In One Word

In One Word, Rob Roy by Walter Scott is…

rob roy

  • First published in 1817 by Archibald Constable and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown
  • Format: Paperback – Published in 1995 by Penguin Books
  • Reading time: 11 frustrating days – DNF-ed at 34%


  • Went and rescued this from a clear-out, thinking that I might as well break my Walter Scott duck and fulfil the Classics part of A Dance With Books’ Go Big or Go Home challenge with this. I went in with no fixed expectations with no idea what it was about. I went out still with no idea what it was about.
  • Obvious prejudice against the Scots and Catholics comes through loud and clear. There’s a distinct feeling that there’s a great political upheaval going on in the background but the characters are quite some distance from it and there’s an awful lot of info-dumping.
  • Okay, I think I should have gone with the audiobook version. I can’t make any sense of the Scottish accented words. Like Robert Burns’ poetry, it’s definitely best read aloud. Not to mention, there’s just so many florid words to wade through and the book takes so damn long to get to the point.
  • Like Diana a lot. She’s a woman miles ahead of her time more interested in books and hunting than the prescribed feminine pursuits at the time. Better yet, she doesn’t care what everyone thinks of that either. She’s bold, she’s confident and is Frank’s best ally in this alien world. Contrast that with how I feel about Rashleigh. I am getting some real Uriah Heep vibes from him and I’m sure he’s going to prove very villainous later on.
  • Lot of effort required to get through this. The book is extremely wordy and the story is buried very deep under all the digressions and unnecessary descriptions. I’m about 160 pages in and I still have no idea where any of this is going or if I’m really interested. There’s some action, yes, but there’s so much effort required to figure out what’s going on and it’s really not worth it when you find out. So far, I’ve only got a halfway-funny paranoid travelling companion and a halfway-funny magistrates’ hearing.
  • Yep, I am not going to be able to get to the end of this. Diana, I’m sorry. I really wanted to find out what happened to you but, if I can’t get to the halfway point after 11 days, I’ll probably never get to the end. Diana is the only reason I’m giving this more than one star but, if I constantly have to check the plot on Wikipedia to figure out what’s going on, I shouldn’t be reading this. I should be reading something that doesn’t feel like a chore. So, with regret, this is my first DNF of 2020. I’ll have to figure out something else for Go Big or Go Home. I shouldn’t be too difficult.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

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