Wild Wood Paperback – 1 May 2014
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There’s no escaping the fact that it’s an apt commentary on our present world of divisions between rich and poor, in which money is the prime determinant but saying that makes it sound like some sort of revisionist tract. Well, even if it is (and it’s not), it’s also enormous fun, a joy, a tale full of beautifully realised characters with whom you want to spend lots of time. It has the charm of Grahame’s original, but with added warmth, humour, and a narrator we’d all like to have as a friend. Do yourself a favour, read it.
Grahame's fearsome stoats, weasels and ferrets are depicted here with empathy for their struggles to survive in an uncaring world. They mobilise, they are full of revolutionary fervour, they plan the grand coup...but in the end, things are much as they were, albeit slightly better for some.
There are wonderful touches of laugh-out-loud humour - the rabble-rousing stoat Boddington is 'peculiarly yellow, a little lacking in body, extremely bitter, but one of the best'. Toad's fine wines and beers have gloriously funny names. It is delightful, tongue-in-cheek stuff and Willie Rushton's illustrations complement it perfectly. If your spirits need lifting, this is the book for you. If you're already uplifted, read it anyway - it's a gem.