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An update on the possibility of a Borribles movie:

The "Harry Potter" craze has renewed interest in children's fantasy literature, particularly British children's fantasy literature. Currently there are two separate production companies (that I know of) who have expressed interest in aquiring the rights to "The Borribles". They're encountering some difficulties because (get this) Michael de Larrabeiti is currently talking to the BBC over a possible television series based on his books.

Cross your fingers everyone!!!!

The German titles for the Borrible books are (roughly translated) : The Great Rumble Hunt, In the Labyrinth of the Wendles, and The Search.

Since starting this site I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Rick Smith's screenplay for The Borribles. For all of you who are currently in the jaw-dropping phase ("What???! A screenplay for The Borribles????!) I can testify that yes, it does exist but no, I will not be able to post any portions of it to my site as Mr. Smith is still in the process of finding a buyer. (Know of any studios on the lookout for screenplays? Email me.)

I can, however, comment on what I have read. The screenplay is still in its first draft. The setting has been shifted from London to New York, but overall the transition has been handled quite well. Smith does an excellent job of evoking the brooding urban landscape of the novels, and the screenplay sticks fairly close to the events in the book. Chalotte is much more of a central character than she is in the novel; Napoleon's character has been expanded and Smith has put a slightly different spin on Nap's sacrifice, one that I really liked. The conclusion is, if anything, slightly darker than that of the novel. That's all I'm going to say for the moment; I wish Rick Smith the best of luck in selling it.


Some editions of The Borribles and The Borribles Go For Broke publish titles for each of the chapters. They are as follows:


The Borribles

  1. The Rumble
  2. The Magnificent Eight
  3. Now we are Nine
  4. Adolf
  5. Wandsworth
  6. The Borrible Snatcher
  7. Rumbledom
  8. The Great Rumble Hunt
  9. "You're nobody and nobody wants to hear you."
  10. The Return


The Borribles go for Broke

  1. The Message
  2. Battersea again
  3. The S.B.G.
  4. The Escape
  5. Ben
  6. "Once a Wendle…"
  7. "If a Borrible don't look alive,"
  8. Spiff
  9. Chalotte goes for broke
  10. The quiet life

References to the Borribles can be found in various Sci-fi/ Fantasy Encyclopedias. For example, Borribles have their own entry in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Actually it’s under De Larrabeiti, but it’s interesting and helpful to Borrible novices and fans alike. The “Borribles sequence describes a Wainscot society (the Borribles themselves, Elves who resemble streetwise human children) in a London whose populous gargoyle infested subterranean grimness has fittingly been likened to that of Charles Dickens (see Urban Fantasy). Some Quests are undertaken, companions gained (& cruelly lost) & battles fought. The sequence is remarkable for its threatening contemporareity.”

Note: “Waiscots” according to the same Encyclopedia are “invisible or undetected societies living in the interstices of the dominant world – normally but not necessarily human.”

--Thanks to The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, ed. John Clute and John Grant. 1997. In addition, some fantasy authors make references to the Borrible books in their own works. For example, Rosemary Edghill refers to the process of disguising an elf as making him "look a little less like a post-Punk Borrible." (p39. The Cloak of Night and Daggers"). Also, in the first issue of Carla Speed McNeil's 'Finder', a slightly altered version of the first verse of Ben's song appears, sung by a group of Ascians, a tribal group indigenous to the city where much of the series is set:

"What's the point o' working' hard?

What's the point o' gainin' riches?

Money's mean and banks are bitches-

Poverty's its own reward-"

...and in Finder (#16) the main character greets someone with 'That's a good name, sir. I'd like to hear the story of it sometime." The scooper who brought this to my attention, Greer S., emailed the author and it turns out that the first is a Borribles homage (which she forgot to include in her footnotes), but the second is simply a fairly common greeting in societies where names still mean something. (Thanks Greer!!!!)

Information on Finder can be found at http://www.

So, if you find any more references to the Borribles, can you please pass them on to me?