Doing The Impossible#2 – My Top Three Roald Dahl Books

04Sep09

Enid Blyton defined most of my childhood reading. However, Roald Dahl was definitely my second favorite author. From the Fantastic Mr. Fox, to James and the Giant Peach. From The BFG to George’s Marvelous Medicine. And of course, the autobiographies: Boy, and Going Solo.

So, my top three Roald Dahls… (this is actually easier than My Top Five Enid Blytons):

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Which child would not like a book about a marvelous chocolate factory, owned by Willie Wonka, which had oompa-loompas as workers, a chocolate lake, an “invention” room, and the “television” room. The ideas were so surreal that they were fantastic, and I yearned to be Charlie.

Or, if not be Charlie, just try one of these scrumptious sounding chocolates, which, I believe would surpass most other chocolates.

A few years back, when the Johnny Depp starring movie was released, Wonka bars actually existed, and honestly – they were divine. The best chocolates I’ve ever eaten.

2. Matilda

This was such a wonderful story, filled with wicked characters and innocent people who were victimized by the evilness.

Miss Trunchbull was more fascinating than the evil step mother from Snow White, and Matilda’s parents seemed to be worse than Cinderella’s step sisters. They were the typical anti-heros in children’s books: disregarded reading and education, were drunks, and dealt in all kinds of illicit activities.

And then you had Matilda and Miss Jenny, who were so innocent and “good” (for lack of better words), that you had to idolize them. I also spent hours trying to use telekinesis to get a pencil to move, but I wasn’t intelligent enough. My parents never told me that it’s impossible!

1. The Witches


This might be a favorite, as it’s the one Roald Dahl I never possessed (until three years ago, that is). I used to go to the library with my mum, and attempted seeking out this book as many times as possible, so much so that the librarian suggested I buy the book.

From the opening chapter, this book grabbed me, and actually made me wonder: do witches exist? I was a naive kid. The book, if I remember correctly, started:

In fairy tales, witches always wear black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks.

But this is NOT a fairy tale. This is about REAL witches.

Come on, that’s as believable as it gets!!! I lapped up every word of it, and whenever I used to see a lady scratch her head, I’d point and say “there’s a witch”. My mum wasn’t amused.

So, how about you? Do you have a favorite Roald Dahl? Or three?

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22 Responses to “Doing The Impossible#2 – My Top Three Roald Dahl Books”

  1. 1 Michelle

    I actually grew up with Charlie. I’ve read that book so many times, I could recite it to you back-to-front!

    But amazingly, I’ve not read the other two, though I’ve heard that Matilda’s a very good book.

  2. Matilda, The Witches, and The Twits (the cruelty in that is fabulous). Those are my top 3 if I don’t think about it too hard but I also love Charlie, Danny, and James… I need to purchase a complete boxset as the only one I have to hand is Matilda and also an Itchycoo translation of The Twits into Glaswegian, The Eejits (oh yes indeedy).

    I think that the cybercandy shop/website still stock Wonka merchandise.

    • Haha, I bought the boxset with my summer savings a few years ago (I only had Boy at hand). Still insist it was a good purchase, albeit it’s still at my parent’s, and I haven’t even opened it yet!

      I completely forgot about The Twits, if you can believe it. It was fantastic. I bet the Itchycoo translation is brilliant. Eejits, eh?

      Thanks for the info on Wonka merchandise. Am doing a no-chocolate thing for a year (have another six months to go), but will remember this for after! Thankies. =)

  3. Oh I love Roald Dahl books! Good choice!

    I have a Brit/UK only competition you may be interested in – on my site here!
    Closes September 30th!

    I think you’ll love it – plus you can also enter a competition to win one out of 10,000 freebies – and not just the book, but a Radox product too!

    **Please spread the word to other UK friends**

    Hugs

  4. Charlie, BFG, and James and the Giant Peach ties with Matilda.

  5. This really isn’t that easy!

    As a kid I read the early Roald Dahl, but with my kids I have encountered a whole set of new ones…

    The kiddie me liked Fantastic Mr Fox, but as a mum I love the Twits because the children are entranced.

    • Fantastic Mr. Fox is great – is there a single Roald Dahl kids aren’t entranced by? It’s so wonderfully surrealistically real, that you can’t help wondering if some things could actually exist!

      Must be great re-discovering children’s books with kids. :)

      • Yes. About the realness. We don’t do George’s Marvellous Medicine any more, following an unfortunate incident… Thank goodness she only put it on her hair, and it didn’t contain anything worse than nail varnish!

        That aside, reading my old favourites with the kids is indeed a pleasure.

  6. Forgot to say…

    You have an award to pick up here:
    http://tjbook-list.blogspot.com/2009/09/blog-awards-thank-you.html

    I posted it yesterday, but then had to go out before I told anyone! :)

    Hugs

  7. I love Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. I was ecstatic to find my old copy of the three Magic Faraway tree books because I wanted the original and not the changed newer ones. I would have to put Matilda at the top. It was largely that book that inspired my reading not to mention the lovely illustrations by Quentin Blake. The Witches are fantastic! Coincidentally I just watched a re-run of the movie on Saturday. Both brilliant.

    • The newer ones are awful. As are the new Naughtiest Girls. They’ve changed the currency denominations, and tried to make it more 21st century. Just wrong… don’t get me started on the new Noddys either.

      I don’t think I’ve actually seen The Witches, although I quite like Matilda. Must keep an eye out for it.

  8. I liked Charlie and James when I was young and I was just thinking about giving them a try with my young son. But I don’t recall much about Matilda and I’m not sure I’ve ever read the Witches! Must remedy that!

    • Am sure he’ll love them, specially Charlie. Matilda’s always good, and Witches – well, it’s fantastic!

      I’ll echo your last comment : Must remedy that! :)

  9. Oh no, I forgot to get The Witches, damn, I’ll have to go to the sale again now :)

  10. My kids and I loved The Vicar of Nibbleswick and spent years saying words backwards for comic effect.
    When they got older, we were all creeped out by Skin and Other Stories.

  11. @Violet : Haha, I’m sure there’s no complaints about that :)

    @Jeanne : Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I remember reading Skin, as well as the The Great Automatic Grammatizator, and enjoying them thoroughly. However, I don’t think I read The Vicar of Nibbleswick. Must check it out!

  12. I devoured Roald Dahl when I was younger, reading some of them over and over again. Too hard to choose a top book, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, James and the Giant Peach, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Witches…must have read that at least 20 times. Strangely I;m not a Charlie fan, maybe because I lived too close to Cadbury World for a chocolate factory to seem that mysterious and sinister :)

    • I went to Cadbury World a couple of years back, and wasn’t impressed. I didn’t see any Oompa Loompas singing and dancing for us :(

      The BFG almost took the place of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, to be honest. I really enjoyed it.


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