The Wind in the Willows Review

The Annotated Wind in the Willows 
by Kenneth Graham

Summary: Meek little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. In the almost one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they’ve become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers’ imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie. An instant bestseller upon its initial publication in 1908, The Wind in the Willows has become one of the beloved stories of all time. How could Ratty and Mole have known when they took to the river over one hundred years ago that they would begin a phenomenon that would produce one of the most oft-quoted lines in British literature, and inspire everyone from the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh to Pink Floyd? Drawing from more than a decade of research, Annie Gauger, one of the world’s leading experts on Kenneth Grahame and The Wind in the Willows, now presents a fascinating new annotated edition that reintroduces readers to Otter, curmudgeonly Badger, and rollicking, boastful Toad, while revealing the secrets behind this treasured classic.

Review: I gave this a 5 out of 5. 
I loved this story. It was fun and adventurous, had a lot of character building, and was extremely well written. My father in law gave me this book for Christmas and said it was his favorite book growing up. I can see why and I will definitely reread this book many times in the future. 
The only downside is the annotations. It was a bit difficult as a first time reader to decide whether to ignore the annotations or pause my reading to glance at each one. I opted for reading a chunk of chapters and then going back to each of the notes. Most of the notes were fairly interesting, especially some of the artwork and letters, but some of them were distracting. Some notes were more interpretations based upon knowing the conclusion, which I didn’t. After finishing the book, the interpretations began to interest me and I appreciate them now. 
I suppose this version would better suit those who have read this book before. I look forward to reading it again and catching any details I may have missed the first time around. 

This book also completes category 11 of the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012:

  hosted by: bookedout


  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult
  6. Fantasy
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favorite genre

This book also completes 1 of the 6 books I chose for the That’s What You Think Challenge.

  1. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  2. Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky* edited since I picked it up today.
  3. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  4. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  5. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  6. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

One thought on “The Wind in the Willows Review

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