Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Down With Skool!” as Want to Read:
Down With Skool!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Down With Skool!

(Molesworth #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  44 reviews
112 pages
Published (first published 1954)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Down With Skool!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Down With Skool!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  416 ratings  ·  44 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Down With Skool!
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Another foray into the category that is "Books I read as a child". I read this as part of "The Compleet Molesworth" which collects all four Molesworth books into one.

I wonder what a child of today would make of Molesworth? Even when I was growing up, in the 1970s, this 1950s depiction of boarding schools felt dated. An arcane world of Latin, Trig, Chizz, etc. That said, there was, and is, something wonderful about N. Molesworth's comic musings. The splendid illustrations by Ronald Searle, the i
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Fiona, Delee's Scottish friend
I teach school, which means that I am forever being serenaded with laments of how much better education was in some bygone era. Students were more respectful; students were more intelligent; most of all, students were more devoted to learning.

These experiences provide me just one more reason to love Down with Skool! Geoffrey Willans’ book purports to be the extended description by one young Nigel Molesworth of his English boarding school, St. Custard’s. Published in the 1950s, Down with Skool! p
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Molesworth 1, the curse of st. custard's. As everbode kno, st. custard's is uterly wet and weedy, but of course that is the same with all skools. Best bit: skool food, or the piece of cod which passeth understanding.
Libros Prohibidos
Pequeña gran joya completamente recomendable a todos aquellos que les guste el humor británico o que, simplemente, deseen pasar un muy buen rato leyendo un buen libro y disfrutando de unas magníficas ilustraciones. La edición de Impedimenta es, como siempre, espléndida. El personaje de Nigel Molesworth es de los inolvidables.
Reseña completa:
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As any fule kno this is the BEST book ever!

N. Molesworth M. Rayner
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a particular strain of British comic prose that reached its zenith in the late 1940s, early 1950s; no less surreal than the later Spike Milligan and Monty Python, it was satire that came out of harsher economic times, so the background is always a bit shabby, worn out, held together by string. Maurice Richardson, J.B. Morton and W.E Bowman were three of its finest exponents...

Geoffrey Willans was another master. This is the first 'Molesworth' book ('Molesworth' ought really to be written
Funny school guide. Although set in a british boarding school of the 50's there is still a lot of things which are familiar. The entire book however is written in broken english which can get annoying at times.
Overall pretty enjoyable and strangely subversive. I never would have thought that this was written in the 50's, seems much more like a product of the early 70's.
This is the kind of humour I only enjoy for 2-3 pages. After that I'm bored and can't really laugh about it anymore.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

Solo puedo aplaudir ante la publicación, si todo va bien, de toda la serie de Nigel Molesworth y que se inicia con este “¡Abajo el colejio!, obra perpetrada con el ingenio conjunto de los dos autores, Geoffrey Willans, el escritor, y Ronald Searle, el ilustrador. Simbiosis es lo que podemos comprobar que se sucede en cada página que pasa. Estamos ante una obra en que los textos y las ilustraciones están tan unidos que es difícil separar una de
Catherine Robertson
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-genius
Grabber - winner of the Mrs Joyful prize for rafia work. Just one treat among many.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
First encountered Molesworth the 'goriller of 3B' aka 'the curse of st custard's' as quite a small child who desperately wanted to go to St Trinians as Mallory Towers seemed rather too earnest and full of sporty types like Darrell Rivers. Molesworth is the complete antithesis of all the goody-goody schoolboy heroes such as Tom Brown and of a far greater criminal tendency than even Jennings. He also benefits from the wonderful line drawings of Ronald Searle allowing us, his adoring audience an in ...more
Stef Rozitis
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-novel
Bits of it were really funny but I think my dad got the humour more (seeing he went to a school more like that)

The reification of the types of masculinity in the culture of an all boy's school was the worst thing. It poked gentle fun at school (some aspects of it) but played right into sexism and homophobia with some of the jokes and seemed to really be saying that type of schooling is a good thing - there was no critical substance.

It's just humour I guess you could say but as me, a girl in Aust
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, comedy
First read while I was at skool (hem hem) these are books that I return to time and time again and they never disappoint. The adventures of our narrator Nigel Molesworth, the curse of St Custards and his skool chums (chiz, chiz). So funny and still so relevant. Mrs Grabber's speech (a woman as young as she is attractive) at sports day never fails to make me laugh out loud, "Cor strike a light". Five stars as any fule kno.
Michele Brenton
If you have never read one of the Skool books whilst sitting on the loo - you have never lived!
Very funny, I read most of the Molesworth books as a kid. Definitely not moldy chizz! I learned never to annoy the skool dogg or hide the beke's bottle of bere or eat the skool sossiges and that Peason sez helo trees, helo sky, helo berds and has the Misses Joyful Prize for Raffia work.
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: childhood, funny
First published in 1953 - an enjoyable childhood read. The deliberate spelling mistakes were amusing back then, but sadly prophetic of modern day standards.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I just loved these Nigel Molesworth books when I was young. A nice counterpoint to all the Enid Blyton prigs.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heste livro hes la ostia ke me troncho, kolega.
Robert Day
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent books!
Suzanne Moore
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Down with Skool, is the first in a series of books about Nigel Molesworth the terror of St. Custard's Boys School.

