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Five Get Into a Fix by Enid Blyton
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Five Get Into a Fix (1958)

by Enid Blyton

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Series: The Famous Five (17)

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Much like The Famous Five in this book, I was at home ill when I first read this novel. I remember though that despite having a slight fever and feeling in the worst state, that I was simply unable to put this book down, which should be no surprise since it is a very good read.

Perhaps it's that strong impression that this novel had on me. Or it's startling resemblance in style and content to three of the Blyton Adventure novels (love those) - "Castle of Adventure," "Island of Adventure" and "Mountain of Adventure." But this, the seventeenth in the series, is my all-time favorite of the series.

After a couple of disappointing books, this adventure seems to breathe new life into the series. Indeed it reads much more similar to the Adventure series of novels. There's also a change in locale for the book opens not in the familiar Kirrin, but instead towards the end of the Christmas holidays in the home of Julian, Dick and Anne. Soon though the group are sent to stay with the gardener's aunt (a Mrs. Jones) who rents rooms in Magga Glen in the Welsh mountain's in the hopes that the fresh sir will do the children good.

Persuading Mrs. Jones to let them stay in a mountainside chalet rather than at her farm, the Five begin to experience strange goings-on. There are underground rumblings and an eerie shimmering in the air. They also meet a young rascal of a girl in Aily (who bares a remarkable likeness to Tassie from "Castle of Adventure") and her dog Dai and lamb Fany.

Of course, one staple element in the Famous Five novels is complete without the presence of some secret tunnels and this novel is no exception. Aily shows them the passageways into a mysterious house with a tower (more shades of "Castle of Adventure") and also gives them a note she found that reveals that the woman they saw earlier in a window of the tower is being held prisoner.

That begins an entertaining series of adventures into the house and deep underground which will keep the reader engrossed. The novel itself, as with all the Famous Five adventures, is very "kid-safe" and easy to recommend.

The Famous Five novels by Enid Blyton are a British institution in the United Kingdom and occupy a place in the bookshelves of nearly every self-respecting pre-teen. When I was growing up in the UK I devoured all the Blyton books I could get a hold of and then went onto her Secret Seven and (my all-time favorite) Adventure series.

The format for the books is essentially the same - a band of children (on this case the Famous Five - Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and her dog Tim) get into a series of adventures thwarting criminals and solving mysteries. It's like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but imbued with that classic British idiom and that fast-paced, expertly crafted Blyton style that give it an edge over her American counterparts.

The success of the formula is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that the majority of the Blyton books I read were handed down to me from my mother who had received them as a child herself in the 1940s and 1950s. It's an unusual feeling opening a book and seeing it inscribed to a parent when they were your age. There are 21 stories in the series and 40 years later in the 1980s the series was even continued by French author Claude Voilier (who wrote several continuation novels).

The majority of the books are compulsive reading and even as an adult I sometimes have that nostalgic desire to return to a more innocent time and read a Blyton novel.

These books are rather difficult to find in the United States though I was able to track down one online retailer that sells them as a complete set. However, if you want to sample the Famous Five series before putting down your hard earned cash for the entire series, this novel, is well worth the expense.

Your children will thank you for it

Incidentally there is a DVD production available in Region 2 of the first Famous Five adventure adventure ("Five on a Treasure Island." In the 1970s a British television series was also produced of the Famous Five adventures, and a second one in the 1990s and a 1981 movie adaptation of the first of the Adventure series (Island of Adventure).

Recommended. ( )
  DarrenHarrison | Jul 20, 2016 |
Yet another Famous Five, ( )
  woollymammoth | Nov 22, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Enid Blytonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Karvonen, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lennerthson, KerstinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'I do think these Christmas holidays have been the worst we've ever had,' said Dick.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Famous Five are skiing and having lots of fun in the snow. But who is staying in the mysterious house near their chalet? They are sure they saw a face at one of the windows. This edition has been subtly revised for today's readers. Originally published: London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1942.… (more)

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