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The Wind in the Willows (first edition; 1908)

Kenneth Grahame's classic 1908 children's book about a group of animals and their adventures.

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"The world has held great Heroes, ...

  • Feb 15, 2011
... As history-books have showed;
But never a name to go down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!"

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, a turn-of-the century children's story written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908, has deservedly withstood the onslaught of time. On the surface, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS is an allegory that tells the story of the adventures and misadventures of Toad, Rat, Badger and Mole in the rural English countryside. The pastoral narratives and witty dialogues are charming, evocative and warmly mellifluous without ever approaching doleful or lugubrious. I simply can't imagine the smile it would bring to a child's face were a parent to make the effort to read this as a bed-time story with four separate voices reserved for each of the main characters.

But, considered on a deeper level, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS could be considered a metaphor for Toad's descent into self-destructive behaviour and his friends' loyal and loving intervention to rescue him from his love of fast motor cars, portrayed as an utterly consuming addiction. Love, loyalty, friendship, arrogance, courage, steadfastness and gratitude are among the emotions that Grahame has portrayed so accurately in a very simple but quite moving narrative.

As you might imagine, like most children's stories, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS does end on an "all's well that ends well" note but Toad's behaviour in the future remains an obvious open question. Highly recommended ... what TOOK me so long to find this one?

Paul Weiss

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February 15, 2011
Yes it's a wonderfull book and just perfect for an Anglophile like me. My first introduction to this story was this animated movie which you can see on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pKVVmmp4N0
February 15, 2011
thanks for that link. I've never seen it and I'll look forward to watching the entire movie.
More The Wind in the Willows reviews
review by . April 10, 2010
In the 20th Century there have been two movements which have directly affected society and the world at large. There has been the steady progress of technology that brought with it urban expansion and industrial innovation, but also pollution and the destruction of nature. And then there has been a movement that at its heart is about returning to a past that we long ago forgot, to a pastoral lifestyle that holds nature in reverence and accepts our connection with all flora and fauna. These …
review by . June 18, 2010
Whether you have already seen the Walt Disney movie or not Wind in the Willows is a must read for both children and adults. I first read this book in 4th grade as a required reading for my literature class. I have since read it a few more times and it is without a doubt one of my favorites. This classic book brings to live with amazing detail and reality a toad, a frog and several other animals that you would not normally get to know or think of as even pets. Mr. Toad is the main character and …
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
kind of spooked me when I was a kid
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Always a classic
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
"Believe me my young friend there is nothing half as much woth doing as simply messing about in boats". Always a classic.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
It's wellwritten, true, but I found it a little dull myself. Still quite good.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
This is a wonderful story.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
I love these animals.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Loved this!
Quick Tip by . December 07, 2009
Kenneth Grahame's brilliant children's tale captures the essence of friendship & adventure and has beautiful visions of a pastoral England.
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #15
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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About this book


Author: Kenneth Grahame
Genre: Fantasy, Children's Books, Classic Literature
Publisher: Signet Classics
Date Published: 1908
Format: Novel
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