Mole is happy with his life until, one day, in the middle of spring-cleaning, he emerges from his hole at Mole End and starts meandering around the English countryside. Everything is new for the simple but stalwart Mole. Never before has he seen a river, taken a boat ride, or encountered the woods.But this is nothing compared to what awaits him when he gets tangled up in the escapades of the indomitable Mr. Toad, the society-hating Badger of Wild Wood, and the easy-going Water Rat! Motorcars, gypsies, jailbreaks, and a weasel rebellion are all in store for these intrepid animals. Beyond mischievous life adventures, the story conveys the typical turn of 20th-century life in Britain and the struggle between the noisy, common way and the more genteel life.More
This classic adventure story, set in early twentieth-century Britain, features the lovable characters Rat, Toad, Mole, and Badger. Narrator Shelly Frasier's clear, pleasant voice carefully distinguishes these four creatures, and it's easy to keep their identities straight, though her throaty characterization of Ratty's voice occasionally makes one want to cough. However, Frasier must constantly switch from her native American accent to the British voices of her characters, which is somewhat distracting at first, though one gets used to it as the story moves along. The naughty toad is her best creation - she seems to understand his dreamy but destructive love of motor cars completely.
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A beautifully written children's classic
I would recommend this audiobook. As a child, I had the pleasure of having many classics of children's literature read to me by my best friend's mother who was an actress with a lovely British accent. Listening to this audiobook recaptured this lovely childhood experience. This is a story with a lot of very clear characters and the narrator does a great job clearly creating them with her voice.
I might compare this book to Watership Down, which is another beautifully written work for young people that is just as enjoyable when you revisit it as an adult. Both novels imagine a human like society amongst animals. The animals in The Wind and The Willows are much more human and it is fun to imagine that toads and rats and moles and badgers secretly keep little houses with pantires and cozy fireplaces.
My favourite character was Toad. Shelly Frasier really went all out in creating the highs of his conceit and the lows of his self deprication.
This book made me laugh a lot. The characters are so fully themselves and really a lot like people that you know in real life.
A great audio read for children and adults