The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame, Gillian Avery, Rachell Sumpter, Gregory Maguire

187,539 ratings - 3.98* vote

One of the most celebrated works of classic literature for children, The Wind in the Willows follows Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger from one adventure to the next - in gipsy caravans, stolen sports cars, to prison and back to the Wild Wood. A story of animal cunning and human camaraderie, this remains a timeless tale nearly 100 years after its publication. Bringing together tr One of the most celebrated works of classic literature for children, The Wind in the Willows follows Mole, Rat, Toad and

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Book details

Paperback, 157 pages
October 4th 2012 by Penguin Classics

(first published 1908)

ISBN
0143106643 (ISBN13: 9780143106647)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

J.Aleksandr Wootton

Trying to review The Wind in the Willows is a strange undertaking. In the introduction to my copy, A. A. Milne wrote:

"One can argue over the merits of most books... one does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and if she does not like it, he asks her to return his letters. The old man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. ... When you sit down to [read] it, don't be so ridiculous as to suppose you are sitting in judgment on my taste, or on the art of Kenneth Grahame. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself. You may be worthy; I don't know. But it is you who are on trial."

Milne's comments may seem overly grave, especially to those familiar with Grahame's lighthearted, whimsical, occasionally mystical, story of Mole and Water Rat's genteel life on the bank of the River and the adventures of the incorrigible and ridiculous (and highly entertaining) Mr. Toad, wanton son of worthier sires, but look here: if you love the story, you are clearly on the side of the Hobbits (indeed, if you want to know what life in the Shire is like, I can't think of a better book to refer you to); and if you dislike it, you may be an Orc at heart - seducable, like Toad, away from quiet contemplative enjoyment of this sometimes-slow book by the flash and boom of technological gimmickry. You might be the kind of person who prefers to run on an electric treadmill or rubber sports track than hike a nature trail.

And if you are, I hope you have friends as stubbornly loyal as Mole, Water Rat, and Badger who will stick by you, in spite of yourself, until you come around.

Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

So fun and whimsical!

Jan-Maat

An Edwardian children's book that ends with the reimposition by force of the traditional squirearchical social order on the upstart lower orders as represented by Weasels, Stoats and Ferrets.

It is a through introduction to traditional British conservatism, of the Country Life rather than the Economist variety, for children with a side order of mild paganism. As such is an unwitting counterpoint to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

As with How to Read Donald Duck, once you look at it and shrug off the view that it is just a children's book then the values on show are not so nice. What is it that readers are asked to feel nostalgia for?

This was published in 1908, before Lloyd George prepared his People's Budget in 1909/10, before The Parliament Act of 1911 and at the same time as women were agitating for the vote. There are the book's Weasels, Stoats and Ferrets - so take up your cudgel to uphold Merrie Olde England and our ancestral rights to under occupied manor houses and the freedom to behave with some reckless abandon!

Alternatively we have the nostalgia of The Leisure Class, our heroes are people who don't have to work, who are so different from ordinary people that they don't even have to be human any more and who can indulge themselves as they see fit - save for the inexplicable unreasonableness of the law.

Ultimately it is what is, as we all are, in this particular case a homoerotic fantasy in which all the men and boys can go off and live an upper middle-class life as animals by the river banks without having to deal with the consequences of that decision, the women will still be prepared to do the washing and the ironing apparently, and indeed woe betide the creature that tries to interrupt this way of life. The only duty is to one another, infringement of privilege punishable by violence. For all its emphasis on nature and the river, it is a very inward looking book. It is a closed off world, the industrial, urban society with a market economy is literally populated by a different species. There are few things quite as curious and peculiar as the stories people would like children to delight in.

Matthew

I feel like I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately. It is not that I am reading a whole lot less, I am just not REALLY enjoying the time that I am reading. It might be that the whole family is in back to school mode, so schedules have changed. Or, maybe just the general ups and downs of life will occasionally put me in a “low interest in reading” category. All of this just to say that The Wind in The Willows is another victim of my “reading is meh” state.

