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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang #1)

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3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,579 Ratings  ·  467 Reviews
Ian Fleming, best known for his James Bond novels, wrote only one children’s book—and it is a classic! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the name of the flying, floating, driving-by-itself automobile that takes the Pott family on a riotous series of adventures as they try to capture a notorious gang of robbers. This is a story filled with humor, adventure, and gadgetry that only ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1964)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Jan 25, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
"I'm not interested in your Shitty Shitty Gang Bang," is essentially what I told my bestbud back in elementary school when he was trying with all his ernest might to make me see the light and enjoy the wholesome, family-fun goodness that is this book. This was at a time when he was listening to Weird Al and I was learning how to bang my head to Quiet Riot.

Fast-forward about 30 years…I've finally read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I see the light! This book is delightful! There's kooky characters,
...more
Paul
Apr 02, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've wanted to read this book since I first found out it was written by Ian Fleming. This is the only novel he ever wrote that wasn't part of the James Bond series and it's a bizarre little oddity.

If, like me, your only previous experience of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the movie, you're in for some surprises. The original book bears little resemblance to the movie version. Some of the characters are different and the plot is very different indeed. I'd actually quite like to see a new movie adapt
...more
Jonathan

Once upon a time there was a young boy named Jonathan Terrington. He didn't have any magical abilities save for the power of his imagination and what he could gain from reading and watching incredible movies. Some of his favourite childhood movies and books were all fairytales. He particularly liked more modern 'fairytales' like Toy Story or Mulan. Then one day he discovered a fairytale movie he'd never watched before. A movie about a magical car that travelled away to a fascinating land with b
...more
Manny
Mar 18, 2013 Manny rated it liked it
Shelves: children
James Bond, the children's book begat James Bond, the musical begat James Bond, the stage show. But where can we go from here? It occurred to me to google "James Bond Ballet", and I did at least find this picture:

description

Surely it's now just a matter of time before it actually happens?

Lynn
Jul 26, 2007 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: boys
Shelves: childrens
What a surprise to find just how different the movie is from the book! This is very much Ian Flemming, focused on the car and the adventure. There is no 'Truly Scrumptious'; there is no weird castle with singing toys and a king who hates kids. There IS a wonderful magical car, and exact descriptions of what it does. There IS a great adventure with a trip to France and a scary thief. A great book for boys, and it stands the test of time.

This was Ian Flemming's last book before he died, and his on
...more
Mark
Jun 29, 2013 Mark marked it as sayin-when  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't sit through the Disney adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but I remember it from my childhood. I also remember trying Mary Poppins and I didn't like that one either. But I'm big on nostalgia. Remembering them good ole days, them calmer days. A few years ago I revisited The Wind in the Willows, which I'm told Mom read to me as a kid and we both hated. When I revisited, I was enthralled. I don't think it was simply nostalgia. Sure it brought back memories of summertime and warm gras ...more
Karen
Mar 30, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I loved this children's book! The story was fun and Fleming's writing just draws you in. A fast, enjoyable book for all ages. Now I'm going to watch the movie!
Kristie
Jun 06, 2015 Kristie rated it liked it
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a magical car. It can do things that other cars cannot, which is very fortunate for the family that purchases it. The book is one big adventure for the family of 4 and their car.

I thought this book was kind of cute. Several times I laughed out loud at bits. However, I'm not the intended audience. The adventure is directed at young children and I think that children would enjoy it even more than I did. There's lots of action and I think it could be suspenseful for youn
...more
Glenn Whelan
Apr 08, 2013 Glenn Whelan rated it liked it
Fun with our fine four fendered friend...

Most people that would be reading this book today are familiar with the Dick Van Dyke vehicle of the same name. A smaller percentage of them may also be aware that the source material is originally penned by James Bond author Ian Fleming. The connection to 007 seems a logical one. A flying car with super gadgets called upon at the press of a button. Who else but James bond could have a relationship with a woman named Truly Scrumptious.

