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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of all the Swallows and Amazons books
I love this book most out of the whole series. The four Swallows spend a few days with an adult friend on board a real sea-going ship. However, while the owner is ashore the ship drifts out to sea in the fog. There is the same loving attention to detail as usual, but this is the first book in which the children face real danger. From the moment the Swallows realise...
Published on 26 Aug 2000

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Held to Ransome!
This is a great book but the one they sent me was NOT the one illustrated here - with its classic cover designed by Ransome himself.

I sent it back - just one of six books I ordered weth the same issue.

Not good enough, Amazon!
Published 4 months ago by Claudia Saatchi


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of all the Swallows and Amazons books, 26 Aug 2000
By A Customer
I love this book most out of the whole series. The four Swallows spend a few days with an adult friend on board a real sea-going ship. However, while the owner is ashore the ship drifts out to sea in the fog. There is the same loving attention to detail as usual, but this is the first book in which the children face real danger. From the moment the Swallows realise they have drifted out to sea, it's non-stop action until the end.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sailing classic, 17 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea (Hardcover)
This is my favourite S & A book. The Walkers (no Amazons) are on board a yacht but aren't allowed to sail past the 'Beach End Buoy'. Set in the River Stour in East Anglia, events transpire which see the four children accidentally cross the North Sea in a gale. It is an exciting book which has the most 'sailing' content of all the S & A books.
It is inspirational in that the children triumph over the adversity of crossing to Holland in a small boat in shocking weather.
I have read this book countless times since receiving it as a child. It inspired me to sail and I could practically sail a boat for the first time, aged 12 years, having read this book.
Drag your children away from mind numbing computer games and role models who only want to look good - thrust this in their mitts and hopefully their imaginations will be inspired. If not, read it yourself and you never know, the magic of sailing will become a part of your live.
Jib-booms and bobstays, that was profound !
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No plain sailing but a great read nevertheless!, 6 Mar 2001
By A Customer
No plain sailing but a great read nevertheless! Arthur Ransome's seventh "Swallows and Amazons" adventure is set not long after the action of "Pigeon Post". The action occurs, this time, in the south of England, rather than in the Lake District, and with just the Swallows alone. They are passing the time on the Rivers Orwell and Stour, while waiting to meet up with their father - due, at any time, on leave from his overseas posting with the Royal Navy.
What starts out as a few days quiet sailing, though, quickly turns into something rather more frightening, with the children suddenly drawn into a terrifying and completely unexpected adventure, when they find themselves and their (borrowed) boat being swept out to sea by a fierce tide. For once, the Swallows face a very real and serious danger that is to test their combined courage, fortitude and seamanship to the utmost. It is fascinating (for grown-up readers, at least) to see each of the children's highly individual (and completely characteristic) reactions to their predicament. Younger readers, of course, are more likely just to be carried away by the pure nail-biting suspense of it all!
While this is a gripping and enthralling tale throughout, the tensions (arising from the danger and the worries of the older children) are lightened for the reader by the pure infectious glee of the younger pair. They, of course, are less aware of the seriousness of their predicament - especially Roger, who, as usual, is perfectly content so long as there is plenty of food around - and rather enjoy themselves!
As in all of the "Swallows and Amazons" books, Ransome's story-telling abilities are second to none, here. The narrative is at all times feasible and this book is a completely absorbing read for young and old alike. This is an inspired and an inspiring tale. Readers who have worked their way through the earlier volumes will also not be disappointed when they finally do get to meet Daddy in this volume!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adventure story, 9 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. P. W. D. Preston (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book when I was a boy. I have now bought it for my great nephew. It's an excellent adventure story suitable for girls or boys. A group of children on a yacht off the East Anglian coast find they have drifted into the North Sea by mistake. They end up sailing - without any adults on board - across to Holland. Lots of nautical lore and lots of atmosphere. Very exciting.

