Well, I have just finished book 19 which means that there are only two more Famous Five books to go before I have completed my re-read of the series (though there are still six Secret Seven books which I will be reading in between those two, even though the Secret Seven is not actually a reread). This time the Famous Five are joined by a young boy, who occasionally thinks that he is a car, and his monkey. Mind you, I'm not really sure about this monkey because Blyton suggest that it is quite small, meaning that it can sit on the boy's shoulder (the boy goes by the name Tinker and the monkey is known as Mischief) and ride on Timothy's back. Maybe the monkey is a Resus Monkey.
I'm still not convinced that they small enough to sit on the shoulder of a little boy:
Though since Timmy is painted as being quite a large dog, I find the idea of the monkey riding on his back to be a little more believable.
Anyway, enough of the monkey and more on the book (though I am sure that there are people out there who are probably more interested in the monkey than they are with this book, but I'm not one of them). So, once again the Famous Five are on holidays, however their parents have gone abroad so they are sent to Quentin and Fanny's house, except that Quentin has a scientist friend over making the house quite crowded. To solve the problem Tinker suggests that they go and spend the week over at his lighthouse. Yep, that's right, the little boy apparently owns a light house (though in reality it is actually owned by his Dad who was using it for his experiments and when he had finished nobody wanted it so he let his son play in it).
As is typical with many of the Famous Five books, this one also takes a while for the actual adventure to begin, mainly because the first quarter of the book has them running around Kirrin cottage making a lot of mischief, and then travelling to the lighthouse to get comfortable before the bad things begin to happen. Also, the story has caves, lost treasure, and a story of pirates, or more precisely wreckers, who would turn lighthouses off so as to force ships to crash against the rocks, allowing them to go out and steal all of the goodies.
There are a couple of things that I noticed though. The first was that when they found the treasure, it was said that it belonged to the crown and was taken away. However in the first book, where they also found some lost treasure, they got to keep it (which is why George can now go to a private school). I guess it would have been a bit problematic to have the Kirrin's treasure confiscated by the government, meaning that they would not have got out of their financial difficulties.
Another interesting thing, both here and in Blyton's other books, is that the adventures all take place out in the country. Not once do they travel to the city for an adventure (or even overseas). Maybe it has something to do with that peaceful country lifestyle that people like to write about. Mind you, it is not as if Australian literature is also confined to the city (despite a majority of the population living in the cities). Much Australian literature seems to like the concept of the wide open spaces and the sunburnt country. The other idea is that when one is young, one's world tends to be really small, and to travel along way means getting on a bus, or going for a drive with one's parents. This is probably why many of the adventures occur in and around their home village (and in Europe, a lot of the population still live in small towns and villages, unlike Australia).
I have also wondered what the Famous Five would become once they have become adults, but I guess I will leave that speculation for now.