After a quick read o
...more
Chris
May 18, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
I watched the movie Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang as a child and have vaguely fun and yet confusing memories of it. To this day I still find some of the tunes from the movie jumping into my head at random. Years later I was told that the original book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang was written by Ian Fleming...yes, the same Ian Fleming who was the creator of James Bond. Naturally my curiosity was aroused. From a very high level, it's not surprising to see both James Bond and Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang as being ...more
Rick Fisher
The original novel is so completely different from the movie I love and have watched numerous times. So, I was surprised and a little disappointed.
It's a cute little story. Several main characters are still in there, if a bit different. The father, Caractacus Pott, is an inventor but also an ex navy officer. The children, Jeremy and Jemima, are wide eyed and adventurous. Unfortunately, there is no Truly Scrumptous. Instead, there is a wife/mother, Mimsie. She is practical and a bit matronly.
...more
Colin Kinlund
May 13, 2007 Colin Kinlund rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wanted a flying car
Another classic I treasured, and another Disney adaptation I loathed. The movie is similar to the book in that there is a car with the given name of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In fairness though, this is a very short story, with only three chapters (each fairly long chapter being one act), and would have been very difficult to do as a movie. But still, this is vastly more entertaining, inventive and scary than the movie. And I still want a toot-sweet to this day.
Josiah
Apr 14, 2016 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In his time, Ian Fleming was one of the edgiest popular authors on the scene. After five acclaimed James Bond novels beginning with Casino Royale in 1953, 007's propensity for morally loose living caught up with his author. Critics questioned James Bond's validity as role model to young men caught up in the romance of the super-spy lifestyle, and started consistently panning Fleming's work as a bad influence. Partly due to the stress of a legal case surrounding his latest James Bond offering, I ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Once again I find out that a movie from my childhood is nothing like the book.



This book was nicely written and I enjoyed the tone of the narration but it is so vastly different from the movie that I was left disappointed.

The movie is fantastically whimsical and magical. The book is not. In the first half of the book it seems like we are going to get magic and whimsy with the Scrumptious whistle sweets that Caractacus Potts invents and the cheeky flying car. However, the book then takes on more o
...more
Jerry Peterson
Jun 05, 2012 Jerry Peterson rated it really liked it
It's hard to believe that Ian Fleming, who wrote the sexy, sophisticated, violent James Bond spy novels, also wrote one of the best-loved children's stories, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Most of us know it from the 1968 movie musical that starred Dick Van Dyke. Fleming wrote "Chitty Chitty" while he was recovering from a heart attack in 1961. The writing provided him with something to do. For inspiration, Fleming drew on a bedtime story he had been telling his son, Caspar.

The book came out in 1964
...more
Tammy
Jan 18, 2016 Tammy rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, children, audio
I listened to the audio and thought that the musical interludes were delightful. Other than that, the story was okay, but nothing amazing.
Rebecca
Jan 19, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I listened to the unabridged audiobook narrated by David Tennant. It's everything that's wonderful about Ian Fleming, without any of the rapiness. Explosions, international villainy, sweet technology, high-speed chases, lots of adventure...all without any raping.

I've never seen the movie or the musical of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but other adults tell methey aren't great. The book is 100% a charmer, though. And there's a recipe for fudge at the end.
Wendy Bousfield
Feb 21, 2015 Wendy Bousfield rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy

Because Caractacus Pott supports his wife and children (Jeremy and Jemima) through rather impractical inventions (collapsible coat hangers, edible phonograph records, cubical potatoes), the family cannot afford a car. However, when the story begins, the SKRUMSHUS candy company has just purchased Pott’s latest invention, CRACKPOTS-- candies with two holes that whistle different notes as children suck them—for $1,000 pounds. The family visit garages and car dealerships, but the cars they see are t
...more
Namratha
"She's a twelve-cylinder, eight-litre, supercharged Paragon Panther. They only made one of them and then the firm went broke. This is the only one in the world."

And there we have it, our introduction to the most wonderful car in the world : CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (CCBB).

