The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Reposting this 2014 review because it is the Audible Book of the Day and on sale for $2.95
The Wind in the Willows | [Kenneth Grahame]Summary: A Classic children’s book about a water rat, a mole, a toad and a badger and their adventures.

As I have said before, I am trying an experiment of only allowing myself to buy one book a month right now so that I can force myself to read books that I already own.

I picked up a free audiobook copy of Wind in the Willows last year when Audible was giving away a number of classics (it is not currently a free audiobook, but there are several versions that are quite cheap.)

I am a bit hesitant to pick up a book that is so loved by so many (especially by Seth Simmons, one of’s regular contributors who has told me that he has read it at least 3 times in the last 5 years.)  I never want to dislike a book that others like, so I often have a hesitancy to even start books that others love.  Maybe others feel the same, or maybe I am just weird.

But I did enjoy this book.  It is a classic, somewhat slow, episodic children’s book.  The book opens with Mole getting tired of his life and deciding on a whim to leave his home and go on an adventure.  He eventually makes his way to the river and is invited on a ride by a river rat.  Mole assumes that the work of guiding a boat is easy and takes over.  Of course the boat flips, Rat saves Mole and takes him back to his home as a good host.  Mole just never leaves and they become good friends.

This is story that is aware of humans, but the animals live life as if they were humans with homes and jobs and stores and great houses and scary woods and weapons and boats and cars and jails.

There is not a great overarching plot, but rather this is a book that is trying to introduce you to characters.  Rat is unfailingly nice.  Mole is hard working, but adventurous and sometime naive.  Toad is hapless, foolish, and driven by excitement (and I think may be a children’s version of an alcoholic that just can’t stop doing things that everyone around him knows will end up harming him.)  Badger is grumpy and wise, but will take charge and do what needs to be done to save his friends.

This would make a great bedtime story for children. Each story is basically self contained but built on the previous story.  And I can see why many love the stories and why there are a variety of modern authors that are continuing to write Wind in the Willows books (see review of one modern book by Seth below).

Personally, this is a bit young in target for me. But I am glad I read it and I will keep them in mind to read with children in the future.

The Wind in the Willows Purchase Links: Paperback, Free Kindle Edition, Audiobook

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One Comment

I recently listened to this and had never read it before. The production of the audiobook I listened to was fantastic with different actors doing the voices and sound effects added. Good children’s book. And now the Disneyland ride I have been on so many times makes a bit more sense. (It doesn’t follow the book that closely.)

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