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Ransome is, as always, the consummate storyteller. Here he takes the listener not only on the usual sailing adventures and cliff-hanging escapades, but also into Chinese culture. (It's no accident that, like so many of Ransome's protagonists, Missee Lee is a woman, or that her Latin is almost as refined as her sailing skills.) It is also no wonder that The Observer called this, the 10th book in the series, "his best yet...a book to buy, to read, and to read again, not once but many times". The Guardian put it "in a class by itself". For Ransome, unlike so many writers of his and our generation, was particular in writing about things he knew and had studied first-hand, whether it was a foreign culture, a classical language, a cryptographic code, or the finer points of seamanship.
(All 12 novels in the Swallows and Amazons series have been brought to life in the U.S. in print by David R. Godine, Publisher.)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By betsy on 07-02-17
This could be more offensive and boring
I have read the rest of the series as text, and find I far prefer it to this narrator. This is not the best story. They're away from the boats and have limited agency for much of the book, so it's a different type of adventure: an exoticized account of cooling their heels in China and doing Latin lessons. Sounds fun?
Larkin is shouty, especially for Captain Flint. She regularly misplaces the emphasis or tone of a sentence, and there were some whoppers of mispronunciation. (Bimeby is a dialect variant of "by and by" and pronounced accordingly. Look it up before you say an unknown word 50 times?)
The Chinese characters are written with stereotypical pidgin or exaggerated accents including consistent difficulty pronouncing R, even the Cambridge educated one. The narrator's performance of these is a non-stop embarrassment.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful