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Summary

Here are 10 hilarious stories from the genius pen of Richmal Crompton, featuring legendary, lateral-thinking schoolboy William Brown. Stories include "William the Superman", "William Puts things Right", "William's Birthday", "William and the School Report", "William Goes Shopping", "The Christmas Truce", "The Outlaws and the Hidden Treasure", "William and the Cow", "William and the Twins", and "William Helps the Cause".
©1930 Richmal Crompton (P)2007 CSA Telltapes Ltd.

Critic reviews

"The humour needless to say is as dry as ever, and while William remains eternally 11, age has not withered Jarvis' youthful delivery." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about William's Happy Days

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The antidote to Enid Blyton

Martin Jarvis has made a nice little sideline of reading Richmal Crompton's William books on the BBC for ages. Then they appeared on tapes and CDs, and now they are available here. If you haven't heard them before, then you are in for a big treat, just so long as you can accept the conventions of early to mid-twentieth century British middle-class life. My own early life was a generation after William's, although I did go to school wearing grey flannel shorts, a school cap, blazer and tie, we had no servants at home, and the increase in road traffic curtailed my generation's capacity to roam widely.



Once you have projected yourself into this prelapsarian age then the antics of William and the Outlaws become compulsive. In much the same way that P. G. Wodehouse's books appeal to those who cannot have been acquainted with realities on which they draw, Richmal Crompton's stories set eternal themes and their inevitable conclusions in a way which often leads the reader, or in this case listener, to collapse in fits of uncontrollable mirth. This was proved by my grand-daughter, who is still eight, becoming a hopeless devotee of the stories. Her background could not be more different from that of William and his chums, but she will sit quietly for hours listening to Martin Jarvis's voice on her iPod.



And there, of course, is a major part of the appeal. Through many years of narrating the books Martin Jarvis has developed a capacity to inhabit the world and to animate the characters which adds considerably to the pleasure of the books. His sense of timing and delivery has been honed to a razor sharp edge, and the personalities and scenes come to life in a vividly entertaining way.



Of course, if your preferred children's book character is Rastamouse then you may find William unsatisfactory.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A good performance, Shameful putting together.

This is Brilliantmasterpiece by Martin Jarvis, funny, witty and altogether just William!
The reason why I'm not giving a five-star review is due to the shameful fact of audible not being able to correctly mark the chapters. Instead of having each chapter with the correct name of the story in the chapter all you get is Chapter 1, Chapter 2 etc.
to many people this may not make a difference, but as for me, this is one of the main reasons I buy at audible

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A pleasure to revisit a childhood friend.

If you could sum up William's Happy Days in three words, what would they be?

Amusing, warm and timeless. I loved these books as a child in the 80's, having no idea that they were set the 1940's. William's adventures have a universal appeal that feels real and new in any decade.

What was one of the most memorable moments of William's Happy Days?

Anything at all involving Jumble the dog.

What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

Jarvis didn't overwork the humour or sarcasm and gave William a voice that is believable and lively.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

William versus the world: This time it's personal.

Any additional comments?

I love revisiting childhood favourites as audiobooks ('Swallows and Amazons' are also well worth a listen,) and this didn't disappoint. The characters are still just as warm and somehow believable, and William's blunt charm is just as endearing as ever.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun stories excellently narrated

Another heart-warming William book - great fun for adults and children alike as I can attest.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

What a story!!!!

It's very witty and funny,I could listen to it all day which I do!

I would recommend this audio to my best friend because he's always getting into trouble and he is always cheeky😛😯

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent as always

The combination of Richmal Crompton's stories & Martin Jarvis's superb characterisation make for pure pleasure.

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I love William

Lose yourself in these hilarious stories and remember or otherwise wish they returned, the days of such a care free life, safety, innocence and charm. You can never go wrong with any William stories. Absolutely delightful.

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Just William

BEST AUDIOBOOK EVER! Martin Jarvis is a really good narrator and he does William's voice BRILLIANTLY! Three cheers for Martin Jarvis!!!!

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Wonderful

Loved all these William books as a child and as an adult. Martin Jarvis brings the scamp to life!!!!

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Really Good

Really good book for those who like adventure!
Not much to dislike
I really recommend it

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mama C
  • 23-07-09

Fun, Light-hearted Stories

The"William" stories are delightfully written, always amusing. Martin Jarvis does his usual excellent reading. I recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sameer
  • 05-07-15

Great book

Nice book! classic William Brown - I've enjoyed all his stories since I was a kid and this one doesn't disappoint!

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  • Daniel
  • 19-06-15

My Happy Days too

I grew up reading Richmal Crompton's account of the irascible eleven year old. I love to listen to them, especially read by Martin Jarvis. What a treat!