Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just William

by Richmal Crompton
first published 1922
Kindle edition April 2009

This is the first of the series and a collection of 38 William Books by
Richmal Crompton

Whether it's a trip to the cinema, babysitting a youngster, being a page boy at a wedding, or running away from home to take a job below stairs, the 11-year old William Brown can always be relied on to create chaos and havoc wherever he goes. This short story collection (the first of 38 books) is a wonderful introduction to a classic character.

Particular stand outs are 'William the Intruder', in which William falls in love with the same girl as his brother Robert, 'The Show', which has the first of many hilarious moments from Mr Brown to round off an excellent story, and the first ever story 'The Outlaws', which sees William forced to look after a baby which he tells the rest of the Outlaws he's kidnapped in order to save face. Of course, things don't go according to plan in any of them, although there are a nice mixture of moments of triumph and despair for the youngster.

This is a blurb from the back cover of Just William:
”No matter how hard William Brown tries, his school uniform always looks tatty and disreputable, he mangles the English language in his speech and writing, and he can never remember any of the rules he's supposed to be following. Along with his gang, the Outlaws, he spends his days contriving schemes to make money, trying to get out of doing schoolwork, musing about the fact that girls are a different species and , he reckons, being generally misunderstood by teachers and all other adults.
William is one of the most self-righteous characters in English fiction, always ready with a convoluted excuse to explain away his misdemeanours and elastic lies that get stretched to breaking point”

At one point his father said, “The only thing that relieves the tedium of going out to dinner is the fact that for a short time one has a rest from William.”

I hope I can find more of the William series, whether on Kindle or in real books. He’s a delight.


StuckInABook said...

Isn't he wonderful, Janice? I've been re-visiting him lately, and can't get enough. I love that he always *means* well. Currently in the middle of William The Good.

Nan said...

I must look into these books! Pure delight. I just 'bought' it for free on the K.