Tuesday 6th September is ‘National Read A Book Day’, I love ALL types of books, whether autobiographies, novels, self help books and even children’s books.
With the recent passing of Gene Wilder who undeniably brought Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ character alive as Willy Wonka, it got me thinking about my favourite Roald Dahl book.
James and The Giant Peach
It makes me laugh that this book was originally about a giant cherry! Roald Dahl decided to change it to a peach, as a peach is “prettier, bigger and squishier”. But as ‘cute’ as peaches can be, in my opinion it is one of his darkest and creepiest books, even when reading in adulthood.
In the story, James is a happy child who lives with his parents until one day they are eaten by a rhinoceros who has escaped. He is sent to live with his evil aunts called Spiker and Sponge who day after day verbally abuse him. Having had enough, James runs into his garden where he meets a strange old man who gives him a sack of glowing crocodile tongues. He promises that they will bring magic and happiness. Running home excited, James trips up and spills the contents onto a peach tree. The tree becomes enchanted and one peach grows to the size of a large house. One day James goes to eat the peach and finds a tunnel and follows it inside. This is where he meets insects and start a marvellous adventure.
Whether you are an adult or a child, you can not help but enjoy the sense of adventure and escapism and I remember being elated that James was able to be free of his aunts.
Roald Dahl is definitely a brave writer, his fearless creation of characters is very present as you begin to enjoy the thought of squirmy insects as loyal companions! Although potentially frightening I would highly recommend reading this in adulthood or with children.
I would definitely give this book a 10/10
If you feel this is too childish… or the memory is enough. Check out Tarah’s review of Fahreneheit 451