©2001 Mary Norton; (P) BBC Audiobooks LTD
"The magic and charm of the writing convince children and grown-ups, too, that Borrowers really do exist." (School Library Journal)
"A rare and delicious addition to children's literature?deserves to take its place on the shelf of undying classics." (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Great reading draws you into the dangerous and charming world of the Borrowers. Crisis has launched father, mother, and daughter into an adventure that the daughter welcomes, the father determinedly copes with, and the mother endures reluctantly, longing for respectable safety but rising to every emergency. The story is beautifully crafted. It's a joy (and a chuckle) to see the world from the borrowers' perspective. Well-chosen details are vividly described, while suspense, surprise, and action drive the story. Throughout the book, it's refreshing to see a family of three strong and very different individuals who love and stand by each other.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Mary Norton???s The Borrowers (1952) begins with old Mrs. May telling to a ???wild??? girl called Kate a story that her younger brother told her when they were children. The story is about his meeting a family of little people--???Borrowers???--living secretly beneath the kitchen floorboards of Aunt Sophy???s big old country house and ???borrowing??? what they need from its ???giant human beans.??? Could he see things other people couldn???t see, or was he only making believe? Kate wants to believe all of it. Inside that frame, Norton recounts how the family of tiny Borrowers, the Clocks, go about their daily lives until their comfortable existence ends after they are seen by a giant human boy, Mrs. May???s nine-year-old brother.
I love the vivid depiction of the way of life of the Clocks, mother Homily, father Pod, and thirteen-year-old daughter Arrietty, from their miniature point of view. They are so clever at adopting and adapting items borrowed from the big house: postage stamp paintings, toothbrush hairbrushes, cigar box bedrooms, and so on. And they must at all costs avoid being seen by humans, because ???No good never really come to no one from any human bean,??? as Pod says to Arrietty, who is chafing at being confined to their dark passages under the floorboards. The contrasting perspectives of the boy and Arrietty are amusing, he calling borrowing stealing, she saying that ???human beans??? are dying out (because she???s only ever seen a few), he saying that he???s seen hundreds and thousands of ???human beings,??? but only two Borrowers, and so on.
Rowena Cooper gives a clear and passionate reading of the book, and I like her commonsensical Pod, adventurous Arrietty, and lonely boy, but her Homily is too shrill for my ears.
The novel is poignant. The first chapter reveals that the boy grew up to be killed in war, and Mrs. May is an old woman remembering him and his story about the Borrowers, who even when he was a boy were dwindling. There is, then, a lot of loss in the book, of loved ones, familiar homes, and youth. There is also a lot of yearning for adventure, companions, and possessions. And finally it is ambiguous as to whether or not the Borrowers really exist or were made up by the boy, Mrs. May, and Kate.
But they must exist! It???s so wonderful to imagine that whenever we lose something small, an earring, a safety pin, a watch, a Borrower has borrowed it.
I read these books as a child and loved them. It was delightful to listen tho them again as an adult. The reader brought the characters to life and once again I was transported to the underside of the world where all the things that had ever disappeared from my room were found...
I chose to get The Borrowers to play during a long drive with my parents (74 years old) and my 17-year-old daughter. The story was as wonderful as I remembered and it was a treat to have it read in Rowena Cooper's marvelous British accent. Even my father, who seldom reads any fiction, enjoyed it! Now my daughter and I have been listening to the sequels whenever we drive together, and it is a marvelous bonding experience.
petite family fun
All the household objects that the borrowers borrowed to use in their own home . I thought that was really cute. The story can really get young imaginations sparking!!!
No, I had never heard any performances by her before but I would be keen to listen to more. Rowena has a wonderful voice.
The old lady in the bed talking to one of the borrowers. It was so sweet and touching.
A lovely book to share with young people to get their imaginations running overtime.
Hi, well first of all, I love books, I have been reading since I could remember. Is something that I'm very passionate about. BOOKS FOREVER!
Yes, of course, the narration was fantastic and the story itself was wonderful.
I think for me was when she first went out to get some things for the house. Then, she saw the huge house and how big everything was.
Oh yes, It was amazing, I love the way she gave life to her characters.
Never think that anything in this world is ordinary!
Read all of these as a child, and still love them now. The tale is funny and joyful, a little bit scary and all the things needed for a great imagination!
Ariel, so interested in what in "the world" is going on.
The first encounter with...the boy (but old lady was funny too with her meeting... Saw one or two? "drank a little too much " but your seeing so many...bring all the Madeira? up here."
Have you ever sworn you left something "right there" and can't find it now? It could be you have Borrowers in your house!
Loved the WHOLE set. How come you don't have the borrower's revenged?
My children read them, and now I'm introducing them to the next generation.
It reminds me of a cartoon show I watched as a small child called
When the roof came off their
She reads in a very animated way that is enjoyable but not too over the top.
Ha ha..Funny!! I wouldn't DARE make a film of this book, because Studio Ghibli is in the process of doing so and I can't imagine being able to compete with Hayao Miyazaki.
A few Studio Ghibli Movies are: Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle and Kiki's Delivery Service in case yould like to look them up for reference. :)
Great book! Looking forward to seeing it adapted as a movie in the future!
Probably. It was short, so good for listening to on a trip.
Watership Down. don't really know why, it just reminded me of it. Especially, when they had to move out to the field.
I got really upset when the mean old cook tore up the floor boards & destroyed their home. I was also really sad that the boy never knew that they made it OK.
I'm finding all these copyrights for 2003 by Mary Norton, yet my 5th grade teacher read this story to us in 1965. Must be a re-up, huh?
I loved the Borrowers books and TV series in the 90's, so was pleased to find them on audio. Rowena Cooper is a fantastic narrator, giving the characters individual voices without sounding ridiculous. She is also very easy to listen to. Make sure you buy all 4 at once (where is the final Borrowers Avenged??) as once you get started, you will not want to stop!
"An old favourite that spans the generations"
I love this story. It was the very first audiobook i ever listened to (i had it on cassette) when i was about 5yrs old and i have been addicted to both this book and audiobooks in general ever since.
The writing flows well and the narration is well paced, clear and easy to listen to.
This piece spans the generations, my grandmother and my children listen to it and so will many other generations to come.
"A new way to enjoy an old favourite"
The Borrowers has always been one of my favourite books. Rowena Cooper does it full justice and I picked up so many nuances I had not noticed when reading. She really brings out the "human bean" side of the Borrowers - arrogant, foolish, brave.
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