The same author wrote the more famous Swallows and Amazons.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Arthur Ransome, 9 Nov 2000
This review is from: We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea (Hardcover)
This is the most exciting tale - even if it features only the Swallows and no Amazons - because the adventure told is real. Many of the other books involve a mixture of reality and imagination: the S&A Kachenjunga was the previous generation's Matterhorn and I think is the less than 3000ft Old Man of Coniston.

There is genuine danger here and thus genuine skill and courage in their successful channel crossing - a feat for anyone to be proud of. I like Susan being sick too as she is a bit too mummyish normally
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His finest book, 4 May 2013
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This is Ransomes finest book ; not for me perhaps his most enjoyable, that is Winter Holiday, but still the finest book he wrote. Ransome is well known as a sailor. He owned several boats and in real life cruised the baltic and the south and east coasts of England widely.

The plot draws on his extensive knowledge of the joys and hazards associated with the activity. The dragging anchor, the fog, the storm with dangerous land to leeward and any number of other events in the book are all brilliantly described and evoke a real sense of excitement anxiety and finally triumph as one by one each event is dealt with.

Ransomes characterisation of all the children is the best he achieved in any of his books but John, the skipper, is a true hero. Outwardly calm , inwardly in turmoil ,he is a young man who has learned the lessons of his elders. Conquering his fears he applies those lessons and having done so finds that things aren't so bad after all, and that even the most trying circumstances can be quite enjoyable. John brings the boat and the children through to safety. His reward when he finally meets up with his father is described in the most intimate bit of writing in any of the books.

"" A lot of things were lucky," said Daddy, and suddenly while they were walking along, brought his hand down on John's shoulder and gave it a bit of a squeeze, "you'll be a seaman, yet my son."

And John, for one dreadful moment, felt that something was wrong with his eyes. A sort of wetness......"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book in the Swallows and Amazons series, 24 April 2013
By 
Jackie Brown "Mum" (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you like sailing, you will enjoy this tale of the Walker children's adventure in an accidentally-borrowed boat. We did!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 28 Feb 2013
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I was never a huge fan of Arthur Ransome's other books, but I remember enjoying this one and had a real need to reread it recently. A lot of children's books lose their charm when adulthood is reached, but this isn't one of them.

I loved every minute of rereading it, and I suspect that I enjoyed it even more as an adult than I did as a child. The detail of the descriptions, the characters, and the situations are all beautifully done, it feels grippingly real as they face the dangers and the challenges. And if there is a little too much synchronicity for real life in places - well it's a story, and a very well told one. I'm not a sailor in any way, but that doesn't matter, I love the nautical information, because it's put in such an interesting way. And yes, it's dated, few children are brought up these days to have such a sense of responsibility, but it's a true classic of its kind. Now that I own it again it'll join my list of favourite rereads when I want something interesting but not heavy to cheer myself up.

It doesn't matter if the earlier books in this series haven't been read by the way, it stands alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not to be missed, 25 Jan 2012
In the previous books of the series the The children sail a small boat in the safe waters of the Norfolk Broads or Lake District.
Now, due to a combination of tide wind and human error their vessel is carried out of the harbour at Harwich into the North Sea - while the only adult with them is ashore. John Susan Titty and Roger have to cope; and they do.
Although on the face of it a children's adventure story, the book also has a lot to say about growing up and taking responsibility for one's life.
A beautiful story, not to be missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written..., 7 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Christopher N. Parker (England) - See all my reviews
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I have read the Swallows and Amazons books many times since the age of 7, and I still love them today. This is my favourite of all the books, and I'd put it in the top 3 children's books ever written, (along with Watership Down and Anne of Green Gables). It is beautifully written, and the way the tension builds is fantastic. I personally don't have a problem with the 'coincidence' towards the end; in fact I think it makes the ending even more satisfying. Although this book was written primarily for children, I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading it this time even more than ever!
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We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea
We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea by Arthur Ransome (Hardcover - 20 Oct 1983)
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