The Enid Blyton Society
Five Run Away Together
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Book Details...

First edition: 1944
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Famous Five
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Artwork
Review by Terry Gustafson
Further Illustrations

Reprints



Dustwrapper from the 1952 edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper


Endpapers from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper


Frontis from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper


1st German edition published by Blüchert Verlag, Hamburg in 1954,
illustrated by C. Benedek with the title Five Friends on Mysterious Traces


Early German reprint published by Blüchert Verlag, Hamburg,
illustrated by Nikolaus Plump


1st French edition published by Hachette in 1955,
illustrated by Simone Baudoin


1st American edition published by Reilly & Lee in 1960
illustrated by Frank Aloise


1st Spanish edition published by Editorial Juventud in 1965,
illustrated by José Correas
Foreign Titles
German: Fünf Freunde auf geheimnisvollen Spuren
French: Le Club des Cinq Contre-Attaque
Dutch: De Vijf gaan er van door
Spanish: Los Cinco se escapan
Portuguese: Os Cinco Voltam à Ilha
Italian: I cinque fuggono assieme
Swedish: Fem på rymmarstråt
Danish: De fem på nye eventyr
Finnish: Viisikko Karkuteillä
Russian: Taina starawa podsemelia
Slovenian: 5 Prijateljev na skrivnostni sledi
Serbo-Croat: 5 Prijatelja u bijegu
Icelandic: Fimm á flótta
Greek: To Nhei Meta Myethpia
Slovakian: Slavna Patka na uteku
Basque: Bostak Ihesi
Catalan: Els Cinc S'Escapen
Indonesian: Lima Sekawan Minggat


What's important to the plot is that the children have to abandon their bedrooms at Kirrin Cottage because there is a rather nasty individual there who's been employed as cook. Her name is Mrs. Stick and she's temporarily filling in for Joanna — an old stalwart who is unfortunately away tending to her broken-legged mother. The Stick family-circle includes a son named Edgar, a mangy little dog called Tinker and a bit later on Mrs. Stick's husband appears and shacks up with them all. The atmosphere is strained because the Sticks don't like the children and it could be that they might get in the way (as it were) of any future plans that the Sticks may have for financial success (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). There's no one to whom the children can turn because very early into the play Aunt Fanny becomes crook and disappears into hospital with Uncle Quentin in tow. Very unfortunately the kids don't seem to know which hospital it is!

There are some interesting confrontations — Julian versus the Sticks, George versus the Sticks and Timmy versus the Sticks with some overtime devoted to Tinker the dog. The Famous Five's united strength is a little superior because they have the tall and responsible Julian in their army as well as the potentially ferocious Timmy, and George herself would not be lacking if it came to a fight, but ... they are still children, and at the mercy of adults who have Ways and Means as well as Authority on their side. The Sticks' hatred for them and their dog increases and the decision is made that their first plan of attack should be to poison Timmy so there is one less enemy to deal with. Julian who comes into his own as far as boldness and repartee are concerned could well be another candidate for the cyanide but long before that a plan of retreat is drawn up. As Captain Von Trapp said when things began heating up: "We've got to get out of (Austria) Kirrin Cottage." They do indeed and the obvious place to go is to their island in Kirrin Bay. It's a sad thing to be enveloped in a situation where "No one cares!" and then literally ousted from your home. They're not exactly waifs on the streets of New York but one can't help feeling rather sorry for them because they are still kids and quite young at that but at least they have each other and they've been in ticklish situations before.

In the outdoor environment the Famous Five are in their element — camping in a cave on Kirrin Island and well replenished with meat, bread, pineapple, sardines, ham, pickles, marmalade and ginger-beer without the lashings. George, who is a very capable boy (I had to say that), shows a few of her talents. She turns out to be better than Julian at lassoing a post when they want to climb up the side of the wrecked ship which is a feature of Kirrin Island, and Anne who watches George making a beautiful dive into a pool, states that "George can do anything in the water." However we haven't got time for that because there are more important things to contemplate.

Various Blyton atmospheric situations are called up from the past ... strange lights out at sea, unwanted visitors on the island, a weird discovery, and mysterious Goings-On. What would you do if you heard a sudden scream in the night? Within civilization's walls it may not be so alien but this takes place on the island — and Anne's asleep so who could it be? As the adventure progresses a few tables are nicely turned and the whole affair is handled quite neatly by the heroes and Timmy is included in that epithet.

The children look so young in the pictures and that's the reality because they're experiencing only their third adventure. Eileen Soper supplies us with plenty of material and the colour plate beside the main title is particularly illustrative because it shows what the Kirrins are all about. There they are grouped together under a tree on their island with Timmy of course and the castle in the background with seagulls soaring here and there and a couple of villains a little way to the right doing something very mysterious.

This third Kirrin book is well worth reading for the altercations alone, but there is the added excitement of visiting Kirrin Island again and the mystery that strikes from out of the blue. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.