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Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) Paperback – 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) + Peter Duck (Vintage Children's Classics) + Winter Holiday (Swallows And Amazons)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox; New Ed edition (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009942715X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099427155
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Quite an achievement" (The Guardian)

"There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Swallowdale is a real book . . . Even better than Swallows and Amazons" (Time and Tide)

Book Description

A timeless classic, beautifully rejacketed. One of twelve Arthur Ransome titles reissued this month.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Swallowdale" continues very much where its predecessor, "Swallows and Amazons", leaves off, with the Walker children returning to "that remote lake in the north of England" one year after the events of the first book and looking forward to another couple of weeks of fun, sailing with their friends, the Amazon pirates. Plans quickly begin to go awry, however, and Ransome turns events away from the anticipated activity of sailing on the lake to an altogether different sort of fun, as the children take off camping and exploring in the surrounding fells and mountains.
The book has all of the fine qualities that make its predecessor such an excellent read for children (and adults) of all ages. Ransome's prose is a delight throughout, his characters engaging and the events that befall the children entirely believable. As in all of the other books of this series, simple pen and ink drawings by the author add considerably to the enjoyment. If only the world (and the Lake District!) was still like this!
Incidentally, although this was the second of Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazon" books to be published, it is best read after the third volume, "Peter Duck", because it is set chronologically after the events of that book, and makes occasional back reference to it. You will enjoy "Peter Duck" much more if you read it BEFORE you read "Swallowdale". And if you enjoyed "Swallows and Amazons" you will certainly enjoy this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
"Swallowdale" continues very much where its predecessor, "Swallows and Amazons", leaves off, with the Walker children returning to "that remote lake in the north of England" one year after the events of the first book and looking forward to another couple of weeks of fun, sailing with their friends, the Amazon pirates. Plans quickly begin to go awry, however, and Ransome turns events away from the anticipated activity of sailing on the lake to an altogether different sort of fun, as the children take off camping and exploring in the surrounding fells and mountains.
The book has all of the fine qualities that make its predecessor such an excellent read for children (and adults) of all ages. Ransome's prose is a delight throughout, his characters engaging and the events that befall the children entirely believable. As in all of the other books of this series, simple pen and ink drawings by the author add considerably to the enjoyment. If only the world (and the Lake District!) was still like this!
Incidentally, although this was the second of Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazon" books to be published, it is best read after the third volume, "Peter Duck", because it is set chronologically after the events of that book, and makes occasional back reference to it. You will enjoy "Peter Duck" much more if you read it BEFORE you read "Swallowdale". And if you enjoyed "Swallows and Amazons" you will certainly enjoy this.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By HLT on 7 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
Being a sequel (or rather, the second in a long series) this should be read after the excellent Swallows and Amazons.
Children who love the previous book will definitely want to spend more time in the company of the Walkers and the Blacketts (better known as the Swallows and the Amazons) and that is exactly what Swallowdale offers. It's not simply more of the same, though. Both sets of children are beset by their own crises, which conspire to keep them off the water throughout the bulk of the story. Even Captain Flint is "grounded" by these events, which make the adventures more land-based and more furtive: the children are explorers (and prisoners!), not sailors.
Having re-read this as an adult, Swallowdale doesn't have quite the same amazing freshness and sense of excitement that Swallows and Amazons still delivers. I think this might be because the characters who seem to face the worst challenge (Amazon Pirates Nancy and Peggy) hardly ever have the story told from their point-of-view; Ransome seems far more interested in showing the world through the eyes of the Swallows (which is strange, because Nancy was reportedly his favourite character: he even named his own boat after her).
Having said that, I still recall how Swallowdale delighted me thirty-odd years ago, and I have no hesitation in commending it to any child who has finished Swallows and Amazons, and who wants to find out what happened in the summer holiday of the following year.
A final note: I recommend reading these in the published order, rather than reading Peter Duck first as suggested in another review. To do otherwise is to miss the emergence of Mr Duck from "imaginary friend" to "living breathing character". And, buried somewhere in the rest of the series is an explanation of how this can have happened!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R.P.M. on 28 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The sequel to 'Swallows and Amazons' sees the Walker children camping around the Old Man of Coniston (renamed 'Kanchenjunga' by them), following a small boating accident which has the Swallow put in for repairs. The Blacketts do not have an equal role in the tale, having been forced to spend seemingly all their waking hours entertaining their great-aunt Maria, an aunt more formidable than any dreamt up by P G Wodehouse.

There is not really a plot. The action is centred on the 'conquest' of Kanchenjunga (the Himalayas were a big focus for expeditions at the time when Ransome wrote this -- 1931), a sprained ankle, hurried meetings between the Swallows and the Amazons and a race at the end after the successful repair of the Swallow.

Along the way, however, we meet a few rustic characters -- the charcoal-burners and some members of the Swainson family. Ransome, while he reproduces the manner in which they speak, in no way paints them as yokels but as sympathetic characters in their own right. And this is one of his many strengths as a writer and as a human being.

I like Ransome's ability to capture what it is like to be young and to portray this in the spectacular scenery of the Lake District. Most of all, I admire his skill, which he has in common with authors such as E Nesbit and Kenneth Grahame, in being able to write for all children between the ages of 7 and 90 without ever once talking down to them.

As for youngsters messing about in boats and 'wild camping': it is a great shame that it cannot happen so freely these days. Mrs Walker and Mrs Blackett would no doubt be prosecuted by the social services, who would not only get hold of the wrong end of the stick, but it would be the wrong stick entirely.
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