When I first started this, I tried to read it to my kids every night. I figured since it was written for a younger crowd and I found it in the kid’s books section at the library it might be perfect for them. I recently read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to them and they loved it. So, this would be the next best step, right? Nope . . . they were not interested at all. We sat down for about 10 nights straight trying to read this and they quickly lost interest, loudly exclaiming “I’m bored” after a few pages. Around 40 or 50 pages in I finally gave up.

Then I went on to reading it on my own. Maybe my experience was tainted by my disgruntled children, but I was not getting much more excited about it than they did. Every time I read it I had to force myself to refocus as my mind was wandering. Now, this is not a complicated book, so the fact that I was losing touch with the content was definitely a red flag. And, I think another thing about it that was frustrating was that most of the book is really long run on sentences with lots of commas. You might think that doesn’t make a difference, but it is quite taxing on the brain when sentence after sentence goes on and on without a break. I kept wanted to yell “yes, yes, I get it! You can stop now!”

For many, this is a classic. If it was released now, I am not sure if it would be met with the same excitement. The story is kind of silly, which is okay as it is for kids. But, since it didn’t keep my kids interested, it must not be the right kind of silly. I need to look into the background of this story as I am sure that the anthropomorphic woodland creatures interacting with humans in a normal fashion must be an allegory for something. Or, maybe it all doesn’t mean anything. Either way, I am glad it is finally done and, on the bright side of things, I can check another classic off the list!

Anthony Buckley

This book was written in 1908, when the world was being shaken by the newly self-confident masses. Women were propagandising for the vote; the Irish were demanding Home Rule; the Trade Unions were showing their strength. Socialism theatened. A spectre was haunting Europe, and particularly England.

Wind in the Willows is an elegant parable about class struggle, about the dangers of decadant country-house-living in the face of powerful revolutionary forces.

There are maybe four generations in the story. There is the young man Ratty, a gentle sort of chap who spends his time messing about in boats. He is joined by the younger, less experienced Mole. Mole may even be petty-bourgeois, but he proves himself to be stout-hearted for all that. Mr Toad, however, has come into his inheritance, and lives in his country house. Toad is an irresponsible figure, taking up foolish hobbies of which, in the story, the most fateful is the motor car. The older man is Badger, and it is he that casts cold water on this irresponsibility.

But where is all this irresponsiblity going to lead? Outside this cosy comfortable setting, lie the dangerous forces in the Wild Wood. Mr Toad, besotted by his motor car, is arrested and sent to gaol. His defences down, his house is quickly occupied by the weasles and stoats who live in the Wild Wood.

To the rescue comes Mr Badger, who is wise enough to see that if Toad is to regain his valuable property, he must forsake idleness and frivolity and stand up to the people of the Wild Wood. So the band of gentlemanly heroes take up arms and re-establish the shaken social order.

"We shall creep out quietly into the butler's pantry -", cried the Toad,

"- with our pistols and swords and sticks - ", shouted the Rat,

"- and rush in upon them -", said the Badger,

"- and whack 'em and whack 'em and whack 'em - ", cried the Toad in ecstasy.


This is, then, a cautionary tale, a warning to the propertied classes to take up, if necessary, arms against the lower classes and to stop living lives of decadent indolence.

Fabian

A genuinely refreshing little romp through tunnels & pastures. Zen is something that's somehow--& very surprisingly--reached. This is the ultimate impression the reader is left with.

Outstanding, engaging and more fun than Aesop's menagerie, it moralizes vaguely on fidelity, the value of friendships & associations... The final sentence even addresses finally the main target audience-- the 'lil tykes and treasured ones; and even sustains with the theory that looks may be deceiving... the Badger is ultimately not the savage beast you may've erroneously predicted.

Sure, it is rife with discrepancies: a world where humans speak animal & animals speak human. The aid of humans is, I will admit --KAhYYute! There is wisdom in this, far surpassing anything in Disney's* imaginarium. The animals begin to hear a single string, a musical undertone, & this drives their natures and certainly seals their fates.

Which are you? Adventurous Toad? Impressionable Mole? Generous Badger? otter? fox? washer-woman? little girl (remember, womenfolk don't enter the tale until half-way the story!)?... or do you simply presume to know it all, omnipresent, and wise as the wind?

