8 Exciting dramatised adventures: the Short Story Collection, part 2

I reviewed part one some time ago and I’ve discovered that I’ve since misplaced that disk as it isn’t in the case. Oh dear. Disk two was there thankfully, so I can get on tonight. For some strange reason Windows Media Player has decided that the first two “tracks” are Five go adventuring again: Track 1, and Five Go Adventuring Again [Track 2] with the rest being just Track 3, 4 and 5 by an unknown artist. Very strange. I’ll just have to listen on to see what order the stories come in.

The cover which is from Five Go to Demon's Rocks

The cover which is from Five Go to Demon’s Rocks

CD one had Five Have A Puzzling Time (the title of the Red Fox paperback collection), When Timmy Chased the Cat! and George’s Hair is Too Long.

This CD then has Good Old Timmy!, A Lazy Afternoon, Well Done, Famous Five! Five and a Half-term Adventure and Happy Christmas, Famous Five.

As I said last time these must all be quite short to fit into the one hour running time. Nick McArdle is still the narrator and thankfully (given how often he barks) we still have the more convincing Timmy from CD1.

Good Old Timmy! This is a pretty weak story to begin with and it isn’t improved by the voice actor for Julian (same as in CD1). George is fine but we barely hear Dick or Anne that I could notice. Dick sounds far too similar to Julian to pick him out when he does speak. I noticed George called Quentin Daddy, but that is how it appears in the Red Fox paperback. I’m not sure what was in the original as I don’t have that. Reading along, the audio is almost word for word what’s in the book. Things like “said Julian” aren’t there and a few lines come in a different order but it’s much closer to the text than the full novel ones.

Well Done Famous Five. This isn’t the second story on the CD but it happens to be the second one I’ve listened to as I forgot to turn the shuffle off. This falls a little flat as an audio as it’s almost all naratted. Not just Nick McArdle but the Five describing what they see the runaway horse doing. “Oh he’s jumped a stream…” “Now he’s going slowly…” and so on. At least we get a good piece of voice acting from the angry farmer and the stable grooms man as well as some nice horse noises.

Back to the second story which is A Lazy Afternoon. Anne finally gets to speak a bit! This is a more enjoyable tale but then again I think it’s a stronger story in the first place. I admit I got distracted by getting organised for tomorrow while I was listening but I did pause to laugh at Mcardle’s immitation of the yellowhammer singing Little bit of bread and no cheese. The additional voices in this story come from the baddies who sound suitably menacing and the policemen towards the end as well. All I’d add is that the ‘very noisy motorbike’ wasn’t very noisy at all!

Five and a Half-Term Adventure. Anne suddenly sounds rather hoarse again for this story (after I forgot to skip Well Done Famous Five and listened to the start again…) I’m finding it slightly annoying having to listen to the rather lengthy musical into at the start of every story. It’s fine in the novel audios as then it’s at the beginning and I think a shorter version plays in between chapters (often with some narration over the top).

This one has some good train sounds (steam train, of course!) The chap with the baby has a strong Scottish accent – something that isn’t mentioned in the text. Aunt Fanny also gets a nice long speech – she sounds just like Aunt Fanny should.

Happy Christmas, Five! is the last of the short stories and I found that it rather dragged. Not a lot seems to happen in it, or it might just have been that it has gotten rather late in the evening.

Turns out that CD 2 runs for more than an hour, it’s more like an hour and a quarter.

If anyone’s interested I’ve written synopsis of the short stories here and here.

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