Review: Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows”

by writereaderly

kenneth grahame wind in the willowsThis one was yet another distraction from the particularly fat book I’m trundling on through, and I am ashamed to admit that it was the first time I’d read it. I’ve seen the classic cartoon version a few times, and had the irritating experience of trying to mould the book to match the adaptation I already knew. But I was glad I read it: our benevolent dictator Ratty takes blossoming Mole under his tweeded wing and teaches him all a gentleanimal needs to know in Edwardian England, especially by contrast with Toady’s undignified adventures. The writing is quite lovely, as are the evocations and descriptions of the vanishing countryside and riverside; there are some powerful chapters which are not Toad related (and were therefore culled from the cartoon version); and I was buoyed up by the great dignity of the British petit bourgeoisie. Recommended.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading: A few reads evening and day, bothered that it took so long to get to the ending I knew was coming
Where it went: The W-T family
Reminds me of: Edwardian queers I’ve been wandering through (Forster, etc.)
Who I’d recommend it to: It’s a lovely book – young and old alike
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; Selected Essays by George Orwell; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Kalila and Dimna by Ramsey Woods; Old Wives´ Tales by Margaret Chamberlain