Finding My Old Famous Five Books

Article by Keith Robinson

Now that I live in the USA, I'm 4500 miles from my parents' home in the UK where my old Enid Blyton books are gathering dust. Actually I gave my books to my niece, who read them and then grew out of them. She passed them back to my parents to look after. As it happens my folks flew out here to Georgia for Christmas, and I got them to bring some of the books along. I asked for the Famous Five books—what's left of them...

Old Famous Five Books from 1980

These 1980 editions are a little battered now, and very well read. I had all twenty-one books once upon a time, but only eight remain. What happened to the others? I have no idea. But flicking through these brought back a slew of memories. My favorites, or at least the ones I remember best, are Five Go To Smuggler's Top, Five on a Hike Together, and Five go to Mystery Moor. I wonder if my perception will change as I re-read them all now, twenty-five years later.

Famous Five by French author Claude Voilier

I also have another two Famous Five books. What? Another two? Yes, The Famous Five versus the Black Mask and The Famous Five and the Missing Cheetah, written by Claude Voilier and translated by Anthea Bell. There's a whole slew of these books! I started collecting them at one point, but gave up after four or five because...well, I think I grew out of them around that time. Looking back now, they don't hold the same appeal to me as the original twenty-one. That's not to say they're not well written or that they don't have the same "flavor"...but they're not true Enid Blyton and I don't think they belong here on this site. Besides, they have titles that mean something. In keeping with the originals they need nondescript titles like Five Have A Really Nice Time.