Siri's Reviews > The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
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's review
Aug 12, 11

A classic children’s book, this one, celebrating the free life of a country bachelor who doesn't need to work to make a living; the kind of life that always attracted the author Kenneth Grahame, himself working as a clerk in the City, and in an unhappy marriage which only produced a sickly son.

Mole, Rat, Otter, Badger and Toad enjoy the Good Life, free from adult worries and constraints, enjoying large meals at all hours, and spend their days along the river or writing poetry, or simply pottering about. Grahame's description of nature - the river and its surrounding areas - are coloured with late-Victorian nature-mysticism and a longing for a simpler life, away from the factories, the smog and the ever-growing cities.

The first five chapters of the book are arguably the best; the following are somewhat fragmented and too focused on Toad, who suddenly takes the role as main character over from Mole. The inconsistencies in the book are also puzzling (for an adult reader): the animals - apart from Toad who lives in a mansion - live in holes underground, but they are still large enough to ride horses and cars, they can talk to humans, and are put in human prisons for their transgressions.

Still, a very sweet little book, but too uneven in quality to get full marks.

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