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Beyond the World of Pooh Hardcover – 14 Feb 2000

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Hardcover, 14 Feb 2000

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' that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.' The House at Pooh Corner. As an adult, Christopher Milne made every attempt to escape his father's fantasy world of Christopher Robin and Pooh. Despite a happy childhood in Sussex and London in the 1920s and 30s, as a young man he began to look on it as a burden. After experiencing what he describes as 'the Adventure' and 'the Horror' of World War 2, Milne still found it difficult to take the 'less trodden road' and find his own way. Eventually, in his later years, he turned his attention to contemplating the wasteful exploitation of the environment and produced a provocative treatise on humankind's duty to the natural world. Compiled by A.R. Melrose - editor of THE POOH BEDSIDE READER - from the four highly acclaimed volumes of Milne's autobiography, this is the extraordinarily candid and compelling self-portrait of a shy, unassuming man who, despite worldwide childhood fame, sought only a life of quiet anonymity beyond the world of Pooh.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Tedious and abrupt 11 Jun. 2000
By H. J. Wakenshaw - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I thought I'd enjoy this one, but I ended up regretting that I'd bought this edition of all three of Christopher Milne's memoirs, and not just the first book on its own. Obviously it would have been impossible to fit all three books into one volume, so the original books have been drastically abridged. But this has resulted in a rushed precis of Milne's life, rather than an enjoyable autobiography.
The first book was interesting; so much so that I was quite annoyed that so much of it had been edited out. Obviously, the first book, in which Milne tells us what it was like to be the real Christopher Robin, was always going to be the most appealing; everyone wants to know about where Pooh really came from and what he and C.R. really got up to in the Hundred Acre Wood.
But as "Beyond the world of Pooh" progressed it got more and more aimless and uninteresting. Once Milne has told us (in barely more than a few paragraphs in this edition) of his wartime exploits, and then how he went on to open his bookshop, there's not much more to tell. He appears to promise to tell us about his relationship with his handicapped daughter, but never delivers; a missed opportunity to bring some life into the story. Nothing much happens, and the book stagnates.
Of course, it was Milne's right, after a lifetime of being branded with the "Christopher Robin is saying his prayers" image of him created by the media, to retire to a quiet and uneventful life.
But did he have to write a book about it?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
very dry 16 Feb. 2003
By microjoe - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was a tough book to read. My father, aunt, and I are all avid readers and fans of Milne and all things Pooh. But this book was very dry and agonizingly slow. Interesting in bits and pieces, but none of us could finish the book. In my family that is a rarity for any book. It is really about the life of the son of the original author of the Pooh books. You do get a usual sense of the frustration of those who have famous parents here. The bset thing about the book was the 6 pictures in the book. They feature the original pooh toys, the real pooh sticks bridge, and the real hollow tree in England that A.A. Milne used in his stories. I was really looking forward to more.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Why not combine all three volumes without editing? 7 Feb. 2002
By John Wheeler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm going to give this one four stars sight-unseen. I have all three of the original volumes, and think they would be splendid combined into a single volume. One could wish the parts left out would be more from the last two volumes, as admittedly more people would be interested in the background of the Pooh Books as such than in Christopher Milne's own life. Since I know this likely is not the case, I will give this volume four stars. Had all three of the original volumes been combined without editing, I would have given it five stars.
You see, not everyone is concerned merely with either the Pooh Books or the boy who inspired the character Christopher Robin. I should know. Christopher Robin was not merely a character I enjoyed; he was my childhood alter ego, to a degree many of my readers may find hard to imagine. And yet, I knew there was a real boy behind the story, that he and I were much alike on many fundamental levels, and that I would be much interested in learning more about him. When I bought Christopher Milne's original volumes, I was happily flabbergasted to see how dead-on my intuition about him had been. Both as children and as adults, we indeed had much in common, and quite likely would have been good friends had we grown up in the same time and place.
I am far from being the pantheistic humanist that Christopher Milne became, or that A.A. Milne was before him. He says, candidly, that he never met the Christian God he heard about in church. But had I not become a Christian, I too would have become a pantheistic humanist, and for very similar reasons. I can sympathize with his viewpoint, even if I believe I can refute it. All in all, I found the original trilogy enjoyable and even challenging reading, and I'm sure I'd find the "condensed version" so as well. (Now if only someone could show me Lesley Milne's introduction to this volume...)
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