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Swallows and Amazons is a masterpiece of children's literature, written by author Arthur Ransome and the winner of the inaugural Carnegie Medal in 1937.
Set back in the time before overwhelming and constricting parental protection became practice, this book is about four children on their Summer holidays sailing on a Lake in the English Lake's District. With parents and other responsible adults far away, they engage in adventures in the sailing dinghy 'Swallow'. While sailing around this lake they make-believe a world of exploration where they are the explorers mapping the Lake. On their journeys they meet the Amazon Pirates, establish an explorer's camp on Wild Cat Island, fight a war and sail in the dead of night.
This book is the first of a series of 12 books that take place on the Lake, the Norfolk Broads, and on the high seas and have capture the imagination of many children since their first publication in the 1930-50s.
This book is perfect for children to read or have read to them and conveys the innocence of childhood imagination and adventure in such a way that many children would love to have a holiday such as this.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Oh yes, it's a charming story well narrated.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Swallows and Amazons?
I can't say the most memorable one as I don't wish to give part of the story away! But Captain Flint the retired pirate was great, especially after peace and war, and I did enjoy Able Seaman Titty's fabulous feat - I applauded her as much as the others did.
What does Gareth Armstrong bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Having read this series of books as a child I gave all the characters my own voice. It wasn't until hearing this audiobook that I thought of course, the Amazons are bound to have accents from that region!
The flip side of that though was my thought that if Mrs Walker grew up in Australia, surely she'd have an Australian accent rather than a Home Counties one?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Captain Flint's apology, or rather John's reaction to it.
Any additional comments?
It was with trepidation that I got this book and started listening to it. This was a very much loved series of books in my childhood and I've been disappointed several times as an adult reader going back to cherished books. I needn't have feared though. A slow start until I got used to the narrator, followed by a long knitting/audiobook session had me falling back in love with this book. It's funny isn't it: as an adult with a different perspective on the world, I had a new level of appreciation of certain events within the story and a different reaction to them. As a child this book was full-on drama action and adventure. As an adult it was much more gentle, whilst appreciating that the young characters were indeed experiencing full-on drama, action and adventure! I was also better able to put the story into context from the time it was set. As a child I just thought it was a story about a set of children a long time ago. Listening now, knowing it was set in 1929 (if I recall correctly), places it at a set moment in time.I did so enjoy going back into Ransome's world and I will savour each story again. My sister and I were given the books over a few years for birthday and Christmas presents from one particular relative. It worked out at about four books a year. I'll aim to listen to them in about the same time frame so as to get maximum enjoyment again.If you choose this book I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy listening!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Having read the Swallows and Amazons series as a child and more recently to my children, I was delighted to see them now appearing on Audible.
I wasn't disappointed, finding it as captivating and enjoyable as I remembered it. I found the narrator engaging and he helped enhance the story for me.
I'm looking forward to moving onto Swallowdale very soon!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Loved it! Wonderful to revisit this gem from childhood. Beautifully read and priduced. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Well written but almost nothing happens. They pretend to be pirates. They visit people. They go fishing. There is a burglary that is almost instantly solved and a storm where they all get wet. No tension. No mystery except for the reason that Captain Flint is in a bad mood. I struggle to comprehend the popularity of this book. Nowhere near as inventive as the Narnia books or even Enid Blyton. Perhaps for 1930s British kids living in smoky towns the prospect of sailing on a lake was enough. On the positive side it does provide a lot of education about sailing.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful