Blinky Bill Grows Up – Dorothy Wall

More in the Series – Blinky Bill
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 1 point
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  1 point
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

This is one of those “reading it so you don’t have to” situations. These really seem like the sort of stories that people would be very nostalgic for, but when you read them through modern eyes, they’re just not that good.

In this, the sequel, Blinky Bill goes on a bunch of adventures, during which he mostly acts like kind of an ass. He runs way because his mother wants to send him to school. He is outright rude and obnoxious to almost everyone he meets. It’s the ikkiest sort of ‘laddism’, full of ‘boys will be boys’ rhetoric and this idea that it’s somehow okay for him to be rude and selfish and destructive because, you know, he’s just a bit of a larrikin.

It does pass the Bechdel on at least one occasion, when Mrs Snake and Granny Goanna are discussing how they’re going to steal and eat bird babies, right before they get destroyed by bull ants on Blinky’s orders. But honestly there’s so much casual sexism (“All possums are silly, especially girls”) and one or two really quite racist bits about people in Australia who aren’t white. It’s just…it does not stand the test of time well is what I am saying.

On top of that, while C did give it a thumbs up, I can tell you that we had to stop in mid chapter on a regular basis while working our way through it because he got bored and didn’t want me to read any more. It’s slow moving, the language is pretty dated, and I certainly didn’t enjoy it much. There’s one more in the series, I believe, and we’ll read it – because that’s what I do – but I am looking forward to putting Blinky behind me.

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