Anthony Buckeridge - Shastrix Books

Anthony Buckeridge

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The Jennings Report

The Jennings Report

Anthony Buckeridge

12th November 2023

Book 19 of the Jennings series once again sees a varied set of events which tie together into mishap and misunderstanding. Not however one that I have any memory of from when I would have last read it as a child.

Possibly more holistic than some of the other novels, this one is structured around the rescue of a hibernating hedgehog, who plays a role throughout.

The story comes together well, although some aspects of the middle seem to lack payoff, and I’m not sure that they add enough comedy value without that.

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Trust Jennings

Trust Jennings

Anthony Buckeridge

27th August 2023

Jennings and his friends return for another set of chaotic adventures caused by misunderstanding and/or wilful misinterpretation of rules and instructions.

This feels like a perfectly workable entry to the series. The plot comes together nicely into the usual three-act structure, with excellent foreshadowing and callbacks.

But it just doesn’t quite have the energy and hilarity that I found in the previous story - Jennings in Particular - which felt one of the best.

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Jennings in Particular

Jennings in Particular

Anthony Buckeridge

16th July 2023

I’ve been slowly re-reading this series from my childhood over the past decade and a half, and this is one of the most enjoyable.

These are the tales of JCT Jennings, a boarding school third-former in an indeterminate mid-20th century decade. My copy is from the 80s and had been updated with decimalisation and probably other tweaks.

The three act structure that marks the series continues to be present, and ties together really well into an overall series of comedic entertainment which really kept me hooked.

Probably my favourite of the series.

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Jennings Unlimited

Jennings Unlimited

Anthony Buckeridge

11th October 2020

It’s been a while since my last trip to Linbury in my re-read of the Jennings series, but this was a welcome visit to the sixteenth novel.

This is an absolute classic of the series, in which everything adds up and ties together, with the distinct episodes clearly linked into one overall narrative, possibly in the best way of the series so far.

It’s funny, it’s silly, and it all make such perfect sense from the point of view of the ten-year-old main character.

I really enjoyed this re-read.

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Especially Jennings

Especially Jennings

Anthony Buckeridge

29th July 2018

The fifteenth Jennings story sees the foundation of the Jennings Membership Club - along with a variety of other mishaps that leave Jennings and his friends in various quantities of trouble with the school staff. It’s one of the stories that I read as a child but not one with a plot that particularly well stuck in my memory, so it was a delight to re-read.

As usual, many of the problems of Jennings’ young life and initiated through not thinking about long-term consequences, poor communication, or just unfortunate misunderstandings. The book portrays a delightful world of a boarding school from history, that is perhaps only half close to reality.

Some of the storylines do seem very familiar - the sort of thing that might have happened at my own school (vastly less posh that Linbury Court though it was) - and I’ve always enjoyed how this makes the antics of Jennings and Co very believable despite some of the more outlandish repercussions.

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Jennings of Course

Jennings of Course

Anthony Buckeridge

19th August 2016

The fourteenth Jennings novels sees us join the pupils at Linbury Court as their lost property cupboard is overflowing, the school Christmas concert approaches, and the school cook has left.

I can see this being a very funny story to a younger reader, but as an adult everything seemed a little bit too predictable and cringeworthy to actually make me laugh.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed another visit to the world of Jennings and to a story that I barely remembered from my younger self's readings - but it's probably not one of the best books in the series.

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Leave it to Jennings

Leave it to Jennings

Anthony Buckeridge

31st December 2015

Leave it to Jennings is the last new Jennings story I will ever read - having already read all the following stories when I was a child. It's taken me some time to get hold of a copy, as it seems it's the only book in the series that hasn't been republished any time recently and all the second hand copies are surprisingly expensive, so I suppose actually it's taken me the time to convince myself to pay for a copy, which I finally did earlier this year on a visit to Hay.

I've taken my time reading it, partly to savour it and partly because I didn't want to carry it around in my bag do have been taking it of the shelf just for a chapter or two at a time.

Overall, it's a pretty average Jennings story, depicting several episodes from his days at boarding school along with a throughrunning story of an inter-dorm competition and some prophecies received from a village fete fortune teller.

In general the plot is pretty tame and in places quite predictable, but maybe that's okay in a children's story. I couldn't see any particular reason that it would have been left out of any republishing, but maybe it's just because it didn't stand out in any way that it's never been picked.

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Other reviewed books

Just Like Jennings
The Trouble with Jennings
Jennings as Usual
Take Jennings for Instance
Thanks to Jennings
Our Friend Jennings
According to Jennings
Jennings' Diary
Jennings and Darbishire
Jennings' Little Hut
Jennings Follows a Clue
Jennings Goes to School

Unreviewed books

Jennings Again
Jennings at Large
Speaking of Jennings
That's Jennings
Typically Jennings

Top books

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  2. Jennings in Particular
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  4. Jennings Unlimited
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  6. Thanks to Jennings
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  8. Just Like Jennings
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  10. Jennings Goes to School
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  12. Jennings Follows a Clue
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  14. Jennings of Course