From Goodreads: “The lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are shattered when their father leaves with two strangers. When they and their mother move to a country cottage, they soon come to love the railway that runs nearby.
There follows a series of many adventures, including saving a train from disaster, and then finally helping the Old Gentleman try to solve the mystery of their father’s disappearance.
One of the most famous stories of all time, enjoyed by millions of children and adults across the world.”
I’ve been thinking about listening to this audiobook for ages after I spied it on the Castbox podcast app. I knew the story from the old 1970s film starring Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins. It’s a classic family film that I’ve seen many times, but I’ve never read the book, probably due to my fear of reading classics.
Well I loved this story and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, even though it was published in 1906. As I’m more familiar with the film I had the actors in my head playing the parts of Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter as I listened. It was lovely to be reminded of the escapades the children got up to beside the railway, waving to the Old Gentlemen, becoming friends with Perks the porter and waving their petticoats to stop the train when disaster strikes. What strikes me most about the book was how faithful the film was to it, something quite refreshing in this day and age.
As it’s a Librivox recording, it’s not done by a professional but by a volunteer reading the book in their home, not a studio. Considering this was recorded by a volunteer I thought the person reading it did a fantastic job bringing the story and children to life. The quality of the recording wasn’t brilliant as there were a few rumbles and noises in the background at times but not enough to distract from carrying on with it.
If you enjoy children’s books I highly recommend this lovely story.