Almost any other reader would have been better. Let me change that: any other reader would have been better.
It is a slightly saccharin tale and shows its age (early 1900s), but the children are well drawn and the story is engaging despite the whiff of Victorian melodrama. The end still makes me tear up. The scene where the children celebrate Perk's birthday, and his affronted pride, is particularly well done.
This is a sweet story, essentially ruined by an incompetent reader. Rene Raudner's fake English accent made me cringe. The various voices she employed were unpleasant to listen to. Her emphasis and pauses were often off. She pronounced 'row', as in argument, as if it referred to a way to propel a dinghy. There are a few other readers who are less than perfect, but this one was nails on a blackboard. Only my love of the story, read several times before, kept me listening to the end.
Nothing. The Raailway Children, like most of E. Nesbit's books, is dated but perfect in its way.
The Christian outlook seemed overdone to me, and intruded on the story. The repeated idea that 'our' universe may have an afterlife, and that so much of our culture is defined by that belief felt awkward. There is a long scene at the Vietnam Vet Memorial where Mary defends our wars which I really did not like. Perhaps the author is leading me to feel this way, but I felt bludgeoned by it.
Yes. I enjoyed the first book in the series a lot.
The characters had distinctive voices, easy to identify and follow.
I need to decide if I want to finish the series. I'm not particularly happy with where it seems to be going.
Fascinating, unexpected, scholarly
The writer himself. His enthusiasm for his subject, the development of the English language, enlivened what could have been a dry tale. He knew when to draw on one of the personalities in history (Alfred the Great, Chaucer, a British bureaucrat in India) and even his own childhood experiences as a speaker of an English dialect to put us into that period as it was experienced at the time.
I have not, but I'd happily listen to him again. He did a particularly masterful job pronouncing the many words from Norse, Old English, French, or even 20th c. dialects that turned up regularly in the text.
No. As a history it was nice to have the centuries unfold and take time to digest each period.
This book is full of nuggets of information that I kept wanting to share. The scope is broad, and slightly less strong in the most recent centuries, but the first two thirds are riveting. The author treats the language as an almost living thing, evolving through periods of explosive growth, or responding to threats of extinction, taking us through all the unexpected twists in its development like a proud parent.
On an A-F scale I'd give it a B or B-. It was a good story though it repeated several of the characters and elements of the first book, Mars. Unfortunately the reader spoke in a monotone throughout, which was a drawback.
The lead, Jaimie. I liked the concept of a Navajo astronaut, and his commitment to science rather than the commercialization of the planet.
His voice was flat and inexpressive.
Neither, but I was drawn into it. The descriptions of the planet were vivid. The conflict between the powers back on earth was believable and the resolution was clever and satisfying.
The sexual tension was overdrawn and not really necessary. I can't believe that real Mars explorers with such personality flaws would have made it past the screening. But it was an enjoyable book nonetheless.
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