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The Railway Series No. 23 : Enterprising Engines (Classic Thomas the Tank Engine) Hardcover – 4 Oct 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont; New edition edition (4 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405203536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405203531
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.1 x 10.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 682,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

The Reverend W. Awdry is fondly remembered as the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine. The little blue engine and his friends on the Island of Sodor were originally invented to amuse the reverend's son, Christopher, when he was recovering from a bout of the measles. The first book in The Railway Series, entitled The Three Railway Engines, was published in 1945.


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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the Reverend Awdry's final books, and the last one to focus on the mainline characters. It was published in 1968, which was siginificant as it was the final year of steam on British Railways. The is constantly referred to throughout this book, with the threat of dieselisation, the fate of steam on the British mainland, and the daring escape of one engine from scrap. However, the book proves Sodor to be a safe haven from the threats of the mainland, with the reassurance that steam will continue there. Flying Scotsman pays a visit, and, at a time when branch lines were closing down, here, one re-opens, with a new tank engine, Oliver, who has escaped the scrapyard, called in to help run it. It is often said that this is one of the darkest books in the series, and with the constant theme of scrapping, perhaps it is, but it also manages to provide the usual humour and banter, and in all, has to be one of the most memorable books in the series.
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Format: Hardcover
Enterprising Engines is regularly voted the best book of the Railway Series and I agree with it. 3 things that make this book very special are listed below.
1. Characters
Henry is often described as a nature loving engine with bad health problems but in this book Henry’s jealous side is clearly shown. Sir Topham Hatt II is developed in this book and shown as a clear father figure to all the engines on the North Western Railway (NWR). Gordon is always shown as snobbish, grumpy and pompous but in this book his caring side is shown when he discovers all but one of his brothers and sisters have scrapped. Many new characters are introduced in this book including Oliver and Toad who went onto become two of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (Later Thomas and Friends) most loved characters. The family relationship between the engines is shown with Duck playing a joke on Henry.
2. Authenticity
This book is a clear demonstration of Rew W. Awdry’s determination in authenticity. The book makes many references to the Beeching cuts and scrapping of steam engines on “The Other Railway” (British Rail).
3. Writer’s Tricks
Awdry uses many writers tricks to build tension and excitement. A good example of this from the book is the quote “Oliver’s crew, hiding in the coach, hardly dared to breath”.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice older version of the Thomas stories. There is a lot more technical detail in this, than in the more modern series. This is lovely for real Thomas enthusiasts, but can make answering the little ones questions a little difficult if you don't have an in-depth knowledge of railways yourself!
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