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Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Geoffrey Willans , Ronald Searle , Philip Hensher
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Nov 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
School is 'wet and weedy', according to Nigel Molesworth, the 'goriller of 3B', 'curse of St Custard's' and superb chronicler of fifties English life. Nothing escapes his disaffected eye and he has little time for such things as botany walks and cissy poetry with an assortment of swots, snekes and oiks. Instead he is very good at missing lessons, charming masters and putting down little brothers, in fact he is exceptional at most things except spelling. Wildly funny and full of sharp observations on life, the ‘Molesworth tetralogy’ is magnificently complemented by the illustrations of Ronald Searle

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (2 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141186003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141186009
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This is me e.g. nigel molesworth the curse of st custard's which is the skool i am at. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced, forthright, signifficant 8 Dec 2000
By A Customer
More gothic than Mervyn Peake, more cynical than George Orwell, more English than Ian Fleming and much, much funnier than Noel Coward.
The setting is an English boys' school in the early 1950s. Molesworth introduces us to his teachers, his family, his "grate friend" Peason, and his views on being a "young Elizabethan" in the "atommic age". Forget about "Lord Of The Flies". Molesworth and his cohorts are the most convincing schoolboys in fiction; by turns cynical, daydreaming, snobbish or barbaric but always possessed with a hysterical, surreal sense of humour. This is a book you will never regret buying - in fact, having read it, you will be pressing copies on your friends like a newly converted Hare Krisha.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreservedly Classic English Humour 23 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Set in the 50's, Nigel Molesworth is a schoolboy at a minor public school in the wilds of the English countryside. You'd think it would be aimed at kids - but, as any fule kno, it's for the grownups. When I first bought this book in 1991 I ignored the girlfriend I was visiting for six hours straight while I read it cover to cover, occasionally exploding on the sofa in abject hysterics. I read it again on the train back to London. I've had to buy it again since then because I wore my original copy out - the spine collapsed and the pages fell out. Bluntly - this book it utterly fantastic, blindingly hilarious and it's less than a tenner. If they made Nigel Molesworth T-shirts I'd buy one of those too. And the desk diary, the calendar, the screensaver... Buy this book now. :o)
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a *grate* read 12 April 2002
By A Customer
this book is pretty much the world through the eyes of a cynic. The fact that the cynic happens to be a schoolboy, thoroughly fed up with Pythagoras (a bore), masters (weeds), and his fellow sufferers at school (variously clots, weedstruck wets, cads, oiks, and sneeks), enables us all to understand exactly what he is talking about. Even if you can not profess to ever having met sigismund the mad maths master.
The book, with all it's ravings on skool, Xmas, and skool sossages is hilarious and clever. The illustrations by Ronald Searle are excellent ( do the drawings compliment the writing or is it the other way round?), and I would recommend this to anyone whose sense of humour extends further than Friends. My favourite part, it must be said, is the spelling...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary milestone 13 Oct 2000
By A Customer
The 4 Molesworth books published together in this volume are seminal in the history of education and indeed of literature, and it's a great shame that Geoffrey Willans died at the untimely age of 47. These books are a total one-off, and perfectly capture the anarchic spirit (and lack of learning, and streetwiseness) of the average pre-pubescent schoolboy - no romantic seat of learning, this St. Custard's place.
I made my first acquaintance with Molesworth when I was about the same age as him, and the resonances with my own school experience still strike me now, over 40 years later. Wonderful stuff, hysterically funny and totally without any mawkish sentiment. Buy it! Buy several copies and give them to your friends and family! They'll love you for it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is beyond laugh-out-loud funny; you'll actually annoy the neighbors with your chortling. Nigel Molesworth and his companions are hysterical. Molesworth's flights of fancy, instructions on how to avoid lessons, and attempts at being good are all priceless. Don't be put off by the (intentional) misspellings; they're part of the charm. This book is amazingly funny, and you'll be very sad when you've finished it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, as any fule kno 29 May 2009
By Paul Magnussen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ronald Searle was one of Britain's best-loved cartoonists, and Geoffrey Willans (if I remember correctly) a former teacher. If there is such a thing as a genius, then Willans and Searle together were one.

The Molesworth books purport to be instructional manuals by an English public schoolboy named Nigel Molesworth, about how to survive the school experience. From the day the first was published in 1953, they became a wild success, especially with schoolchildren. They are still in print and still eminently applicable (which says something both about the quality of the books, and about the nature of the British school system, which even at that point hadn't changed much in 400 years).

The wild misspelling that permeates them caused hysteria among parents, and their removal from many school libraries (the books, not the parents). Nevertheless, many phrases from them have since gone into the English lexicon, particularly "enuff said" and "as any fule kno".

The quartet consists of:

Down with Skool
How to be Topp
Whizz for Atomms
Back in the Jug Agane

and an omnibus edition,

The Compleet Molesworth, reprinted by Penguin as
... Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Topp value for Money
I first encountered the world of Nigel Molesworth as a young boy and have revisited it many times since. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Doktor Futtocks
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed a classic
I read the books when I was young so I have no grown up assessment of them to offer, all I can say is that I found them hilarious at the time and still do, largely because of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alison Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the truth be out
Some may think that this buk is just the ramblings of a skoolboy with lots of fansyful cartoons but those who have done porige in st custards or its elk will instantly reconize... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Openminded
5.0 out of 5 stars Molesworth ... classic
Hadn't read this in years. But revisiting this collection is well worth it. Laugh out loud material, probably a missed quite a bit of the humour when in early teens. A real treat!
Published 5 months ago by AdznCrete
5.0 out of 5 stars MOLESWORTH
I have been searching for this book for years as it was a favourite of mine when I was quite young. It is a brilliant book and you can pay a lot more for it so I thought it might... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Worst Witch
4.0 out of 5 stars Rightly worthy of being a 'Penguin Modern Classic
First read to my children in the early 1960's and my grandchildren are reading it now .
Immortal stuff. which deserves to be kept in print.
Published 7 months ago by peejayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes me back
I went to a St Custards. Re reading the book after over 50 years took me back. I was with the Molesworths and Peasons shared bottom of the class with them. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun book
Recommended by my partner for my book loving grandson. I was doubtful at first that he would understand the 50's humour but he has sat a chuckled while turning pages. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Brilliant
If you went to a traditional British prep school or are familiar with those crazy institutions this book is so funny you will want to weep with laughter. Read more
Published 10 months ago by C. A. Jarvis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very amusing
Very witty book.I read it years ago but the text and illustrations are classic.Delivered promptly and well packed and good value.
Published 11 months ago by Nadine Ridgeway
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