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The Annotated Wind in the Willows (The Annotated Books) Hardcover – April 6, 2009
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“[Jacques’ introduction is] a paean to the story and its heroes that is in delightful harmony with the book’s spirit…richly illustrated throughout.”
- Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe
- Meghan Cox Gurdon, National Review
“[I]nsights that burnish the book…enrich the experience of reading the book…it’s the introduction…that give[s] us a new relationship to the story.”
- Jeremy McCarter, Newsweek
“[A] superlative book...It is the ultimate desk-bound person’s fantasy scheme.”
- Roger Lewis, The Daily Express
“Certainly anybody who wants to own just one annotated Wind in the Willows should choose Gauger's.”
- Michael Dirda, The New York Review of Books
“[Gauger] by far [is] the more extensive and detailed of the two annotators.”
- Charles McGrath, The New York Times
“[Gauger] provides revealing insights into the psychological and social genesis of The Wind in the Willows…illuminating…analysis of the pictures…lovers of The Wind in the Willows are surely indebted to Ms. Gauger’s work, and her readers will love seeing illustrations from so many editions.”
- Claire Hopley, Washington Times
“I found The Annotated Wind in the Willows is absolutely fascinating and delightful. Practically every page is a revelation, and being able to compare the various illustrations is both stimulating and thought-provoking. Most importantly, perhaps, Alastair Grahame finally gets some close attention that puts him in a new, and much happier, light. It's a fitting tribute to the great original, and will delight enthusiasts and academics alike. An absolutely fantastic book.”
- Jan Needle, author of Wild Wood, a sequel to The Wind in the Willows
“A beautiful and fascinating book which surely must become the definitive edition for any lovers of Kenneth Grahame. Annie Gauger has produced a lavish and scholarly work which still allows us to enjoy the original story without all the incredible research feeling unnecessarily intrusive.”
- John O'Farrell
“The tradition that Martin Gardner began with the Annotated Alice has been splendidly upheld by Annie Gauger. What Gardner did for Lewis Carroll, Gauger has done in spades for Kenneth Grahame, in a sumptuously produced volume that’s a delight to handle as well as read. The background information on display really dazzles: I only wish I'd had this book to consult when writing Grahame’s biography.”
- Peter Green, author of Kenneth Grahame, 1859-1932: A Study of His Life, Work, and Times
From the Back Cover
The authoritative edition of this classic work―now with millions of copies in print all over the world―published to honor the author’s 150th birthday.
With a stirring introduction by Brian Jacques, the internationally best-selling author of the Redwall Series.
“The tradition that Martin Gardner began with The Annotated Alice has been splendidly upheld by Annie Gauger. What Gardner did for Lewis Carroll, Gauger has done in spades for Kenneth Grahame, in a sumptuously produced volume that’s a delight to handle as well as read. The background information on display really dazzles: I only wish I’d had this book to consult when writing Grahame’s biography.”―Peter Green, author of Kenneth Grahame, 1859–1932: A Study of His Life, Work, and Times
Classic praise for The Wind in the Willows
“Destined to be one of those dog-eared volumes which one laughs over and loves.”―The New York Times, 1908
“I have read it and re-read it, and have come to accept the characters as old friends. . . . Indeed, I feel very much about going to Africa as the seafaring rat did when he almost made the water-rat wish to forsake everything and start wandering!”―President Theodore Roosevelt to Kenneth Grahame, 1909
“It is what I call a Household Book . . . a book which everybody in the household loves, and quotes continually ever afterwards; a book which is read aloud to every new guest.”―A. A. Milne, 1920
“I rank [The Wind in the Willows] very high in its class―up in the region of Alice in Wonderland almost―and much higher than the efforts of Mickey Mouse.”―E. M. Forster, 1942
“Consider Mr. Badger in The Wind in the Willows―that extraordinary amalgam of high rank, course manners, gruffness, shyness, and goodness. The child who has once met Mr. Badger has ever afterwards in its bones a knowledge of humanity and of English social history which it could not get in any other way.”―C. S. Lewis, 1950
The Annotated Wind in the Willows includes:
- The complete text of the original letters that inspired the novel
- Hundreds of full-color illustrations, many rare and previously unpublished
- Thousands of annotations on the historical and literary context of the novel
- Dozens of previously unpublished documents: letters, lists, and other Grahame artifacts
- A selection of critical responses upon first release, including the complete text of many of the early reviews
Top customer reviews
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One thing about it; as you get older, and hopefully wiser, you discover observations of human nature in the pages of this book that are often times overlooked by the young reader. As an old man I can now read this book and picture in my mind individuals I have known and met throughout my life that are living parallels to the characters in this book...good grief, I can even find myself if I am dead honest with myself!
This one is considered a classic and for good reason. I suspect that it will remain so for years and years to come. Some stories are simply timeless.
First off, Wind in the Willows is a beautifully written tale, as many others here have already told. So well written, it is, that some people believe it shouldn't be illustated at all. However, as an artist, I am not in that camp. I appreciate a person willing to render 2D or 3D life to the written word. What a task!
This is a book which one can pick it up and put it down as one wishes. We sometimes read our favorite bits over and over. Grahame's writing is perfection, and we voice his characters for fun sometimes. There's a silly claymation television series that was done in the 1980s if you want to show the kids the t.v. version after you've read it to them. It was available on Netflix - not sure if it still is.
Also, for 'purists', fyi, this is the book in its unabridged form (the original full length tale).
For those looking for the abridged version, with lovely illustrations, check out the version with Inga Moore as illustrator. Moore has illustrated a version of The Secret Garden which is also lovely.
You will probably like this if you enjoyed books like Anne of Green Gables.
Chris MacDonnell as narrator is an excellent choice, his character's speaking voices are so perfect. Mole is voiced as a slightly self-deprecating creature, but his voice strengthens as he grows wiser later in the book. Badger is a big gruff voiced animal, and Toad is voiced just as a toad should be, with a slight nasally tone that comes from not having a proper nose. MacDonnell gives little touches to the story like chuckles and car horns, they fit right in.
I was provided a copy of the audiobook by Chris MacDonnell in exchange for an honest review. I really think this audiobook would be perfect for a nostalgic adult or to play for a child as a bedtime story.