Best 1981 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
December 5, 2016

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1981 adventure novels. Happy 35th anniversary!



Michael de Larrabeiti’s sardonic YA fantasy adventure The Borribles Go for Broke.

The second book in the sardonic, violent, amazing Borribles trilogy picks up where the first book left off. The Borrible team — who were recruited from competing gangs, and assigned the mission of assassinating the Rumble High Command — returns to Rumbledom only to find themselves pursued by a Borrible-hunting branch of the London police: the Special Borrible Group. Meanwhile, our antiheroic teenage mutants must rescue Sam the horse… and deal with apparent treachery from Spiff, the legendary (and apparently immortal) Battersea Borribles leader who sent them to Rumbledom in the first place. We meet a new Borrible, Twilight, as well as Old Ben, an honorary Borrible who lives in a garbage dump and collects information. The police inspector and SBG police sergeant are also terrific characters. The action leads the Borrible team beneath the streets of Wandsworth, into a sketchy mud tunnel dug beneath the Wendle River.

Fun fact: Cory Doctorow says, “De Larrabeiti’s books are a magnificent love-poem to the city of London, as well as a celebration of all that is anarchic and anti-authoritarian about childhood.”


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1981 adventures that you particularly admire.



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