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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still chuckling, 40 years on!
I first read this book at the age of 6 or 7 (I am now 48) and giggled at the daft exploits of the good-natured Jennings and his bewildered sidekick, Darbishire. The Jennings books were read and re-read until they fell apart. I very much enjoyed introducing my children (now aged 16 and 21) to Jennings, and they found the books as entertaining as I did. Jennings is as...
Published on 31 Aug. 2003 by kathleenmoss1

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Struggles for the most part
Some 45 plus years ago now, I have to admit that at such a tender age, I was very firmly in the Just William camp, so the Jennings books never figured - sadly. I am now putting that right, as I am just a big kid at heart, as we all should be. Now this is about half way through numerically from the total of Jennings books published; I've read (and will continue to do so)...
Published on 25 April 2013 by Mr. J. M. Haines


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still chuckling, 40 years on!, 31 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
I first read this book at the age of 6 or 7 (I am now 48) and giggled at the daft exploits of the good-natured Jennings and his bewildered sidekick, Darbishire. The Jennings books were read and re-read until they fell apart. I very much enjoyed introducing my children (now aged 16 and 21) to Jennings, and they found the books as entertaining as I did. Jennings is as delightful a character as you're ever likely to meet in children's fiction.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy classic, 21 April 2006
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
My older sister read this - and the rest of the series - to me when I was ten and we laughed ourselves sick. Now my own children laugh themselves sick over the exploits of Jennings, Darbishire, Bod, Mr Wilkins, etc. The comedy of misunderstandings doesn't date, and the slang is truly hilarious. If there's a funnier book out there I'd love to read it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The birth of a legend, 30 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
This was the book that started it all. The book that introduced us to Jenning, Derbyshire, Mr Wilkins and others. Over 40 years on, and Jennings is still causing havoc at Linbury Court School.
Suffer as Jennings encounters bullying on his first day, share his triumph as he turns the tables on his bullies and becomes the leader of his form, without having to use violence or malice.
I find I enjoy these books as much as a teacher, as I did as a school boy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as I remembered, 28 April 2010
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
A short while ago I discovered that the series of 18 Jennings novels that I read as a child in the early nineties were not, in fact, the entire story, and there were 6 novels missing from my collection. So I've dug out the books from the loft and have set to re-reading them all, in the original publication order.

JCT Jennings is the standard for any boarding school literature. Set in the 1950s, but easily mistakable for more recent times (unless my 1980s edition has been doctored), this book charts Jennings' and his new friend Darbishire's first term boarding at Linbury Court.

My only complaint is that my copy has been edited into 1980s - prices are quoted in decimalised pence, rather than shillings as would befit the original era. I felt rather let down by this as a bit of history would not have gone amiss in a children's book.

The characters and school were instantly familiar as I read this, as were the storylines in this first book. In fact reading it again prompted the image of the school and it's layout exactly as I used to imagine it to pop right out, probably assisted by it's similarity in my mind to my own primary school.

One thing that I do not remember noticing before is that the tone of the narration is aimed at adults as much as children. The impression I get is that Buckeridge wanted to some extent to demystify the idea of boarding school for potential future pupils, and so the narration goes out of it's way to explain aspects of school life. An example would be explaining that although the school meals are referred to as 'muck', everyone still goes for second helpings. Reading again as an adult it seems cleared that this is aimed more to reassure parents than entertain/inform children.

My only other criticism is one that I think I had spotted before, which is that although Jennings is a new starter, aged only ten, he is straight away in Form 3 and taking classes with students who have been there much longer than him. Perhaps this is how boarding schools worked but it seemed a little out of place to me.

All in all though it was a good reread. As funny as I remember, although it lost a little because it still felt very familiar - I'm hoping the rest of the series will be less well remembered so I can enjoy them more.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of a great series !, 1 Nov. 2001
With Jennings and Darbishires plan to escape from school it is an adventure that has you on the edge of your seat in absolute stitches. They also identify a giant killer spider which it isn't at all !! A great book, definitely one to read for those age 9+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - A Classic Series, 14 April 2010
By 
Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
I was introduced to these by a school friend when I was about 11, and rapidly read through as much of the series as I could find.

Recently another Library Thing member saw these books in my library and helped plug the gaps in my collection (thanks Calm). I have thus been meaning to re-read the series in order ever since, and this book was the start of that. I will try and fuill the remaining collection gaps as I go.

I used to find Jennings hilariously funny, and I was pleased to discover that I am still very entertained by them as an adult. I am perhaps now a little more aware of the shortcomings of the writing - but they are certainly not badly written.

