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The Wind in the Willows [Kindle Edition]

Kenneth Grahame
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kenneth Grahame was born on 8 March (1859) in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he was a little more than a year old, his father, an advocate, received an appointment as sheriff-substitute in Argyllshire at Inveraray on Loch Fyne. Kenneth loved the sea and was happy there, but when he was 5, his mother died from complications of childbirth, and his father, who had a drinking problem, gave over care of Kenneth, his brother Willie, his sister Helen and the new baby Roland to Granny Ingles, the children's grandmother, in Cookham Dean in the village of Cookham in Berkshire. There the children lived in a spacious, if dilapidated, home, "The Mount", on spacious grounds in idyllic surroundings, and were introduced to the riverside and boating by their uncle, David Ingles, curate at Cookham Dean church. This delightful ambiance, particularly Quarry Wood and the River Thames, is believed, by Peter Green, his biographer, to have inspired the setting for The Wind in the Willows. He was an outstanding pupil at St Edward's School in Oxford. During his early years at St. Edwards, a sports regimen had not been established and the boys had freedom to explore the old city with its quaint shops, historic buildings, and cobblestone streets, St Giles' Fair, the idyllic upper reaches of the River Thames, and the nearby countryside. Grahame wanted to attend Oxford University, but was not allowed to do so by his guardian on grounds of cost. Instead he was sent to work at the Bank of England in 1879, and rose through the ranks until retiring as its Secretary in 1908 due to ill health, which may have been precipitated by a strange, possibly political, shooting incident at the bank in 1903. Grahame was shot at three times, all of them missed. An alternative explanation, given in a letter on display in the Bank museum, is that he had quarrelled with Walter Cunliffe, one of the bank's directors, who would later become Governor of the Bank of England, in the course of which he was heard to say that Cunliffe was "no gentleman", and that his retirement was enforced ostensibly on health grounds. Grahame died in Pangbourne, Berkshire, in 1932. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford. Grahame's cousin Anthony Hope, also a successful author, wrote his epitaph, which reads: "To the beautiful memory of Kenneth Grahame, husband of Elspeth and father of Alastair, who passed the river on the 6th of July, 1932, leaving childhood and literature through him the more blest for all time."

Product Details

  • File Size: 320 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619490609
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083Z9D7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,869 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars buy a better copy, with illustrations January 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nothing in the current reviews indicates what this printing of TWITW really is: a cheap paperback, without illustrations, poorly presented, of a book which is no longer copyright, so there are essentially no standards that apply to the printing of it. I ordered nine copies of this edition, including one sent to myself, and the rest to family members as gifts. I was embarrassed when I received the copy sent to me; the quality of the book is cheap in the extreme, and none of the illustrations are in it. (I suppose they were still protected by copyright)

I complained to Amazon, and they have refunded the costs of the books and the shipping, asking only for my copy back. I will find a better version of this book on Amazon and send a copy to each of the family members who received the copies of this edition.

"The Wind In The Willows" is a wonderful book. Everyone should read it, or have it read to them, as I was lucky enough to have done, but be careful which edition of it you buy. Make sure you get the unabridged version, and make sure you get a version of it where the publisher was conscientious enough to do the book justice. It deserves no less.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Unique Read February 23, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The last time I read Wind in the Willows, I was about 14 years old. I recall being slightly put off. Something seemed just... off about the story.

Having re-read it, I now know what bothered me. This book really isn't for kids at all. It's mature--not "mature" in a "bad" sense, but mature in the way it looks at the world. Characters have experiences that I think only an adult would completely comprehend--such as Rat's sudden wanderlust. Additionally, I think I was trying to find a point to it, but there's really no such thing. There's a light overarching story arc revolving around Toad's motorcar shenanigans, but that's as close as it gets. Most of the time it's a meandering series of short stories about animals farting around in a forest.

But what a fun fart-about it is! It is spectacularly well written--I am in awe of Grahame's prose--and includes lovable characters, great dialogue, and hilarious asides. The human mannerisms of the animals are charming, and it's quite funny to think of them as proper English gentlemen--as, I think, Grahame intended. The icing on the cake is Grahame's loving descriptions of nature and all the life that lives in it.

So many elements make this story precious and unique. It stands the test of time with ease. Please give it a chance! I think you'll really enjoy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How? May 3, 2014
I hardly feel up to the task of reviewing this. How is it that the first-ever novel, and first work in ten years, of a short story author whose name isn't primarily known anymore (and among his works, only one other is remembered), and which is cobbled together in this way (one 5-chapter arc, then a second 5-chapter arc interrupted by two alternating self-contained chapters--and where the plot arc that ties things together doesn't do so as well as the themes explored more deeply elsewhere, as in one of the self-contained chapters), has stood the test of time, to where it's still remembered and beloved and influential today? How is it that a work like this so impresses the late Professor J. R. R. Tolkien, who apparently as a rule didn't think much of English literature since the time of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages? I wonder if even the author fully knew his own work's significance--it's there, it's palpable, hardly seems possible to put it into words except through poetry. Yet the book is its own prose poem, if you will, so that the book is almost its own review.

And maybe that's just as it should be--it's like trying to review God. The best way that we, whose brains are too tiny to fit the infinite God inside them, can know what God is like (other than experiencing the effects of His actions) is to know what He isn't like. Beyond that, only poetry can really capture the Mystery to any palpable capacity, for all of the writings of such Doctors of the Church as Saint Thomas Aquinas (not that those are wrong or not worthwhile, just that they aren't the be-all and end-all of the faith, and mundane words don't capture the experience, not even when you understand them).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale January 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This has been one of my favorite stories since childhood, and I continually enjoy meeting again the wonderful characters of Mr. Toad, Badge, Rat, and Mole. A wonderful and imaginative tale, it incorporates the beauty of country life and a fine moral for children that honesty, friendship, and humility are important virtues.
It is also interesting to note that this book was one of the inspirations of Brian Jacques, author of the popular "Redwall" series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way, WAAAY better than you think, especially for adults. February 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Never mind the Piper at the Gates of Dawn, or Toad of ToadHall -- think Badger and... Wayfarers All.

Out of five stars, rates a solid eight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic book but hard to read aloud December 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although harder to read aloud it is one of the best books so I got it anyway for the older kids. They enjoy it more than the little ones. They did not understand and the soothing voice reading for bedtime wasn't there since hard to read.
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