Sunday, 20 January 2008

Fossilised fishhooks

Comfort reading. We all need it from time to time.

And what could offer more comfortable pleasure than a dip into the schoolboy stories of Anthony Buckeridge?

The irrepressible Jennings and his bespectacled sidekick Darbishire are boarders at Linbury Court Preparatory School where day-to-day life oscillates, as it does for small boys, between joy ('wizard') and misery ('ozard', or, worse, 'ozard cubed').

J and D's adventures, to be honest, aren't very adventurous. This isn't Mallory Towers, let alone Hogwarts.

The two boys, always well-intentioned, get into 'scrapes' - usually to the intense annoyance of highly combustible schoolmaster Mr Wilkins ('I, I, I... corwumph!').

Matters are usually brought to resolution through the gentle intervention of Mr Wilkins' opposite number - Mr Carter, a teacher blessed with a wry turn of phrase and an innate understanding of the not-all-that-complex psychology of nine-year-old boys.

Anthony Buckeridge's skill is to find laugh-aloud comedy in the lives of boys who are basically kind, honest and truthful.

That Jennings and Darbishire are never cloying, dull or prim is a bit of triumph.

1 comment:

St said...

Fosilised fish-hooks Mr G these were also St's comfort reading when off school with those week-off diseases of tonsilitis, measles and chicken pox. What clodpolls we are.