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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
26
4.7 out of 5 stars


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on 1 August 2014
This is a great book and I have really enjoyed it and I would DEFINITELY recommend it to children and adults who enjoy mystery and adventure books I loved it:-)
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on 5 November 2015
THE FAMOUS FIVE

THE BEST FOR A FIRST READ!

Enid’s Famous Five books featuring Julian, Dick, George and Anne and Timmy the dog, 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 own reading adventure so do read these special adventures for yourselves.
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on 15 February 2004
It is true that this story in the 5 series stands out from the others as different - there is less contact between the 5 and the baddies and the type of mystery is different.
Something strange is happening at the butterfly farm, and there's a secret at the air force base? What's with Benny and his little pig? And is Jock's cousin as great as he seems?
This is a great book and has an extra character that is, next to Jo, the most easy to identify with and that has a huge emotional presence. This book is a little darker than the others, as well, and it is not so clear cut - of course, the 5 win the day in the end, but it is not a case of 'baddies go to prison and we all forget about it' - the events of this one are pretty serious, and overall it's a much more sombre tale. Still great though!
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on 26 August 1999
The Five go cycling over to camp on Billycock Hill, close to the farm where a friend, Toby, lives. Also nearby is the butterfly farm owned by Mr. Gringle and Mr. Brent, where everything just doesn't seem quite right: the two butterfly experts are themselves strange, and one doesn't seem to recognize a Fritillary, and goes moth-hunting on a stormy night when no moths would be around; also, old Mrs. Janes who lives there seems constantly afraid of what her "bad" son will do if strangers visit the farm.
There are other strange events, too. For instance, the Billycock Caves are nearby, and the children go exploring, only to come bolting out in panic after hearing strange noises in distant caves.
Nearby is a military airfield which is thrown into disarray that same stormy night that Mr. Brent was out moth-hunting, when two top-secret experimental aircraft are stolen and flown overseas, one apparently piloted by Toby's cousin, Jeff, who seemed so decent and admirable to everyone, especially the doting Toby, that *surely* he couldn't be a traitor to his own country? But he and a colleague are the only airmen on the airfield who are missing, so the evidence seems pretty conclusive.
The Five and Toby investigate, thinking that maybe these disparate strange events are related somehow; they focus their attention on the butterfly farm, which seems to be at the centre of things, and a plot gradually emerges, and everything eventually falls into place, with a few shocks and surprises along the way.
While this story is quite engrossing, as are all the Famous Five books, and contains its share of surprises and revelations, it seems less exciting, and the plot a bit less focused, than many of the other Famous Five books. The children barely come into contact with their opposition, if you don't count the enigmatic butterfly men, who may or may not be real antagonists, and certainly not the main ones; the only contact with anyone more sinister than the butterfly men occurs in one brief burst, unlike most of the other Famous Five books, where the conflict between the two sides is usually far more direct, and much longer. This remoteness of the real antagonists probably accentuates the effect the story gives of being less exciting, less focused. The story itself seems rather episodic, not building up momentum in the same inexorable way that some of the other stories do. It might be a flaw that the most exciting moment just referred to comes several chapters before the end of the book. And it *is* only a moment, not several chapters long like many other Famous Five climaxes, and it is less exciting than most of those other climaxes even while it lasts.
Also, a significant flaw in the nuts and bolts of the plot is where the two stolen planes crash into the sea, killing the two pilots (extremely rare instances of death occurring in Enid Blyton's novels, albeit off-stage). Unless the planes were sabotaged (which was not mentioned, and wouldn't fit in with the plot), it just lacks credibility that *two* planes should crash (presumably accidentally) at the same time, and even the fact that it was a stormy night does not seem sufficient explanation, although you are left to presume that the storm did it, because no explanation was given for why the planes crashed. (I suppose the storm *could* do it, if it was extremely severe - but it didn't seem *that* severe.)
Those negative things said, the book is certainly as readable as any of the other Famous Five books, and you *do* keep reading to find out what happened - especially if you are indulging in a little nostalgia and reading it again for the first time in perhaps 35 years, as I did recently, and have forgotten most of the details of the plot.
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on 19 June 2005
What can i say? Like all Famous Five books, it supplies hours of enjoyment. The overall story seems darker and more grown up than the normal stories. But still ab fab! Read it when in a boring car journey like i did!
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on 8 March 2014
I never read these books as a child so I thought I would have a read. At 57 I think they are brilliant. Some o them have been brought up to date but I am up to number 15 in a few short months. Once I start I just read and read. They are great when I can't sleep. I love them. Have a read whatever your age.
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on 20 November 2015
THE FAMOUS FIVE

THE BEST FOR A FIRST READ!

Enid’s Famous Five books featuring Julian, Dick, George and Anne and Timmy the dog, were the catalyst which encouraged me to start reading more than 50 years ago. Thank you, Enid. The BBC, many public libraries, local authorities and alleged educational experts have been completely wrong about the worth of the Blyton works. I can remember having quite a lot of 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 in some of the editions, and also 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 own reading adventure so do read these special adventures for yourselves.
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on 20 January 2001
They are both sooo good.Billycock hill-The Famous Five meet Jeff a world class pilot. He seems really nice then he disappeared and many accused him of stealing top class equipment. The Five know he's not a traitor and they go to great measures to prove he's innocent. Five get into a fix is when the five go to the mountains and strange things are happening there-the ground is shaking and funny amazing colours are appearing in the sky... Very exciting you will really enjoy them and that's a fact!!!!!!!
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on 2 March 2008
The Five decide to bike to Billycock Hill, where Julian and Dick's school friend Toby lives on a farm. Toby has all the camping equipment the Five will need, so they can camp high up on the hill overlooking the countryside--and a nearby secret airfield. At the farm the Five meet Toby and his little brother Benny. Benny is a very funny, cute kid with a pet piglet called Curly. He's very proud indeed to talk about his cousin Jeff, who's an RAF pilot working at the secret airfield nearby. And when Cousin Jeff comes to visit one day, everyone is quite taken by him--even Timmy, who immediately offers his paw in greeting!
Near the end, Benny runs away and leaves a message on Curly saying `Runned Away'
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on 1 July 2014
I chose the five-star rating because Five go to Billycock Hill is a great book and I had an amazing time reading it! Enid Blyton is one of my favourite authors and every book I've read by Enid I've adored. I loved the part where Anne is compared with Alice in wonderland since she is carrying a baby pig!!! If you like the famous five series then this is the book for you!!! I would recommend this to as I've mentioned anyone who has read the rest of the series!! This book is worth the money you have to pay for it!!!
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