Tuesday, November 30, 2010

100 Greatest Books #96 - The Wind in the Willows

The next book on my 100 Greatest Books list is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. You can find this book on the BBC and Observer Book lists.

This is not what I was expecting when I started it. At first I was expecting a kiddy story about a bunch of animals. Well, there was a bunch of animals but it definitely was not kiddy. The story was very well written, not shying away from the larger, more adult, words when appropriate. The storyline at times seemed to be about random misadventures of a group of animals but through the story you can grasp a common thread going through four of them. My main problem with the story is that I felt unfulfilled afterwards. A character like Mole I felt really grew in character from the beginning where he was a naive "person" to the end where he was able to stand up for himself and help lead a revolt. Although a counterpoint to that is the character of Toad, who did not grow at all and actually seemed to devolve through the progress of the story. All through the story I was waiting for him to get his just desserts in the end but it never came. Even his supposed humbling at the end seemed fake, like he didn't actually feel any remorse over what he had done. So in regards to the Toad story arc I can't really recommend this book because it was a real disappointment when I got to the end.

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