*okay, so obviously the Disney version DOES exist [although, did the ride outright disappear from the Anaheim theme park?]. I'm not stupid... But really the book is a longer journey, more in the literary tradition of Thoreau, and not instantaneous and vapid and bumpy, like the "ride." [But, DID YOU KNOW?!?! You CAN read Kenneth Grahame's entire novel waiting in line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. If it still exists.]

Manny

PART TWO OF PETER JACKSON'S THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (CONCLUSION)

[Night. Toad Hall, interior. STEPHEN FRY as TOAD and ORLANDO BLOOM as BADGER are in the middle of a wild melée with numerous STOATS and WEASELS.]

BADGER: It's no good, Toad! There's too many of them! [With a blow of his cudgel, he knocks a WEASEL into the open fire.]

TOAD: We can hold them off, Badger old chap!

[EVANGELINE LILLY as a HOT BADGER-BABE crashes through the window and lands next to them.]

BADGER: [Choked with emotion] You came back.

HOT BADGER-BABE: Badger.

[For a moment, they just look at each other. A STOAT tries to take advantage of their inattention to sneak up on them from behind, but TOAD grabs a carving knife from the dining table and wittily disembowels him.]

BADGER: Thanks, Toad.

[TWO MORE STOATS have meanwhile advanced on TOAD. BADGER amusingly decapitates them with a single blow of his cudgel.]

TOAD: Nice work, Badger!

[Dissolve to the pantry, where MARTIN FREEMAN as MOLE is frantically mixing something in a large bowl, assisted by ELIJAH WOOD as RATTY.]

MOLE: Okay, that's the sugar. Now we need some fertilizer.

RATTY: Will this horse-shit do?

MOLE: It'll have to.

[He dumps it into the bowl, pours in the contents of a bottle, then accidentally drops everything on the floor.]

RATTY: Oh dear--

[A deafening explosion. Clouds of smoke cover everything, then we see letters superimposed on them saying PART THREE COMING NEXT CHRISTMAS.]

A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF KENNETH GRAHAME: What have we done?

C.

This is one of those books I want to love; I REALLY, really want to love this book. I've read so many essays by book lovers who have fond, childhood memories of being read this by their father, or who ushered in spring each year by taking this book to a grassy field and reading this in the first warm breezes of May. I want to find the tea and boating and wooded English countryside to be slow yet sonoriously comforting, like a Bach cello suite or a warm cup of cider on a cool April night.

But I just find it tediously boring. I've tried it three times, and after about twelve pages I sigh, put it down, and pick up something else. Perhaps my father needed to have read it to me when I was young.

Ahmad Sharabiani

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Scottish novelist Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. With the arrival of spring and fine weather outside, the good-natured Mole loses patience with spring cleaning. He flees his underground home, emerging to take in the air and ends up at the river, which he has never seen before. Here he meets Rat (a water vole), who at this time of year spends all his days in, on and close by the river. Rat takes Mole for a ride in his rowing boat. They get along well and spend many more days boating, with “Ratty” teaching Mole the ways of the river, with the two friends living together in Ratty's riverside home. One summer day, Rat and Mole disembark near the grand Toad Hall and pay a visit to Toad. Toad is rich, jovial, friendly and kind-hearted, but aimless and conceited; he regularly becomes obsessed with current fads, only to abandon them abruptly. Having recently given up boating, Toad's current craze is his horse-drawn caravan. He persuades the reluctant Rat and willing Mole to join him on a trip. Toad soon tires of the realities of camp life, and sleeps in the following day to avoid chores. Later that day, a passing motorcar scares the horse, causing the caravan to overturn into a ditch. Rat threatens to have the law on the car driver, while Mole calms the horse, but Toad's craze for caravan travel is immediately replaced by an obsession with motorcars. Mole wants to meet the respected but elusive Badger, who lives deep in the Wild Wood, but Rat – knowing that Badger does not appreciate visits – tells Mole to be patient and wait for Badger to pay them a visit himself. Nevertheless, on a snowy winter's day, while the seasonally somnolent Rat dozes, Mole impulsively goes to the Wild Wood to explore, hoping to meet Badger. He gets lost in the woods, sees many "evil faces" among the wood's less-welcoming denizens, succumbs to fright and panic and hides, trying to stay warm, among the sheltering roots of a tree. ...

