on 23 June 2010
This is a fabulous book by Enid Blyton with enchanting illustrations by Eileen A. Soper. I have two favourite parts one is when Julian is getting food for the five and is being rude but in a polite way and the other one is when they go to Kirren Island and stay in the cave and Anne is a very good house-wife or should I say cave-wife!
I have two main words, thrilling and exiting.( I could go on forever!!!) I would say it would be suitable for age five to fourteen years but still adults would like it too. I love the old-fashioned words like macintosh.
on 19 March 2014
I first encountered the Famous Five around the age of 9, courtesy of a primary school teacher who had a bookcase full of Enid Blyton and Capt W E Johns books. I adored the Famous Five and had about half the books at one time, some in original hard cover editions, but they have disappeared over the years. Despite what the politically correct brigade think, Blyton was a wonderful author and turned out hundreds of books for children of different ages. Her style made the books easy to read and the stories were adventurous and exciting at that age. I think this book, Five Run Away Together, is the best of the whole series (21 books if my memory serves me right) and I loved the way Julian, in particular, dealt with the nasty Stick family at Kirrin Cottage, and how they all camped out in the cave on Kirrin Island. Timmy was such a lovable dog (a hairy mongrel, not the collie that the BBC used for the TV version). I do agree with one critical reviewer however in that Enid's Five Find Outers & Dog series has aged rather better than the Famous Five, or perhaps it is just that these books were already intended for slightly older children and, as crime whodunits, relate better to our adult minds. Having already seen the 1963 TV series, around age 12 or so I encountered Arthur Ransome's Swallows & Amazons series of books and was totally captivated - and still am, more so as I discovered the initial stories were based on real children! My introduction to Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine series followed a year or two later, books where over time the children involved do age and eventually show late teenage feelings for one another, but his books were clearly written for a young teenage audience, not the pre-puberty audience Enid Blyton was writing for. Both Ransome and Saville set their stories in real, if somewhat disguised, locations. Blyton's books are only located in a "regional" setting, never a specific real village or town. I don't think that detracts neither does the anachronistic language and mindset. What does bug me totally is the way the publishers have "edited" these books in recent times to "modernise" them and remove what they see as outdated language and concepts - if you can, get your hands on the original text versions. As a rather poor rural working class boy, I found the stories captivating, readers were not just middle class kids, even if her main characters usually were. Apart from a few "toffs", no one where I was brought up sent their children to boarding school but that didn't mean I couldn't enjoy Darrell and Felicity in their school adventures at Malory Towers. Readers and TV viewers who are not upper middle class or aristocracy certainly don't find Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot unacceptable, yet Agatha Christie's settings and villains were almost exclusively from these narrow class backgrounds. Agatha's mindset and views are as objectionable as Enid's to the politically correct brigade - it's their loss, not anyone else's! These books were written at a different time, much of it coloured by war. Cars and telephones were not yet the everyday objects they now are; television had yet to penetrate out of the experimental stage. Read them and enjoy!
Finally a plea to AMAZON - can we please have the original text versions available for the Kindle please!
on 23 June 2009
These books are excellent for kiids and my son gets very excited reading every night which is a great educational tool. The book manages to conjure up enough fun and imagination that he can concentrate on it for a good 30 minutes each night before going to bed, learning new words, vocabulary and sentence structure and enjoying the great adventures! Highly recommended.
on 28 July 2012
I remember listening to an audio book of this when I was about eight, which my poor parents had to put up with on most car journeys, as for some reason I just listened to it over and over again. This is one of my favourites - the nasty Mr. and Mrs Stick, their horrible son and their stinky dog, a kidnapping, the island, everything! However reading it as an adult is interesting - the children's attitude to the son in question is actually pretty nasty and violent. I know he had it coming, but clearly Blyton's children weren't all sweetness and light. His behaviour is classed as appalling because he is a 'nasty' character, but our lovely main characters behave possibly even worse towards to him, with bullying, name calling and even threatened punching on Julian's part, and it is deemed acceptable, even by the police! They have a go at Mrs Stick for being hypocritical for condoning someone for kidnapping Edgar when she has done exactly the same thing. But then the children go on to do the same thing to Edgar! I'm not part of the PC brigade, I just think it's an interesting point to bring up. Was Blyton condoning such behaviour?
on 13 January 2015
Fantastic book. Bought it for my 6 year old who loved it, so exciting and a little bit scary (which he loved). I skipped some of the name calling when reading it out, (poor old 'Spotty-Face'!) ,but secretly LOVE that they have not been altered from the originals I remember. Recommend.
THE BEST FOR A FIRST READ!
Enid’s books were the catalyst which encouraged me to start reading more than 50 years ago. Thank you, Enid. The BBC, many libraries, local authorities and alleged educational experts have been completely wrong about the worth of the Blyton works. I can remember having substantial difficulty obtaining the original books as so many places would not stock them. The stories are great to read for their simplicity and straightforwardness.
When one did find copies of the book they were quite expensive all those years ago but great to own. I loved the letter on the back cover from Enid and the physical appearance of the book which I treasured as a youngster with the way the books were produced then which made them somehow much easier to read.
It’s a delight to read the stories again in middle age although recent editing has diminished some of the memories I have of the original editions and words used then (but I am now getting old). Never mind… these books remain one of my best friends for life: they began my reading adventure so do read these special adventures for yourselves.