The Wolves in the Walls

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wolves in the Walls is a 2003 picture book by writer Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean. A surreal tale of wolves that lived within the walls and then took over the house and temporarily forced its inhabitants out. The book gained great popularity, was translated into foreign languages, and a successful children's musical was staged based on it. The design of the book is interesting because McKean used various techniques to create illustrations: both ordinary drawings and computer graphics and photographs.[1]

According to Gaiman, the plot of the book was suggested to him by his daughter, who, at the age of four, had a terrible dream about wolves living in the walls.[2][3]

The book was translated into German,[4] Spanish,[5] Italian,[6] Polish[7] and other languages. The Russian translation of the book by Maxim Nemtsov was published in 2014 by Livebook.[8]

Plot[change | change source]

One evening, the girl Lucy hears strange noises coming from the walls in the house. She believes that wolves live in the walls and talks about it to her mother (who fills jars with homemade jam), her father (who plays the tuba), her younger brother (who plays video games). All of them, however, do not believe Lucy: mother says that they are mice, father that they are rats, and brother that they are bats. In addition, they are all sure that “when wolves crawl out of the walls, that’s all!”.

However, the next day, wolves do break out of the walls and take over the house, while Lucy and her family huddle in the garden. They discuss where they should live now - at the North Pole, in the Sahara desert, in outer space? Lucy, having forgotten her favorite pig toy in the room, sneaks into the house inside the walls and takes it.

The next evening, the family is still hesitant to enter the house, but Lucy invites everyone to go and spend the night there by walking inside the walls. The family does just that, seeing what the wolves are doing in the house (they watch TV at full volume, eat jam, throwing leftovers everywhere, dance). Unable to stand it, Lucy and her family take chair legs and chase away the wolves, who are horrified that people have come out of the wall.

The family moves back into their home, cleaning up the mess. But after a while, Lucy begins to think that elephants have now settled behind the wall.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Review – The Wolves in the Walls – Art and Photography". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-02-06. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |deadlink= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  2. Rees, Jasper (2006-03-25). "A nightmare theatrical debut – Times Online". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  3. "The Wolves in the Walls – Description Details". Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-06. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |deadlink= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  4. . ISBN 3-551-51648-0. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. . ISBN 1-59497-222-2. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. . ISBN 88-04-52288-7. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. . ISBN 83-89004-64-X. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. . ISBN 978-5-904584-85-6. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)