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===Cost and Editions=== Paperback: 224 pages Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (3 May 2012) ISBN-13: 978-1444908688 This is the 70th Aniversay edition and has a new Oliver Jeffers' cover art. There are many other editions of this book and as well as possibly being able to download a PDF version you can listen to the whle thing for free on Youtube as an audio book. ===Brief Synopsis=== The fourth Famous Five adventure, featuring siblings Julian, Dick, Anne, with their cousin George (real name Georgina) and her dog Tim. This time the five pals end up going to stay at Smuggler's Top - a large old house situated on marshland. The adventures start when they discover secret tunnels and night time signalling. Are there smugglers about? ===My Opinion=== This is the fourth story in the series of 'Famous Five' books and was written in the 1940s. The Famous Five are three siblings, their cousin and a dog. Once again this story starts with the three siblings coming on visit in the Easter school holidays to stay with their cousin George. However there is a twist at the start of this story - to get the children to a different venue. There is a storm and Kirrin Cottage is rendered uninhabitable - but where can the children go? Will they be sent back to their boarding schools? No - conveniently Uncle Quentin is in contact with a fellow scientist whose son is in the same boarding school as they boys - so they all get invited over to stay at his home at Smuggler's Top - which is an old house situated on Castaway Hill - a place that had once been an island but now a small village on a tny piece of land surrounded by town walls and on what is now reclaimed moorland. Smuggler's Top sits on the summit of this tiny outcrop of rock. The man they go to stay with is called Mr Lenoir who just happens to hate dogs. However George cannot bear to be parted from her trusty canine companion Timmy - so a lot of the beginning of the book involves ensuring Mr Lenoir does not find that Timmy also arrived with the children. Most of the rest of the story involves Smuggler's Top - with lots of talk and exploration of hidden tunnels and secret panels. There is much talk of where the tunnels go from and lead to - and also a weird servant who is supposed to be deaf - but is he? A bit of a change from the children spending their time on Kirrin Island and Kirrin Cottage. Great if you enjoy imagining secret tunnels. In this story the Famous Five are joined my Mr Lenoir's son and daughter - who also join in with some of the escapades. The ending involves Uncle Quentin who had also came to stay at Smuggler's Top, and although the ending may be a bit weak regarding why all the adventures took place in the first place, being a children's book this would not have mattered as they would not have bothered to have thought through all the repercussions. Another adventure tale involving the children pitting their wits against adults. There are secrets to discover, night time signalling to sort out and also what has happened to poor Timmy the dog! Great for those who enjoy these old adventures - and enjoyable for younger children if they are being read to - older children may read them for themselves - for those few that still do! Some editions have a few illustrations but mostly the children (or adult) has to use their imagination - which is much better. ===Star Rating=== 5 stars. ===Would I Recommend?=== Yes. ===Full FAnous Five Series=== Five on a Treasure Island (1942) Five Go Adventuring Again (1943) Five Run Away Together (1944) Five Go to Smuggler's Top (1945) Five Go Off in a Caravan (1946) Five on Kirrin Island Again (1947) Five Go Off to Camp (1948) Five Get into Trouble (1949) Five Fall into Adventure (1950) Five on a Hike Together (1951) Five Have a Wonderful Time (1952) Five Go Down to the Sea (1953) Five Go to Mystery Moor (1954) Five Have Plenty of Fun (1955) Five on a Secret Trail (1956) Five Go to Billycock Hill (1957) Five Get into a Fix (1958) Five on Finniston Farm (1959) Five Go to Demon's Rocks (1960) Five Have a Mystery to Solve (1962) Five Are Together Again (1963) ===Website=== www.enidblyton.net/famous-five/five-go-to-smugglers-top
I remember reading this in the throws of my youth! Well I was about seven or eight perhaps. I do believe I read all the Famous Five novels, excepting maybe one or two. This happened to be one of my personal favourites, thanks to a gripping plot, interesting characters and of course, all the usual charm that came with the novels. Who Are The Famous Five? Julian, Dick and Anne are all siblings. Together with their cousin George and the ever faithful Timmy The Dog, they spend holidays together and usually end up on a path to adventure. The Plot: This story sees the Five travel to the mysterious Smuggler's Top. where they stay with an old friend Sooty (otherwise known as Pierre.) It is not long before the gang start to notice strange things going on where they are staying. Who is the odd Mr Barling? Just what is going on with the creepy man servant Block? And is Sooty's father involved in some kind of smuggling plot? All these questions and more are posed... Characters: The gang are all here and we get a good balance of the characters, though it is George who seems to be vying for centre of attention as usual. Sooty is a neat additon, giving their team one extra hand. The best character in the novel though is Block, who is the servant to Pierre's father. Block is depicted superbly as a creepy, dark brooding sort and he will definitely give you the shivers. Locations: Aside from the eerie Smuggler's Top, the lone marshes in the area add to the atmosphere, creating an air of unease. Suitable For: The book is designed for children, though I would recommend children under eight should read with an adult as there are some scary characters and situations which could give you nightmares. I know it did me! Otherwise, a jolly fine read.
