I will admit it; I have not previously read The Wind in the Willows. I had heard about the book and the characters Toad, Mole, and Rat. However, I had no prior reason to actually pick the book up and read it.
Before reading the book I had the impression that The Wind in the Willows is a children's book. The simplicity of the characters and the natural flow of the text would continue to lend that idea. I mean the main characters are animals, right? Perhaps, it was in fact at one time a children's book. Then I imagine (well some days I do not have to imagine too hard) my children using words like wench and ass, to name a few, and I am more inclined to not have them read this story.
When I read the first chapter of the book I had a horrible fear of being stuck reading this book. It starts off with Mole leaving his house after spring cleaning, finding Rat, and never coming home. The actions made no sense, it is almost like the first chapter was added as an afterthought to give the book some context. Which may not be too far off. Most of the book reads like a collection of short stories that were then combined into chapters. The only part of the book that has any sense of a continuing plot is the misadventures of Mr. Toad.
Is the book all that bad? No, after I finished the first chapter I found myself being swept away into the worlds of Mole and Rat. I admit I was a bit surprised about how I found myself engulfed in their world. It was a fun read, one I am glad to have added to my list. However, I do not see myself burning to return to their world.
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