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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Willows and Beyond

Oceans comments that Tales from the River Bank was inspired by Kenneth Grahame's classic The Wind in the Willows. OC comments she ought to read The Wind in the Willows again.

I never read Wind in the Willows as a child. I first read it the 80's or possbily 90's. And I enjoyed it. What inpsired my reading of it was the publication of some sequels by the writer William Horwood. There were 4 of them, the first two The Willows in Winter and Toad Triumpant were met with generally met with favourable reviews. The third The Willows and Beyond really upset some people because of its denouement "spoiling there memories", I thought it was sad but marvellous book. The fourth The Willows at Christmas was good as well.

I suspect Horwood got "the gig" of writing the Willow's sequels because he made his name writing about moles. Horwood's first(?) novel was Duncton Wood, its a Watership Down style novel with Moles taking the place of Rabbits. I say style because the book is much more ambitious in scope with the sequels (there were two trilogies in the end) containing much religious metaphor and they are long. The books were very successful and I might add I really enjoyed them at the time.

Horwood's other work have had mixed success, in the mid 90's he started a new Trilogy about Wolves. After the success of the first only one further novel came out and this was really the third with the second getting sort of dropped and since 1999 Horwood has written one book. All very odd.

Anyway I enjoyed The Willows and the Duncton Books and I think I ought to go back and reread them. The worry is though that I may no longer enjoy them and I don't like to despoil my memories. Still think I'll have to dig them out tonight.

3 comments:

Mary said...

I enjoyed Duncton Wood , but never read the sequel.
I love reading children's books,so many of them have something for adults in them. Recently I listened to Stephen Fry reading some of the Paddington bear stories (they came free with the telegraph)and they had me chuckling away in the car.

Pete said...

well the Telegraph had a Famous Five CD which I found incredibly dated. They had updated the language slightly, which I found sad.

The Duncton Series is
1. Duncton Wood (1980)
2. Duncton Quest (1988)
3. Duncton Found (1989)
4. Duncton Tales (1991)
5. Duncton Rising (1993)
6. Duncton Stone (1993)

oldcrow61 said...

Yeah, I've read books that I thought were fantastic at the time, then years later on re-reading them, wondered where my head was at that time.