I have always enjoyed school stories, however formulaic many of them are (can you say "Malory Towers" and "St. Clare's"?) When I first bought this book on a vacation in England in the early 1980s I was expecting the same sort of thing. What I got was, instead, a superb, definitely not-written-to-a-formula book, with fascinating, complex characters and brilliant writing. The identical, but completely different, twins have such lofty plans for their first term at school; the ways in which the plans go awry and the unexpected way in which they excel make for plenty of things happening in the book, but I think it's for the characters that I like it so much. I was fortunate in my timing: END OF TERM, THE CRICKET TERM, PETER'S ROOM, THE READY-MADE FAMILY, THE THUGGERY AFFAIR, and RUN AWAY HOME were all in print that summer, though it took some hunting to find them. It was several years more before I got my acquisitive little hands on FALCONER'S LURE, THE MARLOWS AND THE TRAITOR, and THE ATTIC TERM. I am delighted that the first in the series has been reissued, and hope that Faber will continue with the rest of them. Only four of the Marlow books (the ones with "Term" as part of the title) are school stories, but all of them are excellent, as are the two that explore the adventures of one of the Marlows' ancestors, THE PLAYER'S BOY and THE PLAYERS AND THE REBELS...buy this one and beg Faber to reissue the others.