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Summary

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 twelve 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. It all started with a coot's nest. Dorothy and Dick meet Tom Dodgeon, Port and Starboard, and three pirate salvagers all members of the Coot Club Bird Protection Society. When one of the coot's nests is disturbed by a shipful of Hullabaloos-rude holiday boaters, trouble begins. Frantic chases, calamitous boat collisions, and near drownings fill the pages of this exciting fifth addition to Ransome's classic children's series.

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 & Amazons series, Pigeon Post.

©2013 Arthur Ransome (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

“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)

What listeners say about Coot Club

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Norfolk Broads, not Lake District

This seems like a breakaway story, but it's a follow-on from Winter Holiday. Dick and Dorothea are the lead characters, but it's hard to class those they meet as secondary. Whilst they're holidaying in the Norfolk Broads, they meet the Coot Club, a group of 6 children who sail at least as well as the Blacketts and Walkers, and who share Dick's love of birds. The consequences of the nest-endangering selfishness of visitors in a powerful motor cruiser are the core of the story, and it's great fun tracking "the outlaw of the Broads" on a map, if you have one handy.

I believe Dick and Dorothea represent two parts of Arthur Ransome's own character, and are charmingly written as the eyes through which their friends are seen. "The Big Six" follows the same group in the Broads a year later, but the Swallows and Amazons return for a startling adventure again with Dick and Dorothea in the Lakes.

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another excellent listen

another excellent listen. Ransome can certainly capture the imagination of 'listeners' of all ages. Set on the Norfolk Broads this nautical adventure brings us into contact with The Coots a bird protection society, with colourful characters and fun. The 'D's, Dick and Doreatha are in the thick of it and their characters manage quite well without their friends from the north !
Once again Gareth Armstrong brings the story alive !

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Another Great Story

This was a story revisited after very many years. It has not disappointed me, just as good as I remember. Prefect escape to the Broads.

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Storming tale

Don't give your dog chocolate! a lot of safeguarding issues here! Those were innocent and unsuspecting days.

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Loved it

It makes you want to learn how to sail a boat. And it’s lovely to read of kids growing up like I did, no tablets, no tv, living life to the full, finding friendships, trying new things, living up to responsibilities. Great. I’m now going to buy the whole lot. All different, all good. Loved it.

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Book

It is there 👍 good I like it because it just seems like a laugh

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Highly entertaining for children and adults alike

Fantastic first part of 2 stories set on the Broads. Hullabaloos and bird protection galore!

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Amazing

I loved this book because it got me the repeat listener which I wanted to get. I listened to this so many times because it was sooo good. I also loved how the voices are so different from other voices and it was amazing

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True nostalgia.

Beautiful.
So much more enjoyable than I remember the book as a child.
All my local haunts described with such care and passion.
But those awful attempts at the Norfolk accents. Such a pity.

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classic children's adventure.

The narrator is excellent.
I sometimes find Dorothea's flights of fancy rather annoying, but love the adventure otherwise, and the picture it paints of the broads in the 1930s.

I have loved the Arthur Ransom books since I was about 9, and am enjoying introducing my son to them via the audiobooks.