Henry the Green Engine – Rev. W. Awdry

More in the Series – The Railway Series
“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: 1 out of 10.

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

Honestly, there’s not a lot I can say about this book that I haven’t already said about the other ones in this series. In many ways it’s more of the same.

Still, there is not a female character to be seen, nor anyone who doesn’t fit a very particular kind of white Britishness. Still, we have the strange patriarchal attitude of the Fat Controller who rules through a combination of fear and odd benevolent fatherliness towards the Engines. (He’s kind, but only as long as you’re ‘useful’ and do as you’re told.)

There are several stories in this book, but they’re all much of the same. Trains have accidents, things go awry. Often it is because the engines are prideful – there’s a strong ‘pride before a fall’ aspect to the story about Gordon and his whistle, particularly since it is never quite explained why his whistle is broken anyway. (I happen to know, because I have seen them a MILLION TIMES, that in the TV version this was changed and explained in a much more effective way. )

C continues to love the stories, because trains, I guess. I found myself zoning out while reading them more than once. The plots really are pretty insipid, to be honest.

I don’t have much more to say. More of the same, really. You may not be able to avoid them, but I wouldn’t recommend them.

 

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