This original story written by the legendary Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond) is a rare and winsome treat. As children, we loved the film and the fantastical adventures of Caractacus Pott, Truly Scrumptious, Jeremy and Jemi
...more
Michelle Graham
Apr 20, 2015 Michelle Graham rated it it was amazing
Primary descriptor for this book = adorable. Adorable story, adorable characters, adorable storytelling... All of it was adorable. I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke in the movie, and it has always held a special place in my heart. Both the movie and the book are steeped in wonder -- the kind of wonder you get from being a kid who has imaginary friends and believes there are dragons hiding in volcanoes.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is like a spy movie had a baby with the Dick and Jane books, and that b
...more
Liesl
Since I am currently in the middle of Fleming's James Bond series, I thought it would be interesting to check out his sole offering for children. Although the end result is on par with the better Bond books and certainly cute, overall this is merely okay and I get the impression that the movie adaptation is much better. I thought a tale centered around a magical car was bound to be whimsical and loads of fun, but it is more of a crime caper than expected and a little dull. David Tennant clearly ...more
Suki
Jul 05, 2016 Suki rated it really liked it
David Tennant read this to us. A delightful story. I enjoyed it more than the movie. David Tennant possibly swayed me.
BookCupid
Nov 03, 2015 BookCupid rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
I listened to this on audio book, and was pleasantly surprised that all the voices were narrated by different actors. Even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the flying car) has her own voice. Sadly, I found the adventures between the car and the Pott family too easily resolved. Kidnapping, explosions, Paris... this should have been amazing, and yet, the car suddenly had a magnet pull when the gangsters weapons appeared, or could fly when the traffic appeared... and so forth.

If you like musicals, don't f
...more
Samuel Valentino
Mar 30, 2015 Samuel Valentino rated it really liked it
I don't even recall seeing the movie, but I'd always known the name. And when I found out that it was written by the same author who penned James Bond, I had to see what kind of children's book it would be. In a way, it was like Bond - instead of high-tech devices, it was a magical one, but it still got the family into adventure and helped them escape. The action is light with some danger, appropriate for the age range. If there was any downside, it's that Fleming gets a little too carried away ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang wasn’t one of my favorite movies as a child, but I did watch it from time to time. As a bookish person, I couldn’t help being curious about the book upon which the film was based. Learning that the kid’s book was by the creator of James Bond only made me more inquisitive. It’s been so long since I saw the movie that I can’t speak to similarities, but I’m fairly certain the book is pretty different. Chitty
...more
Robin
Jul 08, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
We've run into this problem before: First it was a novel. Then it was adapted, more successfully than faithfully, into a movie. Then came a film novelization, a novel designed to be more faithful to the movie than the movie was to the original novel. They did it to Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes. More recently, it happened to Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon. It even happened to another book by Ian Fleming. And so your dilemma is this: which book do you buy or borrow, to read or gi ...more
Penny Peck
Feb 11, 2012 Penny Peck rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
The new follow-up to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Frank Cottrell Boyce, sent me back to original to see how they compare. I was struck by the brevity – the original Chitty is 114 pages in length, written in three long chapters. The original British version was actually published in three volumes. The U.S. version also had plenty of ink illustrations, something that would be welcome in more novels for readers in grades 3 to 6. Roald Dahl’s books also had a fair amount of random illustrations in eac ...more
Shelby
It's really interesting to read this book as an adult growing up having adored the film. So interesting to see what things we lifted right from the story itself and what were adapted to make it more interesting for a film audience. The book is very sweet and fun but the movie had more dramatic impact I think. The elements they modified and changed worked very well. And while I wouldn't call it a faithful adaptation, I would still call it a good one. They took the elements of the book that were s ...more
Linda
Dec 28, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: armchair-travel
What person of a certain age doesn't remember the marvelous movie and magical car?! And the final scene as everyone hangs onto their hats and soars through the air singing ...

Oh you pretty Chitty Bang Bang,
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
We love you.
And, in
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
What we'll do.
Near, far, in our motor car Oh what a happy time we'll spend.
Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Our fine four fendered friend.
Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Our fine four fendered friend.

Ian
...more
Michele
Jul 28, 2013 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I read this as a young 'un and didn't find out until MUCH later that the author also wrote all the James Bond books! Once you know that, the presence of international spies, gelignite, and a car with superpowers make perfect sense. I like to think the car was a prototype designed by Q that somehow accidentally ended up getting sold for scrap :)

Apart from the car, the children and their father, the book shares nothing whatsoever with the Disney version, but it's equally entertaining and great fun
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Second World War Navy Commander. Fleming is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in twelve novels and nine short stories. Additionally, Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two
...more
More about Ian Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (4 books)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, #2)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, #3)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, #4)

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