The Wind in the Willows is about a mole, a water rat, a badger and a toad who has a penchant for expensive cars. Sounds interesting? You bet! It can be termed as a children’s book, but it is for everybody who is a child at heart. There is something very ‘cute’ about the book – the innocent characters, the simple story line, the language they speak and the simple, everyday things that the characters take great pleasure in.
When I saw that this book appears on BBC’s The Big Read – ‘Top 100’ and 30 books to read before you turn 30, I set really high expectations on this book. I had the memories of The Secret Garden fresh in my mind and I was hoping this book too is as likeable as the first one. While The Wind in the Willows is a good book, I don’t understand what the hype is all about. The book definitely does not deserve to be part of any ‘must read’ lists. The Secret Garden is a totally different book – it revolves around humans and the story is something that one could easily relate to. There is a very strong presence of nature in it which makes it even more charming. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy animated characters and animals dressed up and leading a more human life, but Willows just didn’t work for me. If I can relate to Calvin and Hobbes where the stuffed tiger lives only in the child’s imagination, I should be able to appreciate any animal character, right? But the rat or the mole or the toad just didn’t stir any feelings in me. All that stuff about the toad ordering expensive cars and wasting away his life and money, the rat and the mole being such good buddies and helping the toad find his goal in life – I could not digest all this.
Just a few words about this book can’t be called a review, but I am still blogging this because I need to air my views somewhere. Please do not be discouraged by my view of this book. I am known to dislike books which others just love. In fact, you should mark a book as a ‘have-to-read-it-no-matter-what’ if I give it a bad review. Told you, I am insane!