Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)


★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 8.00

Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Narrator: Michael Hordern
Genre: Fiction / Classic / Middle Grade / Childrens
First published: 1908
Edition: Audio & hardback, published by Methuen & Co

Reflecting the freshness of childhood wonder, the story still offers adults endless sophistication, substance, and depth. The animals’ world embodies the author’s wry, whimsical, and unfailingly inventive imagination. It is a world that succeeding generations of both adult and young readers have found irresistible. But why say more? To use the words of the estimable Mr. Toad himself: “Travel, change, interest, excitement!…Come inside.”


I never really thought of reading this novel to be honest. I remember the movie from when I was little, and I was given an old hardback copy of this book after an elderly family member passed away. I liked leafing through it. It has lovely illustrations by Ernest H Shephard.

The audio book was included in my membership, so I decided to listen to it on a whim. First of all, the narrator’s old fashioned voice fits the story very well and I enjoyed listening to him. The story itself… It’s very charming and it definitely was a fun time. At the time it was published, in 1908, Toad’s obsession with cars must have been pretty exciting!

Now, over a century later, the story has not lost any of its charm, but I found it a bit too silly in places. I know it’s ridiculous, but the inconsistent way animals were portrayed throughout the book bugged me. Silly, I know, but obviously the main characters are animals, but then there were also animals that are kept as pets as well and a horse is just… well… a horse.

Anyway, aside from a couple of silly niggles like that, I enjoyed the read/listen.

4 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8
  • Ambience: 8
  • Language: 8
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 8
  • Interest: 7.5
  • Enjoyment: 8

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