- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Golden Duck (UK) Ltd (1 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1899262210
- ISBN-13: 978-1899262212
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wild Wood Paperback – 1 May 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The story is told by an elderly ferret named Baxter as he remembers the days of Brotherhood Hall - or Toad Hall as it was more usually known - and as probably the only one left alive who could recall the tales described by Kenneth Grahame, his memories are a source of important social history. The tales of the ferrets, stoats and weasels who seek social justice are gripping and the 'famous five' characters from The Wind in the Willows play a peripheral role as this is not their tale.
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.
In Wild Wood Jan Needle wittily chronicles why and how the young workers are persuaded to have a revolution. There is no idyllic existence for them in a society where there is no job security and no income when an animal becomes unemployed. As the comfortably off riverbankers snooze and munch their way through the long, hard winter, life becomes desperately hard for those not so privileged.
When the committed revolutionary Boddington Stoat arrives he tries to instil political zeal into the woodland residents, but although the dour, ascetic stoat troops will follow him, the other young animals are only united in insurrection by the charismatic Chief O.B. Weasel. The workers’ occupation of Toad (Brotherhood) Hall ends in failure, but perhaps the concessions achieved make it all worthwhile.
Wild Wood was first published in 1981, but I was left thinking that if O.B. Weasel had been president of the N.U.M. during the Miners’ Strike, the outcome might have been rather different, the workers united and Thatcher’s government outmanoeuvred. Boddington Stoat, in Willie Rushton’s brilliliant illustrations, has a distinct resemblance to Arthur Scargill. The book seems even more relevant now than when it first appeared.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A retelling of the greatest novel ever written in the English language ("Winnie the Pooh" is a series of short stories)? How dare they! Read morePublished 10 months ago by harpoon guns to 'safe', please
Jan Needle has done it again, a wonderful humorous tale of accidents and adventure. A fine twist to an old tale.Published 15 months ago by peter
This book is a cracking re-telling of the classic, The Wind in the Willows.
If Wind In the Willows is a view from the river, then this book is a view from the wood. Read more
Greatly enhaced by the wonderful illustrations of Willie Rushton. It is a great romp but does not quite match the style of the original. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2014 by Kindle Customer
Jan Needle has brilliantly placed a new spin on the classic wind in the willow tale by spinning it on its head. I loved it once I began to read the book I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished on 12 July 2014 by Rachel Tasker
Wild Wood is a modern fable delivered as a lovingly skewed retelling of Wind in the Willows, with lashings and lashings of beer. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2014 by M. D. Ripley
Not my usual sort of book but this was recommended by a friend and I found the narrative voice very engaging. Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2013 by Diana Maxwell