Jennings is a school boy starting out at Linbury Court Prep school, a boarding school in the Sussex Downs. He gets into all kinds of scrapes and situations in this book. Most chapters are self contained, describing one misadventure and thus were perfect for me as a child to read in small chunks, and to enjoy what was going on.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A super read and really funny, 14 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
I loved this book and laughed alot at the funny scrapes that Jennings gets into. He reminds me of the things I get up to at school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wizard show old bean, 14 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Jennings Goes To School (Paperback)
timeless classics the Jennings series - I too read these at school aged maybe 10 or 11 and remember laughing my head off, especially as I went to a private school & could empathize with all the high japes. Makes me wish I was a schoolboy in the 1950s, fishing for tadpoles in the school lake!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Struggles for the most part, 25 April 2013
By 
Mr. J. M. Haines (Merseyside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leave it to Jennings (Hardcover)
Some 45 plus years ago now, I have to admit that at such a tender age, I was very firmly in the Just William camp, so the Jennings books never figured - sadly. I am now putting that right, as I am just a big kid at heart, as we all should be. Now this is about half way through numerically from the total of Jennings books published; I've read (and will continue to do so) them all thus far, in strict order of time. However, although I suppose I could have waited until I had 'bagged' the lot, a review when midway is still relevant, or I think so anyway.

I think 12 years or so in and a book or so a year was beginning to tell on Mr Buckeridge. Although they are / were never funny to the point of threatening to induce coronaries, that actually doesn't matter: there is nowt wrong with gentle humour - a simple tale well told with enough chuckles to go round - is fine, always has been always will be, but they still have to have something. Sadly, this one - Leave it to Jennings - is for the most part, stale and unfunny, particularly the lame ending.

There are some differences too. Although the situations bare bones wise are much the same, Jennings is a little too cheeky / a little on the cocky side, and this doesn't add but detracts. Some classic lines, staples if you will, from Ole Wilkie are missing - no 'moonshine trumpery' for a start, and I don't know where 'korwumph!' has got to - missing in action? maybe even Acton. (Actually, I have a theory, we'll come to that in a moment) To just about keep this one above water, the middle bit involving stashing the goods and Jennings suggesting his pals indulge in the thespianic crowd chatter - 'rhubarb rhubarb' - is a rib tickler, but there's not much else before or after this section to write home about, or to your Aunt Angela.

Why, though? (And of course, where's my reviewing manners - this is just my opinion, you may well disagree and that's fine). But accepting this is indeed what I think, then, if I had to provide a two word microcosmic answer, maybe even just cosmic, I think that regarding these changes, (and the way that I think the humour has gone on the bus to Dunhambury for the weekend), then blame lies with - the Beatles.

Back up off the floor yet? Sitting comfortably . . .?

The series was started in the post war severely austere 40s on the wireless, they went into print in the still austere 50s, all Rations and Rickets, and where the only crowd noise to be heard on News Pathe sporting reports was 'Ra Ra Ra!' and a quick go on the rattle to cheer Compton on. The humour in books like these reflected this, up the scale somewhat from those firmly on the Monty Python Three Yorkshiremen level admittedly, but still British, quintessentially so. Plus, Mr B was writing in his time - of his time, and this - and I dare say he felt glad of this even more later when looking back - was its secret, or to expand, the secret to the great success of the stories then. However, Rickets were cured, Bananas returned, and not long after, Beatniks with horizontally striped jumpers, Van Dyke beards, silly berets and other Bohemians appeared on the scene; butlers, nannies and scullery maids said, 'Stuff you, Madam' and threw their pinnies down and went to Fords - it was the 60s, and things weren't the same. I am sure the changing times affected the style of the Jennings Books; I think Mr B tried to keep them the same to a degree but somehow, maybe with 'Blowin' in the Wind' drifting in through the ivied cottage window, felt pressured to 'unstiff' the tales, but by doing this, at least here, has dismantled the well-oiled construction and the tale suffered, and it shows.

I will carry on (. . . Regardless) of course, and I'll add an update here once I've read the lot. This book may not be a pointer to such a strong departure after all, but rather a blip, if so, then I'll say as much here, but I suspect, all in all, the later Jennings had had their day, critically at least.

UPDATE : Just to be fair; Amazon, as they have done on other books, have got reviews of one book mixed up with another. Many of the reviews here are for Jennings goes to School, not this one.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun, 25 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
when u start reading jenning -at 18--u wonder what u did when u were 11--u wonder why u didn't have all the adventures that jennings seems to have--do read the books --they are the funniest school stories ever.
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Jennings Goes To School
Jennings Goes To School by Anthony Buckeridge (Paperback - 6 Jan. 2009)
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