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The Borrible Trilogy 'the Borribles', 'the…

The Borrible Trilogy 'the Borribles', 'the Borribles Go for Broke',… (original 1976; udgave 2003)

af Michael De Larrabeiti (Forfatter)

Serier: The Borrible Trilogy (omnibus)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2056104,357 (3.8)8
This volume contains a trilogy on the Borribles, a tale of several street-wise Peter Pan types, setting out on three very different but related missions across the darker side of London. A fantasy adventure set against the backdrop of a weirdly different urban landscape.
Titel:The Borrible Trilogy 'the Borribles', 'the Borribles Go for Broke', 'Across the Dark Metropolis
Forfattere:Michael De Larrabeiti (Forfatter)
Info:Pan MacMillan (2003), Edition: Unabridged edition, 736 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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The Borrible Trilogy: "The Borribles", "The Borribles Go for Broke", "Across the Dark Metropolis" af Michael de Larrabeiti (1976)


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Borribles are small, looking like children apart from the fact that they have pointed ears, but they may be hundreds of years old, for they can live forever, unless they are caught and get their ears clipped. If that happens they will turn into regular children and will be doomed into growing up into boring, adventureless adults.
The trilogy begins with the story of the great Rumble Hunt, where nine Borribles go on a mission to stop the Rumbles invading their manors. Eight are nameless adventurerers out to earn a name, while the ninth, Knocker goes as their historian, but has another aim as well. He wants to get a second name, for all Borribles must earn their names, and no Borrible can go adventuring once he has a name. This may be his chance.
De Larrabeiti uses the streets of London as his setting, and they really do come alive in these three stories, as do the characters. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the SBG (Special Borrible Group) officers; The DAC, for example has shoes that
"shone so brilliantly that it was impossible to tell what colour they were."
while inspecter Sussworth's
"face was like a three-fingered signpost, turned by mischievous hands so that everything pointed down the wrong road…He kicked the ground when he was annoyed, he did a little three-step dance when he was pleased. He was stubborn and he was proud; his blood bubbled with a lunatic zeal, he was an evangelist for rectitude and decorum, an enforcer of law and order."
But it is the Borribles who are the heroes and they who more than entertain with their adventures and attempts to evade the SBG, as well as rescue the horse Sam who saved them on the Great Rumble Hunt.

This may be part of children's literature but it is very far from the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. The London of the Borribles is described in wonderfully grimy detail while the open spaces of the parks and fields are regarded with trepidation by the Borribles, after all there is nothing to steal there, nowhere to kip and nowhere to hide.
These stories have been out of print for years, but I for one am glad that they have been reissued. I didn't read them when I was young, but I would recommend them, especially for non-fans of the Wombles. For they, although altered, are the basis of the Rumbles of Rumbledon. Although the Rumbles are far more violent, using their sticks as weapons rathar than for picking up litter.
Darkly entertaining stories
( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |

The subversive trilogy about Borribles, children who have grown pointy ears and live in a gritty subculture of London; less supernatural than Neverwhere, more urban and poorer than Bevis, but sharing some context with both of those, and apparently an inspiration to China Miéville.

The first book, The Borribles, is a direct attack on Elisabeth Beresford's Womble novels. Fighting off incursion by the evil rat-like Rumbles, a crack team of Borribles sets off to assassinate the Rumble leadership, Vulgarian, Napoleon Boot, Chalotte, Sydney, Bingo, Stonks, Torreycanyon, and Orococco. On the way they encounter the evil Dewdrop and his son, who are a direct parody of Steptoe and Son. I remember when first reading the book being rather stunned at the bleak ending, with several of our heroes facing certain doom at the hands of the Wendles, a fascist Borrible tribe who live under Wandsworth.

In The Borribles go for Broke, our heroes challenge both the grownup police of the Special Borrible Group and the leadership of the Wendles, for a visually memorable and violent climax in a subterranean tunnel of stinking mud. And in the third book, The Borribles: Across the Dark Metropolis, they fight an epic battle with the Special Borrible Group and its hired auxiliary force of dwarves.

It's subversive stuff - unapologetically violent and opposed to the social order; and extolling the virtues of loyalty to your friends rather than to those who tell you that they deserve you respect. But at the same time it's a rather cosy anarchism; no drugs (beer is drunk by Borribles, but only in the second books and not to excess, and there are adult alcoholics), no sex, and a rather cuddly take on race. It's also rather noticeable that Dewdrop's son is mocked for his learning disabilities, the Rumbles for their speech defects, and the evil dwarves are just evil. So I'm afraid the trilogy didn't quite live up to my memories of it. ( )
1 stem nwhyte | Oct 15, 2011 |
would have been better if the characters were better differentiated from each other... ( )
  wandering_star | Jan 31, 2009 |
needed more characterisation of the individuals - would have made it a lot better ( )
  these_fragments | Nov 20, 2006 |
Excellent, gleefully dark urban fantasy, set in the grimy, murky, polluted London of around 40 years ago, before they cleaned up the river. Banned from schools for years because of the police battle scenes; definitely one for the anarchists.
1 stem botany_smelts | Sep 22, 2006 |
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This volume contains a trilogy on the Borribles, a tale of several street-wise Peter Pan types, setting out on three very different but related missions across the darker side of London. A fantasy adventure set against the backdrop of a weirdly different urban landscape.

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