• The Wind in the Willows (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: Kenneth Grahame
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mole, Rat, and Badger are Toad's dearest friends even as the aristocratic amphibian's wastrel ways get him into trouble. After being arrested and sentenced to jail, he returns to his ancestral home of Toad Hall to find it overrun with stoats and weasels from the Wild Wood. But his friends haven't abandoned him yet. In fact, they've conspired to help drive the villainous vermin from his home.

Embracing themes of empathy and friendship under the most trying conditions, The Wind in the Willows follows the journey of its anthropomorphic characters through the changing seasons of the English countryside while providing life lessons that have endured for generations.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature's most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Wind in the Willows, this edition of The Wind in the Willows (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Wind in the Willows (AmazonClassics Edition)

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Favorite story, favorite narrator!

I listen to this version repeatedly. Simon Vance brings the characters to life just as they seem in my mind. And this tale never gets old. Loved it since childhood. An all-around treasure!

2 people found this helpful

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Mo wonder this book is a classic

I highly recommend this wonderful performance by Simon Vance, my absolute favorite reader. . I will listen again - something I rarely do.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Classic

Wonderful stories presented perfectly by the narrator.

I've listened to this more than once. It's appeal just can't be outgrown.

2 people found this helpful

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a total delight!

I never read it as a child, but wish I had! I would have adored it, as I do now. The narration is wonderful too!

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful Classic Well Told

I can't believe I have waited 43 years to read Wind on the Willows. A delightful story with in-depth characters and vivid descriptions. The descriptions of nature draw the reader into the scene masterfully without being overwhelming or tedious. The personalities and interactions of the animal friends are well developed and excellent examples of what true friendship looks like. This book is much more than a children's story! The narrator was excellent- just the right voicing for each character and smooth reading.

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Tales of incredible animals.

Beautifully read. I have always loved to listen to and watch anything in regards to the wind in the willows.

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Truly the best

This is one of my favorite stories of all time and I just love the eloquent writing of Kenneth Grahame. He makes me wish I could be there with Mole and Rat on one of their adventures and the narration by Simon Vance is top notch, the best really.

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Great performance and fun story.

The narration was pleasant and the story was fun which kept me engaged. I didn’t read this book when I was younger (I’m 47) so decided to catch up on some classics. Overall, I enjoyed the audio book.

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loved it

easy and fun to listen to while working helped pass the time and block out office chatter!

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Questionable Moral Lessons, also... Boring!

It's important to note while I listened to the audiobook I also following along in the illustrated edition of Wind in the Willows by David Peterson, which is no doubt the most lavishly and beautifully illustrated children's book I've ever seen.

Between the incredible illustrations and an impeccable reading by one of the best narrators in the business, I feel I got the best possible presentation of this story.

That being said, I wasn’t crazy about the story.

THE GOOD

The art by David Peterson, and the narration of Simon Vance for the audiobook.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

If I’d picked up a standard edition of this book, and eschewed the audiobook version, I have no doubt I wouldn’t have finished it. Without the fantastic art and great narration keeping my attention (barely) I would have given up out of sheer boredom.

This is billed as “the adventures of Mr. Mole, Mr. Badger, etc.” but there is only one actual adventure, which is at the very end, and the rest of the book is just a meandering look into a fictional world with very odd rules.

Cannibalism? Well, not really cannibalism per se, but it’s made clear that all the animals can speak, yet there are many descriptions of the endless meals (so many meals!) and all of them feature meat. Isn’t it a bit twisted that a bunch of talking animals eat other talking animals?? It’s the equivalent of human cannibalism, and I found it very distracting.

Terrible Toad: Seriously, Mr. Toad is the worst. There is nothing amusing about him, nor does he have any redeeming qualities. He is racist, classist, and sexist, besides being a thief who escaped from prison where he was serving time on his very just punishment. I was dismayed at the end because I’d assumed he would be hauled back to jail to finish his sentence. Isn’t this a kids book? Are they seriously saying it’s OK to steal and break out of jail as long as your antics are amusing?

Trust Fund Fauna: Furthermore, why don’t any of these characters have jobs or responsibilities? They all seem to be independently wealthy, free to fritter away their days with no cares or need to earn a living. There are other, presumably lower class characters in the books that do have to work, so how is it these bunch of characters don’t have to?

If I was a kid and this was my favorite book, I could see having a nagging sense of injustice in the back of my head, wondering why as an adult I have to work when Wind in the Willows painted a picture of an adulthood of endless leisure.

THE UGLY

I feel the strong implication is that Mr. Toad was able to get away with breaking the law and escaping jail because he is wealthy. It’s clear that despite escaping after only serving a few days of his 20 year prison sentence, the matter is never a concern for him again. Furthermore, he is clearly not repentant in the least, but it’s all swept under the rug because he threw a lavishly expensive party to apologize. Must be good to be rich!

THE VERDICT

There’s some pretty lackluster morals on display in this kids book. I wouldn’t hand it to my kid to read.

If you are already a fan of this book, I strongly recommend you secure a copy of the excellent David Peterson illustrated edition printed by IDW. Otherwise, I really can’t recommend this book to new readers.

Story: 2 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Final score: 3.5 out of 5, rounded up to 4.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-05-18

You can't beat the classics!

I read this as a child and enjoyed it many moons ago! Having now listened to it, made it more enjoyable, especially with the different voices of the animals as read by Simon Vance who did a great job! Top marks to him. My favourite character would have to be Toad, am sure most people would agree!! Could easily listen to it again!

3 people found this helpful

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  • John Anwyll
  • 04-16-19

Wonderful

This is a wonderful book which could not have had a better narrator, certainly worth listening too!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Prescott
  • 12-23-21

A great throw back to my childhood

I can't but help hear David jason providing the voice of toad. that's what drew me back to this beautifully written book. I felt so relaxed, and the narration was so well read 5*