Wayne's Reviews > The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
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's review
Nov 24, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: re-reads, children-s-books
Recommended to Wayne by: compulsory reading in second year of High School
Recommended for: the child in us all
Read 2 times. Last read January 1, 1961.

Hard to let go of a book like this especially when the illustrations so mirror the text.
Such lovable characters in humble Mole, caring and indulgent Ratty, and the daunting but fatherly Badger, except it is difficult to warm to the deceitful and conceited Toad whose transformation is scarely credible, but he supplies so much fun and absurd adventures that one wants to believe!!
The rest of the book is about friendship and shared moments, home and hearth, the urge to travel and the love and fear and mystic quality of Nature.
There is something here for EVERYBODY - child and adult.

Just picked up this afternoon a secondhand copy, hardcover, with illustrations by E.H.Shepard who also immortalised
the Winnie-the-Pooh series and poems of A.A.Milne.
It had just been put on the shelf!!
When I read a kid's book I WANT PICTURES!!!!!THE BEST!!!

Already into Chapter 2.
What a delight!!!!!!!!

I may never need to add anything else to this review.

Why so long before reading this classic a second time??

Because I discovered some years ago Kenneth Grahame's other two earlier classics AND written for ADULTS and huge successes published some 15 years before "Wind in the Willows".
They are "The Golden Age" and "Dream Days".
Two engaging accounts of children growing up.
I stumbled across two chapters from them, "The Argonauts" and "The Roman Road", used as essays in a book entitled "Selected Essays".
Loved them and it sent me in search of the original volumes mentioned at the close of the essay.
Got both books in one volume illlustrated by Charles Keeping...secondhand!!!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
Started Reading
January 1, 1961 – Finished Reading
November 24, 2008 – Shelved
November 24, 2008 – Shelved as: re-reads
November 24, 2008 – Shelved as: children-s-books
July 9, 2009 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
August 25, 2009 – Shelved as: children-s-books (Paperback Edition)
August 25, 2009 – Shelved as: art-and-artists (Paperback Edition)
August 25, 2009 – Shelved as: re-reads (Paperback Edition)
August 25, 2009 – Shelved as: english-classic-lit (Paperback Edition)

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Rayni I'm jealous of your finds.

Wayne You know, Rayni, searching these books out in the secondhand shops is like going on a treasure hunt.
There aren't as many round as there were , but I know some good ones.

Do try and get hold of these other two books by Kenneth Grahame. They have the same lovely qualities as his "Wind in the Willows".Your local library may have some editions which have the illustrations by E.H.Shephard who also did A.A.Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books. I think they would be better than Charles Keeping's. But even without illustrations they just grab your heart strings and make some enchanting music.
GO TO IT, GIRL!!!!!!
love from ....WaYnE.

Rayni That's the problem, getting to the second hand stores. I don't get to the city by myself very often. We don't have any in our little town, so I'll certainly try to find these.

Rayni, Do you have a local library that will get books in from other libraries if they don't happen to have what you require??
3 words says IT!!!

NOW...where is your "little town" in that Big United States of YOURS???
From memory your in Utah/Colorado? Mormon Territory? Trying to jolt my memory.
Me? NSW = New South Wales ...because the coastline reminded an early visitor of that part of the world.
Or just naming it for home. Hence: NEW Zealand, NEW Guinea, your NEW York, NEW Orleans, NEW Jersey...must be hundreds!!!
Sydney.Capital of NSW. (Canberra is the National Capital.) I live in an inner city suburb, about 12kms from the CBD...old,full of trees and very multicultural. Friendly.NICE!!!!
Cheers from Wayne and hope your book-salvaging is a success!!!

Rayni Preston, Idaho, 7 miles north of the Utah border. Our area was settled in what was then Utah, but some dude in Washington DC took a ruler & drew a line & we ended up on the wrong side of the border.

My big problem in getting to used book stores is my elderly mother. When I get to the city, I have her with me. As you know, a used book store is not something to be treated lightly. You go in to browse & spend some time, not in a "heart in your mouth hurry," knowing someone is sitting in either the extremely hot car or cold car. She also worries that someone is going to hurt her.

Have just got out my atlas to locate you!!!!!
I am the main carer for our Mum. My younger sister has family and works fulltime and my older sister lives an hour away and has sons and grandchildren
I live about 6 minutes from Mum's retirement village and am recently retired and single.I'm so glad to be available for Mum but it is still a very demanding task.I feel I have very little time for my own life.
Reading is always wonderful and as you say so truly ,"a bookstore is not something to be treated lightly"!!!A dear friend gave me a bookmark the other day on which was written:" Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore." A quote from Henry Ward Beecher 1813 - 1837. Sounds American to me.
Try Amazon,the cyber bookshop. Second best but...!!!
I can see you are a voracious reader, Rayni.ENJOY!!!

message 7: by Wendy (new)

Wendy As a youngster, I always enjoyed the Wind in the Willows cartoon, so when I discovered as an adult that my mom owned a copy and was willing to let me borrow it, I thought it automatically followed I would enjoy the book, too. Not so.

I loved the first chapter, and found myself unable and unwilling to continue afterward, as it rapidly became all but incomprehensible to me.

What is it that people find so lovely and charming about this book, Wayne?

I wanted to share in that, and it still stings that I couldn't. I feel as though not liking this book means there's something lacking in my character, as silly as that sounds, even to me....

Wayne Wendy wrote: "As a youngster, I always enjoyed the Wind in the Willows cartoon, so when I discovered as an adult that my mom owned a copy and was willing to let me borrow it, I thought it automatically followed ..."

I often think that our first impression of something, (whatever that something may be, and it's endless), does leave a the deepest ...impression!!!
I remember a the psychologist, Lorenz ???...first name or last name???, and I am going back to 1967, told the story of how the baby chicks/ducklings(?) when born followed him around as if HE was their mother, because HE was the very FIRST living creature they sighted.
It is the same as reading a primer book or a classic comic of a classic novel. At some stage one will meet the Original. It may be Tolstoy's "War and Peace" or Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". Whatever classic it is for a start, will have less illustrations...or NONE at all !!!
But you can be sure it will be SUPERIOR in many other ways.
I could also compare it to seeing a film before reading the book. I can recall finding the book disappointing in comparison to the film on two occasions - "The Hours " by Michael Cunningham and "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene.
All I can do, Wendy, is to assure you that you are a much more complex mechanism than a chick or a duckling, and so there is every chance that you can reread Kenneth Grahame's book and enjoy descriptions, interior thoughts of characters, style of writing etc which a cartoon may not offer; certainly worth a try.
Particularly because this book was such a big departure from his other nostalgic books, (although it is so similar in so many ways), and it took time for it to establish itself. It is a book for adults, for everyone,as its values can be appreciated on so many levels. Like the original audience, you are already a Fan...just give your psyche time to adjust to the same wonderful meal in an other guise!!!!

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