Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Review: Wind in the Willows

     This was such a lovely book I couldn't help but want to share my opinion on it, and seeing as I plan to read a lot of classics this year, I thought I would give short little book reviews for all the books I read. So welcome to my first book review here in which I look back at childhood memories and a few aspects of the story itself.
     As I mentioned, Wind in the Willows was an absolutely lovely book. I grew up watching the movie several times. So many, in fact, that I can envision, right now, the character of Water Rat and hear his voice in my ears. Reading the book was like watching the movie all over again. The peaceful riverside, the daring adventures of Toad, and all the wonderful characters rolled through my mind. Each character's voice and appearance as in the movie was exactly what I saw and heard so clearly as though they were standing right in front of me. Perhaps because of seeing the movie long before reading the book, as well as being almost an adult, I did not experience the story with as much imagination. This book was less like reading a children's book, if it can even be called that, and more like sinking into a comforting world of familiar faces and places.
     But I doubt you have the same childhood fondness of Wind in the Willows as I did. Nonetheless, I truly recommend reading this book. I picked it up when I had a major migraine and to that point, a horrible day. It took very little time before I'd sunk into the peaceful life by the River which soothed me of my headache. Then there were the crazy, whimsical adventures of Toad that never quite turned out. They were entertaining in their own respect, but I found I was always wanting to get back to the River. Some people will read this book and hate the River parts, wanting to move on in the adventure of theft, battle, and risk taking. As a child I always disliked the parts in the beginning with the slow River stories. It was Toad's adventures I wanted to watch. Now that I'm older it's the opposite funny enough.
     But always there was dependable, mature Badger, and Rat, whom is probably my favorite because of the movies. Mole, oh innocent loveable Mole! And a myriad of other characters. I believe the afterword in my version states it best that this book is really three books in one. A lovely soothing time to sink into, a high adventure of reckless youth, and the beauty of living in nature. I believe that anyone could find something they love in it.
      I have heard people say though, that reading the book as adult was not very enjoyable, that it was a childish book, or other excuses along the line of the story. Personally, though my young imaginative child self would have read the book with much imagination, I truly believe I have read it at a far better time in my life. I was able to look past just the story and see life and learn and see the hidden messages in the book. For truly, the author seems to write more for an adult audience looking back on childhood memories and wanting to escape the world for a bit. Or to warn the young that there are terrible things out there and we ought to stay where we are for as long as we can by peaceful River (all right that idea came from the Afterword haha). Regardless of age, I think we can all enjoy this book. I'm incredibly thankful I picked it up. :)

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