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The Borrible Trilogy

(The Borrible Trilogy #1-3)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The long-awaited reissue in one volume of a classic fantasy trilogy that brings high adventure to the inner-city wastelands. A small group of feral, street-wise Peter-Pan-type beings set out on three very different but related missions across the darker side of London. They are missions combining excitement, violence, low cunning, betrayal, loyalty, greed, generosity, cowa ...more
Paperback, 736 pages
Published January 16th 2014 by Macmillan (first published June 21st 2002)
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Arun Divakar
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from photographs and words I have never been to the city of London. However, this city has been made familiar to me thanks to the likes of authors like China Mieville, Jonathan Stroud and Arthur Conan Doyle. Now there is one more taker for this position and it is Michael de Larabeiti for in his Borrible Trilogy he laid out London in front of my senses to see,hear,breathe and drown in !

Three chapters in the life of a race of fiercely independant quasi-human characters named the Borribles. T
Paul Finch
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The greatest urban fantasy series you've never heard of, written in the 1970's as a scathing attack on both the establishment and, somewhat bizarrely, the Wombles.

I read this series as a child; probably around 10 or 11; again in my late teens and a couple of further times as an adult. Each time the characters were just as vibrant, the adventures were just as thrilling (and violent)and the denouement remained one of the most satisfying; and the most affecting; that I've ever found in YA fiction.
Richard Oxenham
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Obsessed with this as a young teenager. Even formed a club with friends at the time. The characterisation is wonderful throughout, and the concept of not being able to fit adult expectations is given a dark and original twist here. The trilogy really is a love letter to urban fantasy and encourages readers to explore the less advertised areas of our capital.
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borribles are small, looking like children apart from the fact that they have pointed ears, but they may be hundreds of years old, for they can live forever, unless they are caught and get their ears clipped. If that happens they will turn into regular children and will be doomed into growing up into boring, adventureless adults.

The trilogy begins with the story of the great Rumble Hunt, where nine Borribles go on a mission to stop the Rumbles invading their manors. Eight are nameless adventurer

Courtney Johnston
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I still don't understand why a reviewer would compare this to Watership Down (epic journey aside). If anything, the Borribles are updated, juvenile-delinquent Borrowers, rather than rabbits.

Having said that, boy has this trilogy dated well. Published between 1976 and 1983, and set in a contemporary (but relatively timeless) London, the lives and environment of the Borribles - children who take to the street, grow pointed ears, and never grow up, like urban Peter Pans - the story of a group of c
Chris Van Dyke
China Mieville created a list that's posted somewhere on the internet called "50 Science Fiction Novel's For Socialists." That's where I first heard of this, and everything I've read about it sounds great.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good to read this again after twenty years or so - I dimly remembered its stark violence from my preteens. A gritty love-letter to London. A positive message of multiculturalism. A surreal attack on the inanity of The Wombles.
Faheem Meer
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite books of my childhood. A simple story with a dark tone, and, an unexpectedly different perspective on The Wombles.
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe this series isn't better-known; it's fantastic. Would read this over and over again.
William Leight
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(More like 3.5 stars, really.)

The Borrible Trilogy is one of the more unusual young-adult fantasy series out there. For one thing, it is undisguisedly and proudly left-wing, far more blatantly so than, to make the obvious comparison, the Narnia books are Christian. It's possible for a child to read the Narnia books without realizing that they are in some way all about Jesus, and in some of them -- "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" springs to mind -- it's not even clear to the average non-Christia
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book to have in my grasp and ready to read at any time when I was an eleven year old, reading was a place for me to escape into a world of magic, mystery and excitement, a thing I liked to do quite often with the Borrible Trilogy. Micheal de Larrabeiti, I thank you for creating such a vivid and entertaining fantasy, one of which I highly recommend for anyone who hasn't read this story. It makes me want to laugh, cry and hug the book all at the same time for the amount of deta ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sprawling epic of a book, following a band of rather violent children who never grow up unless their ears are clipped. I remember reading the first book many years ago when I was in my early teens and I have only just got around to rereading the first one and finishing the other two.

In some ways this reminds me of a LOTR for urban delinquents (for want of a better word). Plenty of action along with a fair bit of pathos. I would recommend this for any teenager who wants a bit of grit and violen
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Whyte

The subversive trilogy about Borribles, children who have grown pointy ears and live in a gritty subculture of London; less supernatural than Neverwhere, more urban and poorer than Bevis, but sharing some context with both of those, and apparently an inspiration to China Miéville.

The first book, The Borribles, is a direct attack on Elisabeth Beresford's Womble novels. Fighting off incursion by the evil rat-like Rumbles, a crack team of Borribles sets off t
Matt Harris
May 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: big kids with big ears
So great to see this collection all together.

I first read this book around 14 years of age, and it had a massive impact back then. It was huge as was the Swallows and Amazons series, Lord of the Rings, It, and The House That Sailed Away in my childhood/early adolescence.

The book (1) is quite a wonderful but brutal romp through London by a bunch of runaway kids, who in this world mutate slightly into furtive and clever little badmouths who are handy with a slingshot, and who have some eternal ne
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this trilogy to my kids when they were between 8 and 10 years old. Out of the hundreds of books I read to them, this is the one which remains as a warm memory to this day. With my kids approaching their twenties, when talking about books, one of them is guaranteed to pipe up 'Remember the Borribles?'. No greater recommendation could I give it, a wonderful anti-establishment romp for kids but thoroughly enjoyed by myself while reading it. 5 stars aren't enough.
Dec 04, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Kwanlen retirement recommendation. 30 Nov 2016
"Because it's one of the most thrilling and original fantasy novels I've ever read. I think you'd like this book. It's a great wild weird English fantasy, and it's very well-written." --Elizabeth Hann (Meg's daughter)
Patrick Vince
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great books, love the storyline and the peter pan syndrome the kids have. Gosh don't clip my ears. A page turner all the way. I have read them over twice and shared them with my children. Highly recommended.
Richard Bush
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat subversive fantasy aimed at children but with very adult themes about growing up or in the case of the Borribles not growing up. And you will never see the Wombles in the same light again.
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-owned
The best urban fantasy series no one I know has ever heard of.
Apr 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
this is a reeeaaalllyy big book. and reeeeaaalllyy enjoyable. little street kids with pointy ears and furry little rodents. cool.
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Herrad Cristina
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Bernabe Cienfuegos
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Feb 27, 2015
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Michael de Larrabeiti was an English novelist and travel writer. He is best known for writing The Borrible Trilogy, which has been cited as an influence by writers in the New Weird movement.

Other books in the series

The Borrible Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Borribles (The Borrible Trilogy #1)
  • The Borribles Go for Broke (The Borrible Trilogy #2)
  • Across the Dark Metropolis (The Borrible Trilogy #3)