Durdles's Reviews > Jennings Goes to School

Jennings Goes to School by Anthony Buckeridge
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Dec 21, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: children-s

This, and the subsequent series of books about life at Linbury Court Preparatory School, was an unalloyed delight to the ten-year-old me. Quite how the author could write with such insight into the minds of boys of my age I found amazing. I read and re-read all the adventures of John Christopher Timothy Jennings, C.E.J. Darbishire, Selbanev, Retsim(s) Retrac and Snikliw (see "Jennings' Diary") & co. My best friend liked the books too and when I told him I thought of myself as Jennings with him as the hapless but loyal Darbi he said he thought the same (except I was Darbi). This led to arguements about relative sporting prowess and leadership qualities that remain unresolved.

Although not as widely remembered by many as Richmal Crompton's revered William books I prefered these stories at the time and was often reduced to helpless laughter. Jennings, like William, tended to take things literally and to their logical conclusion. Calling out the fire brigade to make a fire drill more authentic turned out - as so often was the case - to be an inspired decision and not only kept him from the clutches of Old Wilkie but gave him a briefly enhanced reputation. These days he'd be referred to the Ed. Psych. as a probable Asperger's.

What slightly puzzled me was how poor these middle class boys seemed to be, forever needing to survive on very little money while banking on the arrival of a postal order from absent-minded aunt Agatha to repay debts. A useful plot device though as well as a reminder of post-war austerity. Try and read the earlier books of the series if given a choice but they are all good.
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