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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably best not to have done it, 12 April 2010
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This review is from: Winnie-the-Pooh: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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My daughter will be the fourth generation of my family to be raised on A A Milne's stories - my Australian Grandmother living in deepest darkest Queensland was given a copy of Winnie the Pooh for her twelfth birthday in 1927 - so I feel a fairly strong connection with the originals. However, I had heard good things about these stories so I was looking forward to these and hoping that that they would be almost as good as the originals. I was disappointed.

To be fair - had I come across these without having heard of the originals I might have liked them, but compared to the originals they are a pale pastiche. First, there is an annoying introductory justification for writing them which I found trying. Secondly, although there are occasional flashes of the original's wit and whimsy there is also a lot of slightly heavy handed attempts to equal the original stories that just don't quite come off. I might just be a grumpy old (well, early middle aged) so and so but I just really didn't like them.

Finally, Bernard Cribbins reading is OK but I didn't really like is "voice" for Eyore and found the Australian accent for Kanga very annoying. At the risk of sounding obsesive about this, I think just because she is a Kangaroo dosen't mean she's an ocker. That character is about as English and middle class as I can imagine - hearing her speaking like Kylie doesn't work.

I think it is very hard to do a good story in the style of a much loved deceased author. Much as I would love to have a never ending supply of new stories featuring Rumpole, Marlowe, Holmes, Bertie Wooster, and Winnie the Pooh, I think we should just learn to appreciate the genius of their creators, and be thankful for what we have rather than trying to whip up new, but pale, imitations. The only example I can think of that I found successful was Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story. This book is sadly not up to that level of homage.
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