Although it was first published in 1906, Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children feels like a contemporary parable about the value of cross-cultural understanding and reserving judgment.
A family moves to a house behind a railway after the father, a government official, is falsely accused of spying and placed in jail. The three children of the family - Bobbie, Peter, and Phyllis - befriend a commuter who helps free their father. They also care for a Russian dissident searching for his family.
Renee Raudman uses a warm, bell-clear tone in her heartfelt performance of this tale of compassion.
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I recently discovered the works of Edith Nesbit, and have been enjoying the Psammead trilogy on the Kindle. When I discovered "The Railway Children" on Audible, I gladly purchased it because Nesbit was a wonderful writer, and, as a driver, I have more time to listen to books than to read them. The story is quite good. I would have loved it had I discovered it as a child, and it is a very good read even in my adult years. I plan to read this book to my nieces and nephews, and have encouraged several adult friends to read it for themselves, too.
Other reviewers have mentioned Raudman's poor accents. Those are a little annoying, but I can't do other voices in foreign accents when reading aloud, either, so I don't fault her for that. The problem comes in the actual reading of the story: when Raudman is reading in her normal voice as the narrator, she does a very good job with proper cadence, stress, and inflection. When reading as a character, however, nearly every sentence ends in an upward inflection, and the sentences aren't vocalized properly using the appropriate emphases on syllables and words to express the surprise, wonder, etc. of the character speaking.
This is right in the top 5.
Any scene with the "old gentleman". I love it when he came to the rescue of this precious family.
Not at all. Best to look forward to what's going to happen next. Like other good things...I wanted it to last as long as possible.
Fabulous children's voices. Exciting, without car chases or murder.
I have been listening/reading this book with whisper sync and found than, although Raudman has a wonderful and charming natural reading voice, as soon as she tries to read a character 's voice I winced! Her attempt at various English accents were sadly unsuccessful and came off sounding a strange twist of Boston and Cockney. I found it much more satisfying to read the story which, on its own, was very sweet and innocent yet full of kid friendly action, surprises and language. This is definitely a book I plan to introduce to my own children when they are a bit older but I will either read it to them or find a better narration. It's really too bad because Raudman has such a pleasant "regular" voice with natural inflection and lilt. But all the adults sounded flat and mopey and the children's "accents" were just too distracting to really enjoy the story. That said, I would be interested in listening to her narrate an American work of fiction
We love E. Nesbit stories & have read or listened to nearly every one. This one was a huge BORE. The children I I just couldn't get into it. There was no climax, just boring mundane details of which made NO sense at all.
Worst I've heard so far. Her British accent was horrible. When she would "turn it on" the accent sounded like an Englishman raised on the border of Texas & Mexico. Brit with a southern twang. Bad. Bad. Bad,
But she was always so quiet...
Ms. Raudman would have been an adequate reader if she'd just skipped the accents....she just couldn't seem to keep them straight...Peter often sounded faintly of New York City, while their mother sort of slurred over into nearly a French accent at times. Meanwhile, she mispronounced a number of British words.
Her inflections were overall decent for the different voices, I just think that it would have been better if she'd skipped the accents altogether.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this classic children's story. It was beautifully read, despite the strong American accent combined with rather odd attempts at the British accents.
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