If you are a fan of The Wind in the Willows, and enjoyed the antics of Ratty, Mole and Toad they you will be drawn to Lovett Jones' tale.
Kenneth Grahame's familiar characters reappear here in drastically altered guises, in a book that is by turns a satire on contemporary affairs, a comic novel, and a nostalgic elegy for an all-but-vanished rural England.
The much-loved Mole finds a tunnel in his burrow while spring cleaning one day. Itching for a new adventure, Mole follows the mysterious tunnel and finds himself in an unfamiliar and unpleasant new age of industry, technology and capitalist enterprise.
The tunnel has penetrated time as well as space, and Mole has been carried forward eighty years into a 1990s where the weasels have taken over altogether. Nature itself is under attack from every quarter and Pan, the god of the natural world, has been driven into hiding.
Author Gareth Lovett Jones comments:
“For Kenneth Grahame the weasels were simply what he did not like, and may perhaps have feared – the ‘grasping proletariat’ of his day, as one of his biographers describes them. I have taken just the same tack, except that in my case the betes noires are such things as New Right politicians and economists, and the leaders and apologists of today’s terrifying corporate greed-culture which puts profit and shareholder interests above all other considerations, the small matter of our continuing survival on the planet amongst them.”
Weaselworld is an apocalyptic place, totally unsuited to a sensitive creature such as the Mole, were it not for one strange fact: in this world of the future, no one who comes into the Mole’s company can do anything but speak the truth to him. And in a society where the lie is a standard tool of the professions and can be exposed to the advantage of those in the know, the Mole rapidly finds himself a rising star in the eyes of one of its wiliest arch-manipulators, the Chief Executive Animal of petro-chemicals giant Toad Transoceanic, Mr. Humfrey Wyvern-Toad.
Though Lovett Jones makes an often tongue-in-cheek attempt at political, environmental and social satire, sadly it is often deadened by the repetitive descriptions and dull dialogue. Too many pages are taken up by lengthy car journeys and examples of Rat’s road rage.