عنوانها: ب‍اد در م‍ی‍ان‌ ش‍اخ‍ه‌ه‍ای‌ ب‍ی‍د؛ باد در درختان بید‮؛ باد در بیدزار؛ باد در میان شاخه‌های بید؛ ن‍ویسنده‌: ک‍ن‍ت‌ گ‍راه‍ام‌؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و سوم ماه اکتبر سال 2002 میلادی
عنوان: ب‍اد در م‍ی‍ان‌ ش‍اخ‍ه‌ه‍ای‌ ب‍ی‍د؛ ن‍ویسنده‌: ک‍ن‍ت‌ گ‍راه‍ام‌؛ مت‍رج‍م‍: ش‍اه‍ده‌ س‍ع‍ی‍دی‌‏‫؛ ت‍ص‍وی‍رگ‍ر: ارن‍س‍ت‌. چ‌. ش‍پ‍ارد؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: نشر چشمه، کتاب ونوشه‏‫، 1379؛ در 228 ص؛ شابک: 9645571332؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 20 م
عنوان: ‏‫باد در درختان بید‮؛ نویسنده: کنت گرهم‏‫؛ مترجم: آرزو احمی‮‬؛ تهران: پیدایش‏‫، 1395؛ در 309 ص؛ شابک: 9786002964045؛‮‬ چاپ دوم 1396؛
عنوان: باد در بیدزار؛ نویسنده: کنت گراهام؛ مترجم: سحر‌السادات رخصت‌ پناه؛ ویراستار: مهدی حجوانی؛ تهران: افق‏‫، ‏‫1396؛ در 193 ص؛ شابک: 9786003533493؛‬‬ چاپ دوم 1396؛ در 331 ص؛شابک: 9786003532793؛
عنوان: باد در میان شاخه‌های بید؛ نویسنده: کنت گراهام؛ مترجم المیرا کاس نژاد؛ ویراستار: عزت جلالی؛ تهران : پینه دوز‏‫، ‏‫1396؛ در 52 ص؛ شابک: 9789642886999؛‬‬

