{14/01/2012}   The Famous Five book review

Very annoyingly, for the last two posts, my paragraphs have been ignored. I “upgraded” the blogspot settings and it appears to be a downgrade … [hence now on wordpress, with paragraphs!]

I’ve read it!  It didn’t exactly take long to read and I did feel a little self-consious reading it on a train but I have now read my first Famous Five story as an adult!  I was right about a few things but wrong in that Anne, being the girlie girl, doesn’t stay behind to cook.  I was right about the tomboy, George, having the best ideas and right about her dog, Timmy, saving the day with barks.  The baddies weren’t thick.

In brief, the story is set at George’s family home in the middle of nowhere near the sea.  The other three children are her cousins.  They all spend the Christmas holidays with George’s parents.  They have a tutor employed to teach them every morning.  George and Timmy (who refuses to appoach the tutor – a big hint that all is not right with Mr Roland) do not like Mr Roland, in part because Mr Roland doesn’t like dogs and also because he has “thin and cruel” lips which is always a sign that someone is “spiteful and hard”.

Meanwhile, the Famous Five discover a hidden map to a secret passage.  This involves the pressing of wall panels and a lot of Indiana Jones type secret buttons and moving stones.  Then there are a few eavesdropping and spying incidents and there is even snow to ease footprint following.  George’s father’s only copy of a top secret are stolen.    There are two “artists” staying at a farmhouse over yonder, into whose rooms the secret passage leads.  Due to the eavesdropping and spying, George’s father’s top secret (war reference?) papers are retrieved.  There is a passageway chase, the girlie girl, Anne, of course trips and hurts her ankle so is helped along.  George and Timmy fend off the two artists/baddies and the top secret papers are returned to a hugely relieved Uncle Quentin.  Mr Roland meanwhile is laid up in bed with a cold.  Here is where the story takes a turn that certainly wouldn’t be realistic now!  Spoiler alert: Mr Roland is locked in his room overnight, despite his protestations.  Timmy guards the secret passage entrance and holds the two artists when they sneak in to get the papers back.  As there is so much snow around, they decide that the police wouldn’t be able to get there so lock the two con artists (hee, hee) in the room with Mr Roland.  The next day, the police ski over (!) and announce: ” We’ll just put the handcuffs on them, so that they don’t try any funny tricks.  You keep the door locked too, and that dog outside.  They’ll be safe there for a day or two. We’ve taken them enough food till we come back again.  If they go a bit short, it will serve them right!”  Excellent law and order there.

And so endeth my foray into The Famous Five, though I notice there is a Famous Five Club which I could join.  I either never wanted to join and wear the badge so “friends” all over the world would know me “at once” or I never had the required 15p postal order or postage stamps (no coins, mind).  I wonder what would happen if I wrote to the address, which is on London Wall, EC2!


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