The Willows in Winter Hardcover – Oct 1994
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Traditionalists might well shudder at the thought of a sequel to a classic--especially one written by an author other than the original. But even devout fans of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows will breathe more easily once they pass the first sentence of The Willows in Winter. William Horwood, while resisting slavish mimicry, remains true to the spirit of the original. Not many writers could follow such a tough act, but Horwood manages to create a story every bit as heartwarming and exciting as the first. Blustery Toad is up to his naughty old tricks, after a long period of enforced goodness. Through a comedy--and near-tragedy--of errors, Toad, along with resourceful Rat, loyal Mole, and wise Badger, is drawn into an extended wild goose chase that lasts all winter. With plummeting airplanes, tumbles in the freezing river, and courtroom high drama, this is not to be a winter of cozy hibernation. Patrick Benson's finely crosshatched illustrations transport the reader back to the familiar River and the always-looming great Wild Wood. Horwood and Benson's masterful teamwork is a tribute to the 90-year-old classic that Grahame himself would have been proud to see. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Horwood revisits Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows, to transplant its characters to a new adventure. His story, like Grahame's, involves a series of comic misunderstandings that lead different animals into a variety of odd journeys. The trouble starts when Otter's son Portly sends Mole into a blizzard on what proves to be an unnecessary rescue mission, and Mole disappears, thus mobilizing other would-be rescuers. Meanwhile Toad, having exchanged the motor car of Wind in the Willows for a flying machine, wrests control of the plane from the pilot and sails off on a chaotic joy ride. There's a bit of mistaken identity, another disguise for Toad (who previously impersonated a washerwoman), incarceration and a ludicrous trial. Toad even has an out-of-body experience. Horwood captures most of the atmosphere of the original work, although its wild, sublime silliness escapes him. Toad, for example, remains irremediably pompous and wayward, but he is no longer Grahame's larger-than-life mock-epic hero. Nevertheless, Horwood manages a lot of mirthful moments, and those who can't get enough of the River Bank and the Wild Wood will be grateful for his work. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I admire Horwood's efforts to replicate the world of Toad et al as well as his chutzpah, and am sufficiently impressed to recommend this book to anyone else who has fond memories of reading "The Wind in the Willows" under the covers with a flashlight as a kid. It's not the original, but it's a nice addition.
Apparently, he was inspired after acquiring in 1992, several of E.H. Shepard's original illustrations for Grahame's 1908 classic, The Wind In The Willows. Observing them in his study, they began to take on a life of their own... and then "One day, quite unexpectedly (though the drawing had not changed at all), it seemed to me that Mole was off on a journey rather different than his original one. True, he had set off from the same comfortable home he loved so much, but now he was no longer heading towards the comfort and safety of Badger's house, but instead towards the River - the frozen River - and towards disaster. The story of The Willows In Winter had begun."
This is a great book that will appeal to young and old alike. It's full of the perils and consequences of misadventure, the peace and calm of friendly reunion and the importance of forgiveness. Oh ya, and a hilariously inebriated Toad!
I find it funny that Horwood is sometimes criticized for keeping the characters so similar to what they were in the original story. Isn't that what a good sequel does? Keeps things consistent, but brings them further along the road?
Most recent customer reviews
Horwood's effort, writing a sequel to another author's classic work, fails as one might expect. The characters are wooden cutouts from Grahame's wonderful classic and the humor and... Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2001 by Paul Miller
With The Willows in Winter, Horwood creates a dreary mimic of Grahame's beautiful world, failing miserably to recapture the wonder of the River, or the dread of the Wild Wood. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 1999
Reading "The Willows In Winter" is a chilling experience after reading Grahame's classic, "The Wind In The Willows. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 1999