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Famous Five spoof books to be published

Do Not UseDo Not Use 24/05/2016

A spoof series of four books called Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, which reimagines the Famous Five as adults, is to be published.

Five Give Up the Booze, Five Go Gluten Free, Five Go On A Strategy Away Day and Five Go Parenting will catch up with the sleuthing children as adults.

The series, written by Bruno Vincent, follows on from the success of the recent Ladybird book spoofs for adults.

The original 21 books featured Julian, George, Dick, Anne and their dog Timmy.

Their escapades, set during the '40s and '50s, saw the children having virtually adult-free outdoor holidays where they solved mysteries while drinking lashings of ginger beer. Famous titles include Five on a Treasure Island and Five Go to Smuggler's Top.

A film parody, Five Go Mad in Dorset, was also made by the Comic Strip team for Channel 4 and featured Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Adrian Edmondson. They went on to make another film called Five Go Mad on Mescalin.

The books have also been made into films, TV series and cartoons, as well as audiobooks, comics and video games.

Publisher Quercus said the five's grown-up adventures will "remind older readers of the unbreakable bond" between the children and "introduce newer readers to the spiffing time you can have with a few friends and a dog".

It added the series brings characters - who are "posher than us and holidayed more than us" into our "baffling adult world".

'Gentle parody'

Their adult adventures will involve trying to give up alcohol, finding themselves on a puzzling "strategy away day", hunting for a good gluten-free cream tea and, "most perilous of all", preparing for parenthood.

Anne McNeil of Enid Blyton Entertainment added they were "thrilled" with the new books, adding: "We are certain Enid Blyton would have delighted in the gentle parody of her characters - characters which have helped to create a multi-million-selling global brand."

The books will be released in hardback on 3 November.

The Famous Five series is among some of Blyton's most famous books, which also include Noddy and The Faraway Tree.

In all, she produced more than 700 books, writing one a week at the peak of her powers. The British writer, who was born in 1897 and died in 1968, has sold more than 600 million books in total, which have been translated into 90 languages.

In 2008, a survey by the Costa Book Awards saw Blyton voted the "most-loved author", beating Roald Dahl, JK Rowling and Jane Austen.

Michael Joseph's Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups series, which includes the Mid-Life Crisis and The Hipster, has sold 1.74 million copies grossing £10m to date, according to The Bookseller.

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