Ambling through the Billy Bunter series. There are some tired tropes (Bunter snoops tuck. Bunter lazing behind a tree overhears vital information. A tramp attacks Quelch. The wrong schoolboy faces expulsion until Bunter saves the day.). And Quelch's "gimlet eyes" are wearing a bit thin. Yet the addiction cannot be denied, and two of these books have elicited mirth - something that never happened with Malory Towers. The liberal use of classical references, Latin and archaic words are also stimulating.
Billy Bunter Comes for Christmas: Has to be one of the weakest yet. Plotted like something Enid Blyton would have written on a bad day at age 12 and chucked on the fire.
Bunter Keeps It Dark: Just when these books get a mite tedious, along comes a surprise. This adventure sees the fat Owl of the Remove wearing blackface for most of the action - part of a ruse to avoid working as a grocery store clerk. A feast of racial epithets. Quelch's rival Prout (master of the Fifth) provides the comedy.
Bunter Does His Best: A schoolboy soccer soap opera. Altercations in the football team cause a mass walkout, resulting in Bunter being recruited for a match and he's predictably useless. The star of this book is the Bounder (aka Herbert Vernon-Smith, pronounced 'Smithy').
Bunter the Bad Lad: Much ado about Horace Coker of the Fifth. He is a wonderful character - a complete c**t - exactly like a fellow who was a form above me at school. A surprisingly gelogenic read. Highlight is an argument between Quelch and Prout over whether the 29th line in the first ode of the first book of Horace begins with 'te' or 'me'.