Sunday, January 29, 2017

Five go parenting, Five on Brexit Island, Five go gluten free

In time for Christmas a series of Enid Blyton Books for Grown-ups was released. Based on the well known Famous Five series by Enid Blyton, this collection of books has been written by Bruno Vincent in the style of the original books. However the books in this series use twenty-first century themes and events for adults.

There are five titles in the series:
Five go parenting
Five go gluten free
Five go on a strategy away day
Five give up the booze
Five on Brexit Island

In Five on Brexit Island Anne, Dick, George and Julian with Timmy decide to camp at Kirrin Island to escape the fuss caused by the Brexit referendum. Not surprisingly George and Julian have opposing views on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.  When the referendum result is known George, who owns Kirrin Island, decides to declare the island independent from the mainland.

As the title suggests, gluten free eating is the topic of Five go gluten free when the group, led by Anne, go on a restrictive diet. Who is going to give in first and will their friendship survive?

Five go parenting was the first title that I read in the series. This is an account of how the group survives when suddenly presented with a young child to look after. There are some mildly amusing incidents in this book.

As parodies of the original books, these titles don't take long to read and have a few amusing, but not necessarily laugh out loud, moments.

Illustrations from the original books, with text from the new version, are scattered throughout the pages. The illustrations, however, are not in context with the story being told. I found this annoying in the first title that I read and ignored the illustrations in the other two volumes.

The covers are illustrated by Ruth Palmer in the style of Eileen Soper who illustrated the original books.

All in all a good idea that doesn't quite work.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Bertie Project

Irene has returned home and so the Bertie Project can continue. Seven year old Bertie, however, enjoyed his months of freedom with just his father and his grandmother looking after him. Irene therefore discovers that she has lost some of her control. Stuart has also discovered the joys of not being totally under the control of his wife. But will the changes in Scotland Street last?
The story of Bertie and his family, intermingled with stories of other characters associated with Scotland Street, continue to provide entertaining reading. This is the eleventh title in the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith.