Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ripping Yarns

Yesterday I watched the BBC television adaptation of Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club and today there is Murder Must Advertise. This set me thinking about the order in which I came to enjoy ripping yarns and I concluded that it was in this order: first, Enid Blyton's Famous Five books; secondly, Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Captain W E Johns' Biggles; thirdly, Ian Fleming's James Bond books, together with Leslie Chateris's The Saint books and certain individual works, such as Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel; fourthly, H Rider Haggards's books such as She and King Solomon's Mines (and never mind that the real mines were probably copper mines rather than diamond mines!); on then to the thrillers of Dorothy L Sayers and, finally, moving onto further individual books, such as Wilkie Collins' The Lady in White and Erskine Childers' The Riddle of The Sands. Of course, The Holy Bible and the Works of Shakespeare also contain many 'ripping yarns' too but that is axiomatic. But I cannot help thinking that modern boys, addictively locked into pointless computer games, are missing out on some thrilling tales.

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