Friday, March 16, 2007

Enid Blyton rocks

A few minutes back, I finished reading a story from "The Mystery Series" by Enid Blyton. This is "The Mystery of the Vanished Prince." It is a very exciting one. Well, the stories from "The Mystery Series" are always exciting.
This story deals with the disappearance of a certain prince called Prince Bongawah. As usual, the Five Find-Outers ( Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip and Bets) come to Peterswood, their hometown, for their summer holidays. Buster,the dog is also there. Even the "Famous Five" and "Secret Seven" stories feature dogs . In the "Famous Five" series, Timmy, the dog, is actually one of the five. So, all three of Enid Blyton's mystery series feature dogs. That's one speciality of these series. Anyway, let me get back to the story. The police constable, Mr. Goon's nephews Ern, Sid and Perce also come to Peterswood. But, they stay just outside the camp that has been arranged for certain schoolboys. Prince Bongawah is one of them.
The story begins really well. It's very funny, with Fatty and his friends fooling Ern, Sid and Perce by disguising themselves as foreigners. Actually, Fatty doesn't put on a disguise. He tells Ern, Sid and Perce that he has made friends with the foreigners. He introduces Bets to them as the Princess Bongawee, the sister of Prince Bongawah. The rest are introduced as cousins of the Prince. But, this trick becomes the cause of a few misunderstandings.As a result, when Prince Bongawah disappears from the camp, the police are misguided initially. Then, Fatty and his friends own up to their trick and Fatty promises the Chief Inspector that they will try to find the Prince. But,alas! The mystery seems to have neither head nor tail. The Prince seems to have disappeared from the camp without anyone noticing anything or hearing anything. The Five Find-Outers are puzzled. The only clue seems to be a very beautiful blue and gold button. The Five suspect that it may have come off the Prince's pyjamas. The second clue comes when Sid says he had noticed a third boy in the double pram belonging to twins named Marge and Bert. What follows is a peculiar string of incidents and ultimately, the Five manage to rescue the Prince! I won't talk about the incidents in between because if I do so, I will pour out the most interesting and main parts of the plot. It's such an excellent piece of writing. It is really amazing that Enid Blyton has written 51 mysteries ( 15 each of "The Mystery Series" and "Secret Seven" and 21 of "The Famous Five") and each of these 51 mysteries have got different plots. And, they really are different. One will never find two plots of the same type. It's not that I have read all 51 mysteries, but I am absolutely certain that 51 different plots have come from Enid Blyton's head and all of them are equally good.
I also read "Fifth Formers of St. Clares", again by Enid Blyton. This is the sixth and last book of the St.Clares series. I have read all the previous books of the series, except for "Second Former's of St. Clares". The last book is equally good as its predecessors. The O'Sullivan twins (Pat and Isabel), Bobby, Janet, Claudine, Carlotta,Mirabel, Gladys, Alison, Angela, Pam, Doris and Hilary go up to the fifth form. They are joined by a new student, Anne-Marie who thinks she is a poet. Alma Pudden comes down from the sixth form and Felicity, a real genius in music comes up from the Fourth form. Together with some of the first and second formers ( Jane Teal, Violet Hill, Sally and Antoinette) , Mam' Zelle and Miss Willcox, the fifth formers entertain the readers inspite of exam pressure.
Even the St.Clares series is very good. Oh boy, Enid Blyton was really a good author. How did she manage to write such beautiful stories? Anyway, if I don't stop this discussion here, I'll go on admiring Enid Blyton forever.

16 comments:

Richa Bhardwaj said...

Even though I'm not much of a reader, I remember reading a few books from the Mystery series. They used to be exciting.
And this sounds good too.

And I see that you are enjoying your holidays. Good hai!!

Swarolipi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swarolipi said...

heyy!!
u reminded of the gud old days..
i am not much a reader.. kintu enid blyton pele aar chharte icche korto na!!
specially the Mystery series..

i r'mber my cousin used to scold me.. "u havent started reading novels yet.. i finished reading enid, nancy drew hardy boys et al.. by 8th".. tht time i was in 9th
we had got the library membership.. n thn jaake bole hindi te 'chaska' laga.. praye library te available..shob kota boi pore niyechhilam..

tumi aar ke rokom boi porte bhalo basho??

4:28 PM

Woodsmoke said...

@ Butterfly
This particular mystery is one of the many Blytons I have at home and have read at least five times.

Enid Blyton is so much a part of children's literature in our country in spite of her being a foreigner, as also someone dead for so many decades. This amply demonstrates the power and pull of beautiful writing. You would be interested to know that her work is quite unknown in America. Highly unfortunate.

We've had this conversation before so I won't linger much on this ... but it is time for you to branch out to other books. And perhaps keep coming back to Blyton every now and then.

@ Swarolipi
Kothaye gayab hoye gele? Koyekta matro post likhe? Besh bhaloi likhte to...shei shob enthu kothay gelo? Tai tomar link ta shoriye phelte holo...kokhonei update koro na.

Rohit Talwar said...

