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Publisher's Summary

This quintessentially English novel is considered by many to be a masterpiece of storytelling. Set for the most part on a riverbank in rural England, against a backdrop of social, agricultural, and industrial change typical of the early 20th century, Kenneth Grahame's portrayal of the anthropomorphic characters (which include Mole, Ratty, Badger, Otter, and, of course, the incorrigible Mr. Toad) is imaginative, lyrical, and without doubt uniquely humorous. Above all, in this work, the writer strikes a deep and resonant chord of human emotions. There are other audio versions of The Wind in the Willows; however, this rendering brings a fresh, clear, and enthusiastic narration inspired by a lifelong affection for the book.

Public Domain (P)2017 Chris Guy Randal MacDonnell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I realize the fun and fantastical story this is

This is a remarkable rendition that took me back to my childhood! I was so pleased to listen as I had not opened this book in many, many years! So excited, I instantly purchased the gorgeous hardback version for one of my nieces as well.

The book itself is quite lyrical and the narration from Chris MacDonnell adds to that beautifully. His voice is soothing and added such a wonderful calm to the listen, even though there is quite a lot going on in this story. Which is quite a feat considering I was constantly reminded of the old Walt Disney World ride where the rider crashed and thrashed the rider around!

The story does have a moral to it but much like stories that are similar in tale, the ant, and the grasshopper, for instance, this is a longer, lovelier version. But still, the message is there! The anthropomorphism of the animals is so well done that it's easy to forget that this is a tale about animals. The creative way to characterize each makes them stand out on their own.

I found this to be a rather cozy tale that I was surprised I did not remember much about. There is not always too much going on, and the story drifts here and there, so I sometimes found myself thinking of something else while listening. The characterization is fabulous, however, the world building was a bit less so. It was difficult to see where they were and why. I think for children, this story would mean more, as I know it did for me, but re-reading as an adult made it a bit less appealing. Also, lately I've just been that way with classics, they either capture me fully or they seem mediocre.

I did not remember there being slight cursing in this! Just beware of families out there that want to watch language for little ones. It is not a huge deal in the reading but maybe if there are younger children listening.

Still, even as it did not completely work for me, as an adult, I realize the fun and fantastical story this still is. Very happy I was able to listen to this fantastic narrator!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Listen and a Great Story

This is a wonderful classic tale and the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. There are a few options for narrators to choose from, but I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than Chris MacDonnell. His accent and character deliveries are on point, and feel perfectly in place within the narrative.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Performance of a Brilliant Classic

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Chris MacDonnell is a talented narrator with a great voice. He's easy to listen to and does a great job of bringing each character to life. I especially loved his meek little mole and pretentious, bossy Toad.
This is one of my all-time favourite stories and one I have read to myself multiple times over the years. I am delighted with this audio version. Chris's performance kept me engaged to a point where I just wanted to listen. I didn't want to be multitasking and doing other things whilst wearing my headphones. I kept sitting down to enjoy it. A good storyteller will do that for you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The wind in the willows

The wonderful story of the wind in the willows told magically by Chris MacDonnell.It is a great book to listen to with a child.I was provided this book by the author,narrator or publisher for review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Classic Story

A wonderful rendition of a classic tale. It was so easy and relaxing, and the characters truly came to life for me.

I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An excellent reading of a great children's classic

First published in 1908, The Wind in the Willows is an enduring children’s story that follows the adventures and misadventures of a series of creatures living in the English countryside. It’s been developed multiple times for stage, radio and screen over the years, and remains a popular family entertainment in all its formats.

Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad discover there’s more to life outside of their own immediate existence, becoming fast friends in the process of learning the rights and wrongs of Edwardian society. Toad, in particular, needs to learn responsibility and he ultimately does so with the help of his frustrated friends after a number of troublesome incidents that send him to prison.

Alongside the main novel are a series of short stories which are included in this comprehensive reading by Chris MacDonnell, whose light English accent adds even more character to this charming tale.

MacDonnell adds enough characterisation to make each personality distinct and believable, but his real skill is in the sense of excitement and wonder he brings to Grahame’s book, allowing the listener to feel a part of the adventures. His reading of the prose is excellent. It’s not too slow and it captures both the era and the wonder that are so essential to the story’s success.

There are many audiobook readings of The Wind in the Willows around, particularly now that the story is in the public domain but, dramatizations aside, this is one of the better versions I’ve heard. Like the Mole, you’re sure to be “bewitched, entranced, (and) fascinated.”

For this and other children’s audiobooks, check out my audiobook review site at SaidNotRead dot wordpress dot com. There’s plenty of reviews and articles there for adults too! This adaptation of The Wind in the Willows runs for just under 7 hours so is a great length to listen to with your kids over multiple bedtimes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An Enchanting Tale

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Easy to listen to story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The water rat. All around good guy.

Which character – as performed by Chris MacDonnell – was your favorite?

Mr. Toad because Chris portrayed his different personalities very well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A classic tale comes to life.

Any additional comments?

“I was provided this free review copy audiobook by the author or narrator." This review is for the audio copy of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and narrated by Chris MacDonnell.
I had always known about the Disney version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride but had never read The Wind in the Willows. This was an entertaining tale and was read superbly by Chris MacDonnell. His inflections, accents and pacing helped tell the story in a manner that made it easy to listen to and hard to put down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Toad and Friends

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all the adventures Mr. Toad, Ratty, Mole, and the wise Badger had throughout this delightful tale. I especially enjoyed the sports car fiascos and the Washer Women roles. It was a very entertaining read.
Chris MacDonnell is perfect as a narrator. He really had me captivated through every adventure. Each character was unique.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Good Performance And Story...

Would you listen to The Wind in the Willows again? Why?

Its A Children's Book And As An Adult It Was A Break From The Norm...However Once Was Enough...

What other book might you compare The Wind in the Willows to and why?

Alice And The Looking Glass... So Many Different Animal Characters And Their Adventures...

What does Chris MacDonnell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He Brought All The Characters A Different Voice...It Was Very Entertaining...

Any additional comments?

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun fun fun

What did you love best about The Wind in the Willows?

I received this free in exchange for an unbiased review. I found the story to be much fun and brought back a lot of memories of reading it when I was younger and later to my children. I got a lot more detail listening to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Luke S Roberts
  • 04-03-18

a classic story and absolutley timeless.

brings back childhood memories and dreams of this edwardian rural idyll. loved it and will listen again

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • stewart
  • 10-09-17

Brilliantly read

A truly wonderful rendition of this children's classic, beautifully read by Chris MacDonnell. His clear diction and classically British voice does the story great justice. His character voices bring the whole thing to life. He has several more narration to his credit and I will be looking out for more. Fabulous reason to spend money!!,

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-17

A fantastic reading of a timeless classic

What made the experience of listening to The Wind in the Willows the most enjoyable?

As a child I have fond memories of not only reading ‘The Wind in the Willow’s but also being in a school production of the story. To hear Chris MacDonnell’s reading of this timeless tale brings back so many memories. Chris’s rich, charming tone, combined with the wonderful voices he creates for each character make for a very easy and enjoyable listen. I’d recommend this audio to anyone, be that parents, kids, or those, like myself who enjoy this timeless classic.