OK, do tell me if these Famous Five reviews get too repetitive and dull, don't just hunt me down with pitchforks! I started to realise as I continued to work my way through the series that there's not really a lot to say that I haven't commented on before... However, I see it as that each book does have a different plot to it and that alone may encourage somebody browsing the site to purchase that book over the others so here goes... Enid Blyton is of course the author behind these magical books that continue to enchant and entertain children and adults alike some 60 years after they were first published. As always the main characters are siblings Julian, Dick and Anne Kirrin and their cousin George and her dog Timmy. So fourth in this series of 21 books is the 184 page long 'Five Go To Smuggler's Top'. Not the most original name for a place but this book marks the first time in the series where we're not treated to another 'adventure' at George's parents' home of Kirrin Cottage as that place was beginning to feel like a bit of a cursed hole! Just to sort of reinforce this the children do return there at the start of this novel but a freak gale causes severe damage to the house and they're packed off instead to stay with Mr Lenoir, a scientist whom George's father Uncle Quentin has a respectful relationship with. Mr Lenoir's son 'Sooty' and his younger sister Marybelle also feature heavily in this book, the former being a friend of Julian and Dick's from boarding school. Upon arriving at Smuggler's top the five are amazed to see that the place is set upon a dangerous marshland swamp and soon find all sorts of mysteries and secrets lurking in the Lenoir's house - not to mention something extremely sinister about the supposed deaf servant Block and an old man who lives in the village called Mr Barling. With Mr Lenoir's hatred of dogs the book also develops interesting side plots which involves George's dog Timmy being snuck around the house through various passageways in the walls. Things get even more complicated when Uncle Quentin arrives for a visit and finds himself the victim of a kidnap plot which sees the five pursue a dangerous journey underground against their toughest opponents yet... Blyton stereotypes her characters to the nth degree, in particular George, who wishes to be a boy and as of such dresses like one and Anne who is always shown as quite mousey and frail. That coined together with the outdated language for some of the words and the books can be quite enjoyable to re-read all this time on. This story will be fascinating for children as it sees the series in a whole new light. It's much darker due to the new surroundings the Five find themselves in and the protagonists are much darker and creepier than anything that came before them. Block in particular used to gives me shivers when I read about his monotone expressions and movements and he puts me in mind of some sort of Frankenstein type creature. The language is simple and easy to understand but shines with an energetic and magical glow. For the first time since picking up the first Famous Five book it feels that Blyton has confidently hit her stride and she delivers a suspense filled book that throws mystery after mystery at the reader until it bubbles over into an exciting climax with all the threads weaving themselves together.
Five Go To Smuggler's Top is the fourth adventure for the Famous Five, who are Julian, Dick and Anne Kirrin, their cousin George (Georgina) Kirrin and her dog Timmy. The book was written by Enid Blyton and, at 184 pages, is a perfect read for children. It is part of a 21 book series written by Blyton, and this one was first published in 1945. In Five Go To Smuggler's Top, the Famous Five spend some holiday time with a school friend of Julian and Dick, Sooty Lenoir. He lives with his family in a place called Smuggler's Top, a remote castletop town surrounded by marshland. Soon after their arrival, they discover secret passages and funny goings-on, as their are rumoured to be smugglers still active in the town. As George's father Quentin arrives to stay to work with Soot's father on some top secret scientific work, he is kidnapped. Coupled with strange lights from a tower and the mysterious Mr Barling, the Five investigate the kidnapping against the wishes of Soot'y father, and land themselves in the middle of another enthralling adventure. The book is naturally written with children in mind, and as such it is very easy to read. Blyton's series has become well known throughout the world, and they are immensely popular with children, who are naturally adventurous. The series of book I have was released in 1985, and it features illustrations by Betty Maxey at intervals. It cost £1.50 at the time. You can get Five Go To Smuggler's Top for £3.49 brand new.