It having been some time since I last read Wind in the Willows my approach to this sequel picked up in a second hand bookshop a while ago was uncertain I could remember the names of the character
It having been some time since I last read 'Wind in the Willows' my approach to this sequel, picked up in a second hand bookshop a while ago, was uncertain. I could remember the names of the characters, I could recall the general outline of the Kenneth Grahame's classic but I could not really call to mind the way the individual characters react and relate to one another in that story. This was probably a blessing. I read this book without my placing the rather unfair pressure on the new writer of fulfilling my childhood memories or of maintaining an illusion of childhood long aged. Horwood is not in the business of transforming the original by looking at it from another perspective; eg. 'The Child Thief' which is brilliant but radically overhauls the Peter Pan story; or by transporting much loved characters into alien spaces or situations which can often destroy and uproot with no real success. Instead he sets himself to take the same characters, in the same places and doing much the same stuff. I cannot say whether he catches Grahame's dialogue or wit or anything, i don't remember the original well enough but what I can say is he tells a witty and fun story involving adventure, daring do, nobility, cowardice, vanity, sadness, affection, feasting, and excitement and he uses the river and the Wild Wood and Toad Hall and the castle and its courtroom and dungeon all to great affect and all without it becoming a same old/same old. He succeeds in injecting newness into an old and loved story and has a lovely turn of phrase.Of the River' he had never known her splashes so - sonorous; her meanders so - miserable; her normally majestic flow so- final!'Or his grasping of the ease of their friendships'It would be pleasant to sit in your boat once more with you sculling, which you do so much better than I, trailing a paw in the placid water, which I do so much better than you.'Clever characters captured in a couple of sentences eg. The miserable but friendly gaoler trying to console a prisoner condemned to 25 years in prison;'Look on the bright side, you're getting on a bit so you're not likely to survive more than twenty. It'll go by in a flash'I also loved his personifying of the winter, making it a living character in its stubborness'Winter's attempt to thwart the Spring finally began to peter out in April' or again ' The next few days passed rapidly, and if the weather stayed inclement and Winter would not yet admit defeat and be gone, the spring-like mood among the animals of river, of bank and of Wild Wood made up for it'Lovely, simple and towards the end, as arguments are made up and forgiveness sought and granted you nod and settle back thinking, 'Yep, all is right with the world'. Escapist nonsense but quite lovely.'The best The Willows in Winter Creat William Horwood Patrick Benson is Book For now, in an act of homage and celebration, William Horwood has brought to life once the four most loved characters in English literature the loyal Mole, the resourceful Water Rat, the stern but wise Badger, and, of course, the exasperating, irresistible Toad The result is an enchanting, unforgettable new novel, enlivened by delightful illustrations, in which WillFor now, in an act of homage and celebration, William Horwood has brought to life once the four most loved characters in English literature the loyal Mole, the resourceful Water Rat, the stern but wise Badger, and, of course, the exasperating, irresistible Toad The result is an enchanting, unforgettable new novel, enlivened by delightful illustrations, in which William Horwood has recaptured all the joy, magic, and good humor of Grahame s great work and Toad is still as exasperatingly lovable as he ever was.. William Horwood is an English novelist His first novel, Duncton Wood, an allegorical tale about a community of moles, was published in 1980 It was followed by two sequels, forming The Duncton Chronicles, and also a second trilogy, The Book of Silence William Horwood has also written two stand alone novels intertwining the lives of humans and of eagles, The Stonor Eagles and Callanish, and The Wolves of Time duology Skallagrigg, his 1987 novel about disability, love, and trust, was made into a BBC film in 1994 In addition, he has written a number of sequels to The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.In 2007, he collaborated with historian Helen Rappaport to produce Dark Hearts of Chicago, a historical mystery and thriller set in nineteenth century Chicago It was republished in 2008 as City of Dark Hearts with some significant revisions and cuts under the pen name James Conan.. Popular Kindle The Willows in Winter A sequel to a well-loved children's story that isn't a patch on the original The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame but is charming nonetheless. The book also seemed to be split into two stories with a very tenuous thread linking them. I could see that this could be worked out in a film but reading it was a bit disjointed. It wasn't really the story though that the book didn't really succeed on for me, it was the characters.When we read a book we get a distinct idea of the characters within it. We may not all see the same portraits, either broadly or in the brushstrokes and herein lies the problem of a different author writing the same characters as in the original book. It is also the reason that films sometimes disappoint. The second author, or the film director, has not seen the characters in the same way as the original author and so no matter how good the story, how good the writing, it's just not what we expected and therefore disappoints.3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because all-in-all, it was an enjoyable read.