For anyone who loves sailing and adventure, Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons series stands alone. Originally published over a half-century ago, the 12 books are still eagerly read by children and adults alike - by all those captivated by the world of adventure and imagination. Such longevity is not only due to Ransome’s unparalleled gift of storytelling, but also his championing of qualities such as independence and initiative; virtues that appeal to every generation, whether young or old.
In this latest adventure, the Walker family goes to Harwich to wait for Commander Walker's return. As usual, the children can't stay away from boats, and this time they meet young Jim Brading, skipper of the well-found sloop Goblin. But fun turns to high drama when the anchor drags, and the four young sailors find themselves drifting out to sea - sweeping across to Holland in the midst of a full gale!
Arthur Ransome was a prolific writer of children's books. Born in Leeds in 1884, it was his father, a nature-loving history professor, who inspired his love of the outdoors and nurtured a passion for fishing. As a child he enjoyed active, outdoor holidays: sailing, camping and exploring the countryside. He used many of these holiday settings for his children's stories, notably the much-loved Swallows and Amazons, a book that sits comfortably in the category of ‘timeless classic’. In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for the sixth book in the Swallows and Amazons series, Pigeon Post.
“Enchanting and escapist” (Sunday Express)
“There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating” (Times Literary Supplement)
“Thrilling not only to young readers fond of the sea, but also to older readers who remember how they enjoyed sea stories when they themselves were young” (The Scotsman)
“All the thrills of Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe" (Daily Telegraph)
“Absolutely fantastic” (Daily Express)
This story suddenly puts John and Rogers in the foreground and they thrive on it. The strong, safe and down to earth Susan shows her emotionally side in a way that 'that can't be Susan'. Titty takes more of a less part in this one almost as though A.R. felt he needed to push the others. Nice That is just the Swallows in this book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Although this is a children's story, I enjoyed it immensely as an adult of advanced years! As a child I loved all the Arthur Ransome books. Returning to this book after many, many years - I still found it a great story. It is full of adventure, suspense and, of course, has a happy ending. The children in this story were not tied to mobile phones and computers (which hadn't been invented then) - they were out and about enjoying what life had to offer and learning useful skills in the process.
Basically the four Walker children were in a yacht, waiting for the owner to return and take them off sailing. However fog came down and the yacht started drifting. Before they knew it they were out at sea on their own. They had all sorts of harrowing problems but eventually arrived safely in Holland. A heart-warming yarn.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
My favourite of all the Swallows and Amazons books, beautifully and gently read. Loved all the different voices provided by the narrator.
Would you listen to We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea again? Why?
I would listen again. It was excellently read.
What did you like best about this story?
The fine reading voice and the fantastic story
What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?
Animated but not hammed up dramatisation.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes I couldn't put it down....
Any additional comments?
If it happened today, they would all be on their mobile phones to say they were adrift.
It is not the story I was hopping for and it was not the book I was looking forward to with another adventure