با رسیدن بهار و خوب شدن آب و هوا، حوصله ی «موش کور» خوش قلب داستان، از نظافت و تمیزکاری سر میرود. او از خانه ی زیرزمینی خود خارج شده، و پس از گذشت مدتی، به رودخانه ای میرسد، که پیشتر هرگز آن را ندیده بود. «موش کور» در آنجا، «موش آبی» را دیدار میکند که در این موقع از سال، تمام روزهایش را در کنار آب رودخانه میگذراند. این دو با قایق «موش کور» به گشتن در رودخانه مشغول میشوند، و رابطه ی دوستانه ای میانشان شکل میگیرد. کتاب «باد در درختان بید»، نوشته ی «کنت گراهم»، همانند دیگر آثار بزرگ ادبیات کودک، برای بزرگترها هم همیشه جذاب، و دلپسند بوده است. با اینکه این کتاب برای نخستین بار در سال 1908 میلادی به انتشار رسید، و در آن زمان، اتومبیلها چندان فراگیر نبودند، «باد در درختان بید»، به شکل شگفت انگیزی، توصیفاتی بسیار امروزی، از «آقای وزغ» عاشق سرعت، «گورکن مهربان»، «موش آبی احساساتی» و «موش کور ماجراجو» ارائه میدهد. این رمان از لطافت طبع، و سبک نگارش دل انگیز «کنت گرهم» بهره مند بوده، و داستانی بسیار جذاب و سرگرم کننده درباره ی شجاعت، بخشندگی و از همه مهمتر، درباره ی دوستی است. نقل نمونه از متن: «صدای زمخت و مشکوکی گفت: «اگر یک بار دیگر چنین اتفاقی بیفتد، خیلی عصبانی می‌شوم. این دیگر کیست که در همچین شبی مزاحم مردم می‌شود؟ حرف بزن!» موش فریاد زد: «گورکن، لطفاً بگذار بیاییم داخل. منم، موش، با دوستم موش کور. توی برف راهمان را گم کردیم.» گورکن با لحنی کاملاً متفاوت گفت: «چی؟ موش‌ موشک، دوست کوچولوی عزیزم! بیایید داخل، هر دوتان، همین حالا. حتماً خیلی عذاب کشیدید! توی برف گم شده‌ اید. من هیچ‌ وقت در برف گم نشده‌ ام، آن هم در جنگل، آن هم این وقت شب. بیایید تو.» دو جانور از بس هول بودند وارد خانه شوند لای دست‌ و‌ پای هم رفتند داخل، و وقتی صدای بسته شدن در پشت سرشان را شنیدند، خوشحالی و آسودگی وجودشان را فرا گرفت. گورکن، لباس خواب بلندی به تن داشت، دمپایی‌هایش هم واقعاً کهنه بودند، شمع کوتاهی در دست گرفته بود و احتمالاً وقتی احضارش کردند، داشت می‌رفت بخوابد. او نگاه محبت‌ آمیزی به آن دو انداخت، دستی به سرشان کشید، و مثل پدری دلسوز گفت: «این از آن شب‌هایی نیست که دو جانور کوچک بیرون بمانند. فکر کنم دوباره سرگرم یکی از آن مسخره‌ بازی‌هایت بودی، موش‌ موشک. بیایید، بیایید توی آشپزخانه. آنجا آتش خوبی روشن است و شام هم هست.» گورکن شمع ‌به‌ دست جلوتر رفت و راه را روشن کرد، آنها هم سقلمه‌ ای به هم زدند و دنبالش رفتند، از راهرویی دراز، تاریک و درب و ‌‌داغان گذشتند، وارد اتاقی مرکزی، که راهروهای دراز و تونل‌ مانندی از آن خارج می‌شد، شدند، تونل‌هایی اسرارآمیز، که از قرار معلوم ته نداشتند. اما اتاق، درهایی هم داشت، درهایی محکم از چوب بلوط. گورکن، یکی‌ از آنها را باز کرد و بلافاصله خود را، در روشنایی و گرمای آشپزخانه‌ ای با آتشی بزرگ یافتند. زمین از آجرهایی قرمز و کهنه‌ بود، و در شومینه‌ ی بزرگش، آتشی بین دو ستون، که در دیوار کار گذاشته شده بود، دور از خطر باد و بوران، می‌سوخت. یک جفت نیمکت، با پشتی بلند روبروی هم، جلو آتش قرار داشتند، و وسایل آسایش بیشتری را، برای کسانی که دوست داشتند بنشینند، و معاشرت کنند، فراهم می‌کردند. وسط اتاق، میز درازی از چوب خام، با سه پایه و دو نیمکت در دو طرفش، قرار داشت. در انتهای میز، جاییکه یک صندلی عقب زده شده بود، بقیه‌ ی شام روستایی، اما مفصل گورکن قرار داشت. ردیف‌های بشقاب‌های تمیز، از قفسه‌ های کمدی در انتهای اتاق، به آنها چشمک می‌زدند، و از تیرک‌های بالای سرشان: گوشت، دسته‌های سبزی خشک، تورهایی پر از پیاز، و سبدهای تخم‌ مرغ، آویزان بود. شبیه جایی بود، که قهرمانان می‌توانستند، پیروزی‌شان را با بریز و بپاش بزرگی، جشن بگیرند، جاییکه کشاورزان خسته از درو محصول، می‌توانستند گروه گروه پشت میزش بنشینند، و با آواز و شادی، جشن خرمن برگزار کنند، یا جایی که دو سه دوست ساده می‌توانستند، هر طور که راحت بودند، دور هم بنشینند، با ‌آسودگی و رضایت، چیزی بخورند، و پیپ بکشند، و با هم حرف بزنند.»؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

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