Four Little Engines – Rev. W. Awdry

More in the Series – 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.

This one fails the Bechdel despite having a few female characters, which is a step up for these books. All the named ones are coaches though, and are really just kind of a homogenous mass rather than distinct characters. There’s also a Refreshment Lady (with the capitals) which is almost like having a name, I suppose. No. No it isn’t. *sigh*

Also, no variety of human experience going on here. Just a lot of male Britishness really.

It’s really just more of the same. There are some new engines in this book – we meet Skarloey, Sir Handel, Rheneas, and a couple of others. The stories are the same stuff though – things go wrong because of pride or laziness, engines are told off and learn the errors of their ways, blah blah.

C loved it, of course, because trains, but this isn’t even a very good one within the series. The stories take place on a totally different railway line (though they’ve been retconned into the Sodor ones in the modern versions, I happen to know), and it feels very much like the good Rev was phoning it in.

“Rev. Awdry, we need a new book in the Railway Series.”

“Oh, well, I have these totally unrelated stories….?”

“That’ll do.”

Meh. Don’t bother.


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