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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure story that sucks you in, 7 Dec 2004
By 
HLT (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peter Duck (Hardcover)
I remember how, reading this as a child, the opening pages kindled my imagination so that I was transported on board the little schooner "Wild Cat", watching gleefully as stores were brought on board at its Lowestoft quay and the companions-in-adventure arrived. Ransome's words are supported by a number of drawings executed in his usual style (deck plans showing berths, stores, shipmates etc), perfectly designed to draw susceptible youngsters into the enclosed world of the schooner. On reading this beginning, any child who has enjoyed other books in the series can't help but know they have a treat in store.
And Ransome proceeds to deliver, as events fall into place that turn what was meant to be a pleasure cruise into a quest to recover buried treasure. There's a suitably ruthless piratical adversary called Black Jake who, with his equally black-hearted crew, challenge the crew of the "Wild Cat" in a race to Crab Island in the exotic Caribees, to seek whatever Peter Duck saw buried there, decades before.
This novel, along with one or two other titles (Missee Lee and We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea come to mind) take a different turn from the "traditional" Swallows and Amazons adventure with their Cumbrian holiday settings. Here, there are fantastic yarns being spun, with real sea-going and blood-and-thunder piracy. And there's also Peter Duck -- who readers will recall from Swallowdale as the imaginary friend of one of the Swallows -- coming to life in order to stride through the pages (or at least, up and down the deck) of this first rate children's adventure.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling children�s adventure!, 10 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Peter Duck (Hardcover)
This volume in Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series finds the Swallows and Amazons in rare old adventuring form, sailing off to the distant Caribbean (together with grown-ups Captain Flint and the original Old Salt Tar himself, Peter Duck) in search of buried pirate treasure! Along the way, they have to contend with numerous hazards, from sailing in thick fog in the English Channel, to enduring earthquake and tempest, as well as fending off a shipload of villainous pirates intent on getting their hands on the same treasure. If this all sounds rather more daring and far-fetched than can be found in other "Swallows and Amazons" stories, there is good reason for this - although the explanation is not revealed until the next book, "Swallowdale". (This latter was originally published as the second volume of the series but, for obvious reasons, is best left until after you've read "Peter Duck"!)
Despite its somewhat fanciful content, Ransome keeps the tale eminently believable and builds the excitement gradually, drawing the reader inexorably into the events that unfold. You really do just have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next! By the latter stages, it becomes impossible to put down.
Sprinkled with numerous delightful pen and ink illustrations (charmingly credited to the Swallows and Amazons themselves!) this book is a lovely production. In short, it is nothing short of a little masterpiece that should be on everyone's reading list.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unlikely but enjoyable children's high seas adventure, 12 Jan 2000
By A Customer
My dad read this to me over the last few weeks. He read this when he was my age (10) and wanted an excuse to read it again. I liked this book and I think others would enjoy it too. It's the story of the Swallows and the Amazons who go to sea in Captain Flints sailing ship in search of Peter Duck's treasure. They have lots of exciting adventures - rescuing Bill the cabin boy of "The Viper" which is full of pirates who chase after them and the treasure - earthquakes - storms and waterspouts - being shot at. I liked Bill's cure for sea sickness using bacon fat. Although this book was written for my Grandfather's generation of children (1920s/30s) and it sounds dated sometimes it still has the classic qualities of an Arthur Ransome book. Try it and see!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One that still works, 28 Mar 2003
I've had a complete disaster with trying to get my 12 year old son to enjoy Arthur Ransome, easily my favourite author when I was his age. He doesn't see the point of them or empathise with the characters or plots at all - Peter Duck and Missee Lee are the two exceptions - I guess they are sufficiently high drama and fantastical enough to capture him. So, if your child isn't getting to grips with the tame, benign world of the other Ransome titles, try him or her on this one. It might just work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best pirate books ever!, 17 April 2009
By 
Jamie Wright "harlequin185" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is the best ever pirate story after the mighty treasure island. I cannot recomend highly enough the sense of adventure and the pure joy of innocent youth that these adventures invoke.

Brilliant books for children and adults who wish to rekindle there youthfull adventurious spirits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A smashing adventure for the Swallows and Amazons, though a touch dated now, 1 July 2011
By 
J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Peter Duck is the second written but third published of the Swallows and Amazons novels, and is quite different in setting from the other two. The children are visiting Captain Flint on his schooner to go sailing in the channel, and are joined by old sailor Peter Duck. Their holiday becomes and adventure though when Mr Duck tells them of long-lost treasure, and Black Jake the pirate chases them across the seas.

Although written to be a story the children made up over the winter between their first two adventures, in its final form the tale is presented no differently than the others and I'm convinced that when I first read this book as a child the only clue I had that it wasn't meant to be a real adventure was the presence of Peter Duck, who Swallowdale had established as an imaginary person.

It's an exciting tale that moves at a good pace, though there's perhaps more focus on the action in this one than on the characters, with only Roger really standing out of the regulars, and new characters Bill and Peter Duck getting most of the attention. There are several parts where it is starting to date, not least in terms of the language, some of which would today be considered politically incorrect, however this doesn't really detract from the story - just might need adjusting for children who might repeat words without understanding (unless modern editions have been altered, which I doubt as my copy is from 1993).

Overall another impressive novel which I'm glad I took the time to read again as an adult. Probably not as much of a favourite as the stories set in the lakes, but certainly a good part of the series. Well worth a read for the modern child, though some better diagrams to explain the different sails might be a good idea.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite pirate story, 19 July 2010
Just re-reading the Swallows & Amazons books in preparation for introducing them to my daughter and this was one of my 2 favourites (the other being Missee Lee). I just love Peter Duck and I still feel tension and a frisson of fear when the diggers spot the orange cloud creeping up against the wind... On of the most exciting books I ever read as a child, and indeed as an adult!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick note about the Kindle edition, 27 May 2012
By 
P. M. Fernandez "exilefromgroggs" (London) - See all my reviews
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I could talk about the "Swallows and Amazons" books until the cows come home - in fact, I did, much to the surprise of the rest of my Open University Children's Literature group on Facebook! I won't do that here: however, I would like to say that the translation of the books to Kindle format has been done very well. The images are there, and the ebook reads just as fluently as the original book. If you've had bad experiences with some Kindle editions, this looks like one set of books where there isn't a problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful tale of adventure, 9 Mar 2013
By 
Jackie Brown "Mum" (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Book 3 in the Swallows and Amazons series, this details the adventures of the Swallows and Amazons on a voyage to the Caribbean. Our 8-year-old daughter enjoyed this thoroughly, as the mixture of sailing and treasure hunting worked well for her.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ransome Peter Duck, 17 April 2012
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The third in the Swallows and Amazons series of superb children's books. It should be on every school reading list for its thrilling story, great nature detail, adventure and reminding us that without computers, children can still play like this.
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Peter Duck (Vintage Children's Classics)
Peter Duck (Vintage Children's Classics) by Arthur Ransome (Paperback - 6 Sep 2012)
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