverbial for treachery, and indeed I knew nothing else about him but that, but in this story we see a man of shrewdness and courage, a natural leader whom Steven regards as second only to George Washington as a model officer.In brief, the story documents how Steven is engaged as a guide to the expedition, and how he travels with 1,000-odd ragtag American troops through the wilderness of Maine to reach Quebec City, which has been captured by the British. Among those who go with him are his burly, thieving friend Cap Huff, and a diminutive but resourceful and sharp-tongued local girl named Phoebe. Steven's own motivation is mostly personal: he knows that a girl he met in childhood, Mary Mallinson, is being held in Quebec and he intends to rescue her.Everyone knew that the expedition would be no cakewalk, but no one expected the indescribable ordeal that they actually face. Much of the novel is an account of that ordeal, and it is an amazing survival story, mixed in with a lot of infighting, intrigue, and suspicion.The quality of the writing itself is very high. Roberts is an intelligent, confident stylist who did a huge amount of research to get every detail right--and there are a lot of details. So everything has that wonderful, fresh, lifelike quality: unexpected but true. Steven Nason is a perfect narrator; he has great knowledge of what he's talking about, and a strong point of view that he's not shy about expressing. His plainspoken woodsman's perspective is often in contrast to the preening and dandyism of the more citified people he comes in contact with. Churlish and tongue-tied around women, he's incapable of expressing what he really feels. He needs their help.In sum, this is one of the best novels I have ever read. If I had to hunt for flaws in it, I might say that there was perhaps a bit much wilderness adventure for my taste. But it is a story of an expedition, after all--and it does pay off. This novel was published in 1930 and is about events in the 18th century, but it reads as though it were published yesterday and relates events that happened the day before that. The characters are vivid, present, and timeless. This must be what classic means, if it means anything.I serve notice to all my own readers, present and future: Kenneth Roberts is my role model. He is the standard I agree to be judged against. I won't measure up, but I will try.

  • Mark Richmond
    2019-03-23 09:34

    Having read several of Kenneth Robert's novels I was looking forward to this one. Boring. The first few chapters sets up the plot well enough and then the rest of the book is a dripping faucet... except for the last chapter. Very disappointed and not sure I will read anymore of his books.

  • Iver Lofving
    2019-04-18 15:54

    Another great book about Arnold's Expedition to Quebec. Although it was not a fun trip, Roberts is great at making it into the best adventure ever!

  • Tommy Boy
    2019-04-19 16:59

    Really was a hidden gem. I'd never heard of Kenneth Roberts before reading this great book and will be on the look out for his other novels in all my usual used book places.

  • John Warner
    2019-03-25 13:34

    This novel is absolutely first rate. An engaging story with frequently lyrical prose, it is wonderful entertainment and very reliable history of our American Revolution.

  • Gordon Leidner
    2019-03-24 16:34

    My personal all-time favorite historical fiction novel. The story is centered around a young man from Maine and General Benedict Arnold's courageous expedition to lead an American army through the Maine wilderness to take the city of Quebec during the Revolutionary War. Roberts researched his subject thoroughly, and this book, full of endearing characters, courage, romance and sacrifice, will transport you in time to a moment of American history few have studied. Roberts also wrote Northwest Passage, Rabble in Arms, and Oliver Wiswell. Each of these books had ought to be mandatory reading for students of American history. Don't be surprised if you return to these books again and again.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-14 17:42

    Historical fiction done right...French and Indian War...holds a place in my permanent collection..engrossing story

  • Bob
    2019-03-21 13:37

    My father claimed this was his favorite book when he was a boy, and I can see why -- Indian lore, nature lovingly described, spies, bold soldiers and lovable rogues. It's appealing still -- an almost 21st-century heroine (the book was written in the 1920's), a very subtle ear for dialect, and a persistent tone of reflection underscoring the historical setting: "In after years I heard these very folk speak of Pointe-aux-Trembles with a wagging of their heads and a smacking of their lips, as though they had found it a place of heavenly pleasure; yet I remember how full of rancor they were at the time. Thus I have learned to disbelieve the tales men tell of the delights of their younger days." (p. 393) which opens his description ending with "Now that I think back on it, Pointe-aux-Trembles was one of the pleasantest places I have ever known." (p. 399) Benedict Arnold's attack of Quebec in 1775 is a long and harsh winter journey through swamps and forests through which Roberts celebrates the human spirit at the same time he emphasizes our apparent insignificance: "In time, far in the distance, we heard a faint, thin piping, a reedy chirping such as you may hear in the late summer in Arundel, if you lie in the tall grasses of the sand dunes and listen to insects going abou their occasions. This, Paul said, was made by the army passing through the river." (p. 330)

  • Janellyn51
    2019-03-31 13:49

    I did really like this book. I came upon it because I go to Jackman Maine in the Summer and the Author William Martin who writes historical fiction and is one of my top favorite authors, commented on a photo I'd taken on the Moose River. He said that he'd thought about writing a book about Benedict Arnold, who went along the Kennebeck and I took a photo of the Plaque the Daughter's of the American Revolution had put up at some point along thier route for him. He said he'd have to read Arundel again, and I thought well, I'd better bone up! I found a first edition Library discard copy in an antique shop in Wells and thought, Eureka! It's a good story, and remarkable that any of them lived through the ordeal...I'm a wicked baby about being cold and those poor bastards...they didn't even have shoes or any cold weather essentials...I guess that guys who know most all there is to know about surviving in the woods, don't know much about love, but...I really enjoyed reading about the Indians and how they lived, and looking up the different rivers and places that they talked about...and if Bill ever writes his book about Benedict Arnold, I'll know something about it already!

