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...)