Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: James and the Giant Peach (Dahl)

Title: James and the Giant Peach

Author: Roald Dahl

Genre: Children's Lit, Fantasy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

FTC Disclosure: I have owned this book since I was a child

Challenges: Flashback Challenge (#1)

Summary (from the back of the book): James crawled on for several more yards, and then suddenly--bang--the top of his head bumped into something extremely hard blocking his way. He touched it with his fingers. It certainly felt like wood, except that it was very jagged and full of deep grooves. "Good heavens!" he said. "I know what this is! I've come to the stone in the middle of the peach!" Then he noticed that there was a small door cut into the face of the peach stone. He gave a push. It swing open, and before he had time to glance up and see where he was, he heard a voice saying, "Look who's here!" And another one said, "We've been waiting for you!"


Review: This review is going to be less about plot (I assume we've all read James and the Giant Peach at some point) and more about flashback. First off, I couldn't find a picture of the cover I have on my copy of this book. Mine was published in the UK in 1967 and has a wonderful drawing of hte beach rising up over the ocean, carried by hundreds of sea birds while sharks swarm below. It also shows all the characters dancing on top of the peach. And the book only cost 25 pence!

It was fun to re-read this book! James and his fun friends traveling around in a giant peach, managing to escape the mean sisters. What kid hasn't fantasized about escaping in some exciting way?! It's funny, I am not a fantasy book lover usually, and I realize this isn't fantasy like it's written today, but this book is fun every time I read it. I like that Dahl created such believable characters that when I was reading I forgot they weren't human. They all form such a great little family inside the peach. I also like that everyone lives happily ever after, rich and enjoying life (I am reading Hate List right now, which is good, but a downer).


I told my mother that I was re-reading James and the Giant Peach and she reminded me that I met Roald Dahl when I was young! I lived in London in 1977-78 when I was 12, going on 13. Apparently we went to a Roald Dahl book signing so I met and spoke to him. Duh...we didn't keep the signed book. These events are wasted on the young...I have no memory of it, but as an adult would have truly appreciated such a meeting.

3 comments:

dolcebellezza said...

I love this book, and I love Dahl. It seems that I read The BFG every year, and my class always loves it. I can't read this one without craving a peach!

Kirthi said...

This is one of my favorite childhood favorites, along with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Go Dahl!!

hcmurdoch said...

Dolcebellezza and Krithi, you are both so right! Dahl is just amazing. I was so excited when my daughter started reading his books. I felt like we shared something really special now that she "knows" Dahl.