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The Wind in the Willows: V&A Collector's Edition Hardcover – April 3, 2017
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About the Author
Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) was born in Edinburgh, but grew up with relatives in Berkshire where he developed his love for the countryside surrounding the upper parts of the River Thames. He was educated at St Edward's in Oxford, but instead of going on to Oxford University he joined the Bank of England, where he rose to become Secretary. He wrote several books including The Golden Age and Dream Days which includes the short story 'The Reluctant Dragon' (later made into a Disney movie). Kenneth Grahame developed the character of Toad in The Wind in the Willows to amuse his young son, Alistair. It was published in 1908 and still remains a best-loved children's classic.
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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.
The sentences were beautiful, flowery, and definitely wordy...but also a bit boring. There were times we just had to power through some sections. The characters and their motivations I also found a bit odd like Toady and his motor car theft adventure. Also, times have changed and some things just don’t work well now. For example, my daughter was a bit shocked that many of the characters smoked in the evenings after dinner. I told her people (even anthropomorphized ones) used to smoke in 1908 when this was written because they did not know it caused lung cancer back then.
So, if you want to learn some great vocabulary and study amazing sentence structure then this is likely a good choice. If you are looking for an exciting tale for today’s reader, I would look elsewhere.
I would probably have preferred an edition with the illustrations by E.H. Shepard or Arthur Rackham (although the former would be more appropriate for someone who is six. However, neither of those editions was available on Amazon at less than collector's prices.
The most dismaying thing in my search for this book is the number of abridged versions for sale, which I believe to be unconscionable. I can well imagine those sections of the book that a modern editor / publisher might feel "superfluous," particularly for young readers. Well, if someone finds a chapter tedious, skip over it. It's not like that won't be necessary later in life, and with any number of other books.
You will probably like this if you enjoyed books like Anne of Green Gables.
Most recent customer reviews
Michael- The Wind in the Willows is about four...Read more