@ Woodsmoke
Whaaaattttt! Not known in America? :O

Hey Sinjini!
I remember reading some from my sister's collection..but I was never really a fan. Oh mannnn I remember we had sessions as well in junior school! :)

I know, someday, I have to make a post on my favourite writer. ASAP!

Rohit Talwar said...

And hey.. what did you think of Home? I guess you got the album..

Butterfly said...

@Richa
You bet this mystery is good.
And,I am enjoying my holidays. It would have been better if we could have gone on a short trip to Digha or any such place.But, that's not possible at the moment.So, I'm enjoying myself at home.:-)

@Swarolipi
Tumi jokhon 9th standard-e porte,tokhon je tomar Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys pora hoyni, ete beshi abak holam na. Karon ami nijei kokhono Nancy Drew ba Hardy Boys porini. Athacha, ami ekhon 10th standard-e uthchhi.:-)
Ami Harry Potter porte bhishon bhalobashi. In fact,amar shob theke favourite Harry Potter. Echhara ami ekhon Sherlock Holmes porchhi.Ota ektu kothin, kintu khub interesting.Ami Satyajit Ray-er Feluda, Professor Shonku bhalobashi. Detectiveder stories bhalo besh bhaloi lage.:-)

@Woodsmoke
Very unfortunate.:-(
I hope they have, at least, heard her name.
Yeah,I know I shud start reading other books now.At the moment, I'm reading Sherlock Holmes. Once I finish reading it(a considerable amt. is left),I'll go to Landmark bookstore again.:-)

@Rohit
Yeah,ASAP you should make a post on ur favourite writer, specially since the post on ur favourite band was really good.:-)
I listened to the songs of menwhopause. They were very good and different. I specially liked "story begin","free","dazed and confused","father monologue","puppets and paupers" and "home". My favourite from the album is "away". But,"travelling blues" is pretty boring.

Rohit Talwar said...

Travelling Blues is boring? Hmm. But am glad you liked the other songs. Would appreciate if you leave the same comment on that post - if the band members end up reading it, it'd be encouraging for them! :)

And..the post.. let me get my degree! :(

Anonymous said...

the way u described that book is really good :)

although i gen don like mystery books but will definatly check this one ..

so u enjoying holiday after exam :)



i love reading ur post too sweety n i closed my blog but that doesn mean i m not reading fav reading though i was in confusion how to comment :)

but i promise that i will definatly come back :)



Deepti

Butterfly said...

@Rohit
I left the same comment on ur blog too.:-)

@Deepti Di
Yeah, u must come back soon.:-)
It's good to know that u have been reading my blog though. I'll be waiting to see those beautiful paintings again.:-D

Subhadip said...

You are so much the quintessential bangali student! I can relate so much to stuff that you are doing now with things that I used to do! I had several Enid Blyton books at home, and used to get more from libraries. Next time I go back home, I will try to dig them up, and read them.

Butterfly said...

@Subhadip Da
That will be thrilling :-)

Amiya said...

I compleeeeeeetely agree, Enid Blyton rocks!! Man, how did she manage to write so many stories, and every one of them such a delight to read.

And again, repeating Woodsmoke (the drawbacks of commenting so late - everything has already been said before by someone else), it's a pity that two of my favourite authors, Enid Blyton and PG Wodehouse, are largely unknown in many parts of the English speaking world. Seems almost like a waste of childhood, really, not to have grown up on the Six o' Clock Tales and Adventures of the Wishing Chair (and the Faraway Tree!) and the Secret Seven Mysteries and the Malory Towers series...

Sigh, reminds me of the HUGE Blyton library I used to have at home. Had read them all at least a hundred times, no exaggeration, and also coloured and re-coloured all the illustrations (I was quite young then). I gave them all away 3-4 years back :( My only consolation now is that they must be giving hours of amusement and fantastic flights of imagination to some other children.

Long live Blyton, in our imaginations and in our hearts :)

Swetank said...

Hey! Enid Blyton's great. She's the one who got me hooked to reading totally. I remeber the first book I read by her was 'Five Fall Into Adventure Again'. I've only read her Famous Five series and nothing else, but I am a great fan of hers. I've read almost all of the books in the series.

The way you summarized the plot of the story was wonderful. You've got the gift of saying more in less words and also stating things coherently. You are going to find it very uselful one day. :)

Butterfly said...

@Amiya Didi
Ceratinly, you have done something very good by giving away your Enid Blyton books to other children. They must be really happy.:-)
And, you can always comment if you want. Don't have to worry abt being late. I'll keep on checking for sometime.:-)
Besides, even if everything has been said already, you can say it again. To see a comment from someone means a lot.

@Swetank
Your comments are always so nice.:-)
And,have you really read almost 21 books of the Famous Five series? That's an achievement.:-)

Amitesh said...

I have grown up reading Enid Blyton's books as a child. It was some kind of experience, in childhood, to read those stories. But now since I have grown up they don't have the same charm. I found one website where some novels of enid blyton are there http://blyton-online.freehostia.com . If someone wants to refresh their memories they can go through some of the stories..