The Eight Famous Engines – 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: 2 out of 10.

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

In many ways this book is really just more of the same. Engines doing foolish things because they are silly or selfish or conceited and then learning the errors of their ways. Topham Hat being all patriarchal and whatnot. Meh.

Once again there’s not a female character or a person of colour to be seen – this despite this book containing four complete stories. It’s all white boys all the way.

The only thing I really have to say for it is that in the last story of the book (and the one from which it takes its title), it gets quite meta in fun ways, with the Fat Controller talking about how the children of England read books about the engines but don’t believe they’re real so he takes some on a tour to meet the “children of England”. I have a real weakness for this kind of fourth wall breaking meta stuff, and so I gave it a point for that.

But honestly, overall, this is a pretty weak offering in a series that I am still unconvinced deserves its hype. Skip it.

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