Enough of the Fat Owl

Billy Bunter Among The Cannibals - Frank Richards

I remember my Dad telling me once that he didn't particularly like the Billy Bunter books where Bunter went for adventures abroad, that is outside of the immediate vicinity of Greyfriar's school. After reading this book I can now see why – it was absolutely atrocious, or more so really really painful. Okay, the excessive use of the N word in reference to people with skins darker than ours may have been acceptable coming out of Bunter's mouth because it is, well, Bunter, but the reality is that even if it is just Bunter's character to be so rude, crude, and racist, it still doesn't mean that I have to accept it. In fact the character of Billy Bunter has become so annoying that I highly doubt I will read any more of his books.

 

 

The story goes that Bunter is given a position as an assistant clerk for one of his father's companies, though the catch is that the role is on an island located in the stretches of the South Pacific. Anyway, he is sent out there, all expenses paid, and his school buddies (for want of a better word), the Famous Five, accompany him, if only so he can settle down somewhat. However, upon arrival at the main island they discover that a rather brutish man has taken over, and after giving him a bit of a thumping, they are then taken to the island of Lololo where they discover that the shop has been deserted because the island has been over-run by cannibals.

 

 

Maybe Billy Bunter has started losing its appeal, but I was able to read all of the Secret Seven and Famous Five books without being put off as much as this book put me off (though there were some of Blyton's books that I found almost as painful as I found this book). Not only was I rather disappointed at Bunter's excessive use of the N word (and the fact that the guy is a pretty elitist, and quite racist, individual as is), but also the fact that is he so lazy and so oblivious to the fact that nobody likes him, and why nobody likes him. There was one book where they decided to teach Bunter a lesson, namely because everybody had become sick of his attitude, however the thing with Bunter is that he never learns, and you get to the point where you simply start banging your head against the brick wall because you know that nothing is going to change.

 

Okay, in some ways people love to laugh at stupidity – that is why the Simpsons is not only so popular but why Homer Simpson eventually overcame Bart as being the show's most popular character. However, there are some redeemable features with Homer (despite the fact that I eventually became so sick of the show, and the character, that I stopped watching it years ago) – Bunter has none whatsoever. In fact the only reason that he manages to solve all these mysteries is through sheer luck. The other thing is that Bunter may be the title character but there are a lot of books where he actually ends up in the background (though that is not the case with this book). In the end the premise has started becoming a little worn out where I'm concerned.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1804524510