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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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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