  • Shanon
    2019-03-31 09:50

    I just finished this book and I absolutely LOVED It! It was first written in 1929. The author did such an excellent excellent job of describing events and I love his voice. It was even funny how he would describe things. The language is a little different and it takes a page or two to get used to it, but then I loved it.It's about Benedict Arnold and the attempt to take over Quebec during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The main character is from Maine. You really get a sense of what life was like there and how the different colonies felt about things; what caused the revolutionary war. It was all about $$$. Didn't realize how they all hated the French having just fought them in the French & Indian Wars and now they have to side with them against the British. Also got the stereotypical view of how the colonists from each area were looked upon by outsiders. Sounds like all the early colonists were a bunch of tough rednecks! And insight into Indians in the New England states. It's a series so I'm doubly excited!

  • Loraine
    2019-04-04 17:59

    As a teenager I read Roberts' March to Quebec: journals of the members of Arnold's expedition in stunned disbelief. Nearly 40 years later, I've read Arundel for the first time and have come away with a renewed appreciation for the struggles of Arnold's men through Maine's Height of the Land (Rangley Lake Region) and on to Quebec in 1775. Roberts certainly cast a lively fictional account into a carefully researched historical context, one he understood full well. I enjoyed Robert's flamboyant style as he drew out the personalities of Arundel's citizens, from handsome and enterprising Steven Nash, to loud and brash Cap Huff, to that cross-dressing wild woman Phoebe (a master of the seas), as the narration of the march to Quebec unfolds. Lively, humorous, and nerve-wracking, Roberts had me in his grip.As a note, I truly enjoyed his fair-handed treatment of New England's indigenous people. And the dashing nature of the hero--honestly, Steve Nash could have been played by Errol Flynn!

  • Belva
    2019-04-01 17:56

    Arundel by Kenneth Roberts is an informative, enjoyable read. Roberts was a novelist, but evidently an in-depth historical researcher to boot. It is the reason he received a Pulitzer Prize, after all. It was surely bestowed on a person worthy of it. Beyond the fascinating history contained within these pages is the story of everyday people swept up in the American Revolution. Being from Maine, I loved the insight into the early customs and lifestyle of the colonials. Roberts gives readers a hard look at the controversial and much maligned character of Benedict Arnold. I came away with a different opinion of the man because Roberts fleshed him out so well and made him so much more than the one dimensional traitor portrayed in most history books. Arundel also gives us a glimpse of the sacrifice and human suffering of the American Revolution, especially of the troops from Maine. It is an eye opening piece of work. The love story woven into the fabric only makes the entire bolt of cloth more beautiful. I highly recommend this book to any history lover!

  • Mark Lisac
    2019-04-15 12:54

    Classic adventure. But the reader gets a two for one. The great story is realistically based on thorough-going historical research into the American attempt, led by Benedict Arnold, to capture Quebec in 1775 by means of an invasion launched from Maine.The tale has tinges of romantic innocence, not surprising for a novel first published in 1930. The simpler sections — especially the intertwined love story — work because of the book's overall strengths. Memorable characters drive the action. Arnold seems to have appealed to the iconoclastic streak that Roberts showed in other books about the era but is outshone by the down-home characters around him. Most of all, Roberts had a strong talent for dialogue and physical description. You can feel what it was really like to be on a grueling march through forest swamps, looking up through swirling snow at the walls of Quebec, enjoying the warmth of a cosy Maine inn.

  • Alec Hastings
    2019-04-06 15:34

    Arundel was written by Kenneth Roberts, a native of Maine. His historical fiction was very popular in its day (1930s-1950s), but newer generations of readers may not know of his books. Arundel is narrated by Steve Nason who joins Benedict Arnold's 1775 expedition to capture Quebec at the outset of the American Revolution. Nason's real purpose is to rescue Mary Mallinson who has been kidnapped by a Frenchman named Guerlac. Nason, his friend Cap Huff, and the rest of the expedition paddle up the Kennebec River, and then down the Chaudiere River into Canada. Nason is an earnest, likable young man, and I found myself identifying with him quickly and easily. Roberts describes this world vividly, and the epic journey through the Maine and Canadian wilderness is full of adventure and travail. Arundel, Rabble in Arms, Northwest Passage--these are all great adventure stories by Roberts, and they make history come alive!

  • Kate Buford
    2019-04-09 13:41

    I'm sure Kenneth Roberts is, by now, an acquired taste. I remember seeing copies of his LYDIA BAILEY on all the parents' coffee tables when I was a child. It didn't hurt that so many of his books were illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. A friend lent me his copy of ARUNDEL last summer because I was going on a drawing/sketching trip to the coast of Maine and to Monhegan Island. To my delight, the ferry operators knew all about ARUNDEL; we even passed a sailing boat in Boothbay Harbor named "Arundel." it is a story in the best tradition of high, historical romance. For someone like me who devoured so many Dumas and Cooper novels, the book was a welcome return to that kind of richly detailed time travel narrative.

  • Matt
    2019-04-04 15:45

    Fine story, bit of a 18th century historical fiction combined with 21st century romantic comedy - boy sets out on quest to win girl he's pined for since he was a teenager, all along ignoring the mousey girl he should really be with, only there are muskets, tomahawks, and death by exposure.Benedict Arnold (pre treason) is a secondary character, and it's interesting following his exploits in the book, knowing what's to come for him. The author handles that very well. Strongest sections of the book are those concerning the Maine seaside and wilderness. I really felt the main character's attachment. That was well done. This is considered a classic, I think, I wouldn't go that far, but I enjoyed it and I will probably read it's sequel at some point, Rabble in Arms.