Tuesday, 21 May 2013

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond - C. S. Lewis

Okay so I am totally addicted to Roald Dahl. Totally. I mean, how good are his books? Where have they been all my life?

Thus far, between work and life's commitments, I've read: The Twits; Fantastic Mr Fox; George’s Marvellous Medicine (how did that one get past the health and safety guys??); The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me; Esio Trot; The Magic Finger (I soooo want one of those); and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

That one surprised me. I didn't know that Charlie continued his adventures publicly after his day at the Chocolate Factory. On his way back there with his whole family. In the glass lift. It's certainly an odd little tale. Less endearing than the others, I'd say. Somewhat ahead of its time with its civilian space travel and space tourism.And a bit more American methinks than CCF. Which was bizarre. For me. Who always associates the Chocolate Factory with Cadbury's...

There's lots of action. But it doesn't really do it for me. Not a (chocolate chip) spot on the Chocolate Factory. Although following that was always going to be a huge challenge. Which begs the question why you would try?

It feels like hard work somehow. For RD or for me. Not quite sure. It's meant to be fun, I know. But those old people are hard going. And generally I like old people. Except these old people.

RD's not short on moral statements. But in the Great Glass Elevator, he's possibly a tad more direct than elsewhere. Which again feels unnecessary. “It was an unhappy truth, he (Mr Wonka) told himself, that nearly all people in the world behave badly when there is something really big at stake. Money is the thing they fight over most.” And, as RD goes on to show, such behaviour always ends badly.

Still here's another great collaboration between author and illustrator in the style of A. A. Milne/ E. H. Shepard: RD and Quentin Blake. Hugely imaginative tales beautifully and faithfully portrayed. Perfection. I'm enjoying the images as much as the writing...

And I've just found out that QB used to occasionally present the BBC's Jackanory in the 1970's. Apparently illustrating the stories on canvas as he told them. My affection for him and his work grows as I write. I must have watched him over and again. Although I don't remember.

I do love connections though. And that's a great connection to my childhood. To which I'm slipping back. In ever decreasing circles. Should I be worried? Maybe. But not enough to stop my pursuit of Dahl. Not just yet, anyway...


  1. I love that quote and yes Dahl never ceases to amaze me!

  2. Hmmm...interesting. I'm pretty certain I read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator when I was a child, but I don't remember it at all! I'll re-read it soon, though, since I just bought it for my nephew.

    1. Oooh let me know what you think. I'm still working through the rest of his stuff. And loving it! :0)