Apr 04, 12
Read in April, 2012
I love the 1971 movie version of this book, and I love Roald Dahl, so I suppose it's quite shocking that I only yesterday read this book. And I did read it yesterday. It took part of a subway ride to work, part of a subway ride home, and about 15 minutes in my apartment to finish. I finally sat down to read it because I've been recommending it to my students now for quite sometime, and a few of them have told me how much they've enjoyed it and how helpful they felt it was for their English. Furthermore, I am planning to have my students actually read a book as a class in the next few weeks or months, and Roald Dahl is a natural fit for everything I want to do.
Well, the book was a book. It was good fun, just as the movie is, and it was very interesting to see all of the differences between the movie and the book. I was previously aware of them and of the ways the Johnny Depp version of the film was closer to the orginal in some ways but took more liberties in others. However, what I hadn't known was the ways the 1971 film was true to the book, sort of.
Anyway, perhaps because I'd seen both of the movies--and the 1971 version more times than I could count--the book didn't blow me away. It was no Revolting Rhymes or BFG or The Twits or even James and the Giant Peach, all of which I love much more. Still, this is a good read, and though I do not plan to become a parent, if I did, I'd be sure my children got to know the book before they got to know either film.
*Tangent: My student who most enjoyed this book told me that previous to reading it, she had preferred the Johnny Depp film but that after reading it, she realized the Gene Wilder version was infinitely better. I loved that.