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86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced, forthright, signifficant, 8 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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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60 of 60 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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15 of 15 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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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a *grate* read, 12 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A topp work of litaratur, 5 Dec. 2008
By 
R. Shaw (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
As any fule kno this is clasic. Full of topp writing and insiteful comment about skool and the iniquities of life (chiz moan) it stand the test of time like other grate works (see milton shakespeer dikens and other weeds etc etc). There hav been many who hav seen wisdom in the words of nigel as he carefully discuss 'kanes i hav known', reveal the molesworth-peason lines machine (runs off a hundred in one minit), explain life at st custards and introduce his frends and some sissies like fotherington-tomas who skip like a gurl and is wet. An essential addition to the bookshelf of anyone who went to a skool, had to deal with beaks, oiks, goodie goodies and playing criket in the rane against skools like Porridge Court etc etc. It is the uggly truth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Any Fule No, this is brilliant, 22 Nov. 2007
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I first read Molesworth as a child, and loved him. I read all the books and destroyed them through reading them too often. I have since bought them all again and continue to read them as an adult and exhort all my friends to read them too.
Molesworth is a schoolboy in the 1950's public school system and these are his diaries and grate thoughts on life. I grew up in the seventies, and so this was dated even then, but it doesn't matter. The comedy is evergreen, the words hilarious and the pictures perfect.
Molesworth is cynical, world weary and anti authoritarian to a delightful degree. His spelling is dreadful, and this is one of the best things about the book, in my opinion. His thoughts on peotry, particularly his rendition of "The Charge of The Light Brigade" is up there with anything P.G. Wodehouse has ever written, and he is a comedy genius. An absolute must buy for anyone with a sense of humour anywhere.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I unreservedly call this the funniest book I've ever read., 6 Dec. 1999
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should really give it 10 stars!!, 7 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I read Molesworth years ago when a schoolboy myself and have since had and lost/lent (and never got back!!!) the various volumes.

This is a real classic though; the four books of Molesworthiana collected together and presented to the world anew, so that another generation can reap the benefit of his wisdom.

The text made me howl with laughter - and it still does - and the masterly drawings compliment the written word beautifully. The characters, from Grabber to the ever optimistic Fotherington Thomas...."Hullo birds, hullo sky",captivate and enchant and, for me, evoke a time and an England which has gone forever.

Even through the comical cynicism, you can still feel the hope and excitement that a new Elizabethan age was expected to bring.

Buy it now and treasure it forever. If you don't well, chiz chiz chiz (as any fule no!!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Satire, 15 Dec. 2009
By 
Michael Field "Mikes Headroom" (Somewhere in England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I used to laugh like a drain when I read this at school and this time, I only needed to read the introduction to set me off. The combination of the sardonic and the innocent is unsurpassed by anything in British literature in the last fifty years. In TV and American context, only The Simpsons comes near to conveying the same sense of the hardbitten and the redeemable. Not would it work without those uniquely expressive drawings that are so eternal and still so of their time. Wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the infirm, 4 Jan. 2013
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Oh God don't do what I just did and buy this book because you are in bed with a heavy cold. Am now suffering from emphysema and thinking of going into A&E. It was the botany walk that did it. "Now. Wot have we? A dead bird, peason? i don't think that would find its place in the nature museum it is so very dead."
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Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics)
Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) by Geoffrey Willans (Paperback - 2 Nov. 2000)
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