Bloody hell, only my SECOND book review.
Good thing the book I’m reviewing here is such a wonderful book. Kenneth Grahame, for those of you who don’t know, was the chap who wrote Wind in the Willows. He also wrote several more books, including the sequel to Dream Days, The Golden Age.
Sadly, its only these three books that are still in print to this day, and barely anyone can recall any of his works aside from WITW. But anywho, on with the review.
Dream Days is a collection of short stories that see’s several adult narrators looking back on their adventures as children, and their constant battle between the parent/adult. Each story see’s the child/children bringing, in the eyes of the adult, even the most mundane things to life, and how the most minor of objects/events (the old toy collection from A Departure, or the snatching of the forge in picture-book in Its Walls Were As of Jasper) can leave lasting ramifications.
I won’t go into talk of the individual stories themselves, I could talk of them for ages, and I just don’t have that length of time on me. But rest assured, its a beautiful book. Kenneth’s writing is more dense here than it is in WITW, but its just as lyrical, if not more. Indeed, on its publication, ten years before WITW, the book was met with such a warm response that when WITW did finally come along, it was viewed as a disappointment in comparison.
Throughout, Kenneth manages to put a lot of emotion and energy into the littlest of things. His writing, while difficult to enter, is a kind that you just can’t leave. Once you manage to get yourself inside, your locked in until the very last page. Like the children in the stories, he immediately brings the reader to the level of the child, and we see the world through their eyes only, and we end up feeling the same amount of contempt and derision for the adults as the children do.
My last post was a short ramble with the words; ‘that moment, and feeling, when you finish reading a book, and all you can do is just hug it’. I wrote that really in response to finishing Dream Days. Its 100% true, its exactly what I did. And even though I’ve now started on Watership Down, I’m sure I’ll fine my way back into the worlds of these children, who, even as adults, never lost their innocence, and knew exactly how to handle it.