Karla's Reviews > George's Marvellous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: for-the-kiddies, audiobook
Read from January 16 to 17, 2012

Another gleefully grim tale from Roald Dahl. I love his way of writing nasty characters, and "Grandma" in this story is amazingly nasty because she is a kernel of realism surrounded by exaggeration and grotesquerie. Many tots either have a relative like Grandma (or know of the neighborhood crank) who is a thoroughly unpleasant person that seems to get a kick out of being abusive, cranky, demanding, impossible to please, or obnoxious trait whathaveyou.

So George, innocent or not so innocent boy that he is, decides to show Grandma who's boss and he cooks up a brew of household products and garden shed ingredients to put in her medicine bottle.

The audiobook I listened to, narrated by June Whitfield (aka Edina Monsoon's dotty mum in AbFab), was awesome. She did a hilarious voice for Grandma, all wizened and grouchy and screechy and cantankerous, hurling invective and insults by the bucketful. Her voice for George was also good - sort of how I imagined Dahl's typical child protagonists.

I've read the reviews for this story about it being a bad and possibly damaging "lesson" to children. But I don't think that kids would go around throwing shaving cream and shoe polish into a pot and feeding it to the family pet. If they were that easily influenced, we'd be reading about tons of tykes who jumped off the roof with a broomstick thinking they could fly like Harry Freakin' Potter.
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