Geoffrey Willans and illustrator Roger Searle worked together on a comic diary of Molesworth's school escapades for Punch magazine from 1939 to 1942. Down with Skool was their first published book (1953), which became so popular that several books followed before Willans died suddenly of a heart attack. Willans a former headmaster, and quite possibly a young prankster in his early y
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
El ambiente de un colegio inglés descrito por un alumno descerebrado. Me gustan la idea y el tono, y en la primera mitad me eché unas cuantas carcajadas; a partir de ahí, como la estructura de los capítulos no varía y el tono de los chistes tampoco, quedé un poco inmunizado y me reí y divertí ya menos. Las ilustraciones de Ronald Searle, soberbias. La edición de Impedimenta, una gozada.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
So completed Down With Skool! (Molesworth #1) by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle. This was one of the recommendations I got here when I requested for school story recommendations last year. I started it 6 months back but put it down after one chapter. It seemed so different from anything I have read. For one it does not have a story as such - it is more like random jottings on various aspects of school by a school boy. The other thing is the language - it is full of wrong spellings and gramma ...more
José Luis
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No es fácil dar una opinión sobre un libro como este, un libro que según reza el subtítulo nos trae un “manual de instrucciones para la vida escolar destinado a los alumnos y sus padres” y digo que no es fácil porque lo que para algunos será una obra maestra para otros será una auténtica vergüenza plagada de faltas de ortografía, irreverencias y sinsentidos.

Antes de nada creo que es importante poner el libro dentro de su contexto, un libro escrito a mediados del siglo pasado y valido para todas
Ariel López Arancibia
Delirante, cómico, agudo y una crítica al sistema educacional en este libro. Suma puntos las descripciones a los adultos, los sin sentido de algunos dibujos y por sobre todo la ortografía delirante del texto. No le pongo más estrellas pues se me hizo muy corto y si bien la traducción es excepcional (titánica labor de Jon Bilbao al traducir las faltas ortográficas), peca mucho de tener un argot marcado que a los lectores de Latinoamérica costará dilucidar.
Anie Things
Un libro muy gamberro y divertido. Es verdad que la cantidad de faltas de ortografia hace que sangren los ojos al leerlo, pero es que si le quitas esto, le quitas la mayor parte de la gracia. A mí me ha dejado con ganas de más (se que hay más, lo pone en la solapa), así que molaria leer el resto de la serie.
Sarah Tipper
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I last read this about thirty years ago, aged ten. It’s a charming book and very readable today.
Molesworth senior is a great guide to all that happens at St Custard’s school and all who labour in her. You can’t help feeling a certain warmth towards all the masters, parents and fellow students he describes to us. The illustrations are magnificent.
Russell Mark Olson
If my review were based on text alone, I'd have to give this book a 4/5, but Ronald Searle's illustrations are so absolutely wonderful that they alone would give the book a 5/5. Searle is the greatest.
Interesante, divertida, aunque se desinfla hacia la mitad del libro.

Perfecto para desengrasar, para momentos en los que tenemos poco tiempo para leer.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awful
It was just too hard to read. I was spending too much time trying to figure out what the misspelled words were. It is an older book as well and many times books lose their meaning over time, which is what think happened here.
Christina Packard
A British schoolboy book is just not my type of humor.
Joshua Blair
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this in one sitting, and while it might have been funnier if I had grown up in English schools in the early 20th century, it was still fantastic. Brilliant illustrations, too.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Broken Greek
  • The Guest List
  • Whispering Death (Inspector Challis, #6)
  • Signal Loss (Inspector Challis, #7)
  • Snapshot (Inspector Challis, #3)
  • Six Days in Summer
  • Year of the Monkey
  • Batman, Volume 4: Zero Year: Secret City
  • Batman, Volume 3: Death of the Family
  • Kittyhawk Down (Inspector Challis, #2)
  • Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #12)
  • To Kill a Man
  • Batman, Volume 5: Zero Year: Dark City
  • Coraline
  • The Ivory Child (Allan Quatermain #8)
  • Wilt In Nowhere (Wilt, #4)
  • The Graduate (The Graduate, #1)
  • Who Am I, Again?
See similar books…
Herbert Geoffrey Willans was an English author and journalist, is best known as the co-creator, with the illustrator Ronald Searle, of Nigel Molesworth, the "goriller of 3b and curse of St. Custard's".

He was educated at Blundells School, Tiverton, and became a schoolmaster there. Molesworth first appeared in Punch in the 1940s and was the protagonist and narrator of five books, beginning with 1953

Other books in the series

Molesworth (5 books)
  • How to Be Topp
  • Whizz for Atomms
  • Back in the Jug Agane
  • The Lost Diaries of Nigel Molesworth

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
7 likes · 0 comments
“History started badly and hav been getting steadily worse.” 4 likes
More quotes…