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Who Has Seen The Wind [Mass Market Paperback]

W.O. Mitchell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1985 0770421415 978-0770421410
When W.O. Mitchell died in February of 1998, millions mourned his passing. Our loss was the lead item on the national news, many newspaper obituaries ran for a full page, and as an extraordinary mark of respect, flags outside government offices across the land flew at half-mast.

The man they mourned – and everyone in the Canadian book world whose life he had touched was personally saddened – was known above all as the author of Who Has Seen the Wind. And this edition – containing the full text – marrying W.O. Mitchell’s text with the art of William Kurelek, has established itself as a classic.

Since its publication in 1947, Who Has Seen the Wind has established itself in the hearts and minds of millions as a Canadian classic. The reasons for the book’s classic status are not hard to find. As readers enter the world of four-year-old Brian O’Connal and his family and friends, they find characters that radiate life so convincingly that the book has a life of its own. No ordinary simple novel, it is the ageless story of childhood told with tenderness and humour and without sentimentality, and the picture of a small town anywhere, drawn with realism and understanding.

This handsome edition marries W.O. Michell’s prose with the inspired illustrations of one of Canada’s finest and most popular artists, the late William Kurelek. The 8 full-colour paintings he produced, like the 32 black-and-white sketches that adorn the first page of every chapter, all come specifically from the text, and are illustrations in the very best sense. This edition is a collector's piece, a beautiful book that is also a joy to read, again and again.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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W.P. Kinsella has called Who Has Seen the Wind, the quintessential novel of growing up on the Prairies, "Canada's Catcher in the Rye." W.O. Mitchell, who was born and grew up in small-town Saskatchewan, evokes the immensity of the landscape with a lyrical prose style, from the ferociousness of the wind to the far reaches of the bright blue sky. It's probably the most important Canadian novel of boyhood.

Mitchell used memories of his own childhood to create the world of Brian O'Connal, balancing a finely drawn sense of humour with a delicate nostalgia for a world that had already been lost even as Mitchell wrote about it in the aftermath of the Second World War. Like children everywhere, Brian is curious about everything, and the author allows him to freely explore his prairie world, taking in everything from gophers to God, from his feisty Irish grandmother to his friends Ben and Saint Sammy, the town of Arcola's local madman. Mitchell gives readers a most memorable glimpse into the ins and outs of small-town life during the Depression years, always through Brian's eyes, and in doing so creates a poignant and powerful portrait of childhood innocence and its loss. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


“One of the finest Canadian novels ever written.”
Globe and Mail

“Mitchell…has so thoroughly captured the feeling of Canada and the Canadian people that we feel repeated shock of recognition as we read.”
–Robertson Davies --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars initiation into the mysteries of life May 20 2003
If it be a no-brainer adventure or a plot full of relentless debauchery you're looking for, I suggest you avoid this book entirely. However, if you seek a deeply touching novel of intelligence and substance, indeed I urge you to read "Who Has Seen The Wind". It portrays the story of a prairie boy's initiation into the mysteries of life, as he discovers death, God, and the spirit that moves through everything: the wind. The plot details the little things in life that most of the masses overlook, and accurately relates the expressions and deep feelings of a young person growing up during the Great Depression. At the time I read it in school I could relate very easily to the primary character, Brian O'Connal. The novel's greatest strengths lie in its sensitive evocations of Brian's feelings, sometimes associated with his various experiences of death, sometimes with a child's fundamental, inarticulate but insistent curiosity to discover the world within and beyond himself. I was lost in the character's maturation and progression as a person. It is truly a book I will never forget. "Who Has Seen The Wind" definitely has contributed to the way I looked at life in general, as a young person at the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its not Boring!! Dec 17 1997
The person who rated this book as boring must not have read the same book I did. This is an elegaic portrait of life on the Canadian Prairies in the early 20th century. It captures something significant about the Prairie psyche and the Canadian psyche as a whole. It is, in the final analysis, a sweet, beautifully written story by a master story teller. It is not full of car chases or other amusements for tiny minds, but is a treat for anyone who appreciates a great tale well told.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book June 5 1998
By A Customer
I don't know, what these people are talking about, it just happens to be one of the great Canadian books of all time, and one of my personal favorites. I guess if you've never lives on the prairies, you don't have the insight....
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read! April 17 2001
This book was required for all students in my high school, and rightfully so. Not only did it make me laugh, it also led me to do a little introspection of my own, and to put lif in perpspective. WO Mitchell's writing will appeal to you, not only for the witty humour, but also for the hearfelt emotion his words can invoke in the reader.
So if you just want to read something good for a change, this is my pick!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who Has Seen the Wind? Feb. 7 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A Canadian classic that was missing from my library. Beautifully written with depth of story.and marvelous characters. Delightful illustrations.throughout the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book on the second read March 21 2000
I had to read this book for my english class, and I must admit, the first time around it was very boring, which is the only reason i gave it a 4/5. My english teacher, however, showed me some interesting concepts to look for, and to read a little deeper. I tried to look into every word and find its own hidden meaning, and when you do that, the book becomes very enjoyable.
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