Edward Knapp's Reviews > The Twits

The Twits by Roald Dahl
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's review
Sep 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read on September 04, 2012

Roald Dahl’s The Twits is a rather interesting story about the relationship between two truly gruesome individuals aptly named Mr and Mrs Twit. The Twits are two horrid characters who act appallingly to each other as well as the world around them, especially animals. The Twits seem to struggle through life by simply playing numerous tricks on one another, each trick or prank worse than the next. Not only do they make their own lives a living nightmare they capture birds using a special glue to make bird pies, make their monkeys stand on the heads for hours on end and in one circumstance Mr Twit creates rather interesting Spaghetti with worms which an unsuspecting Mrs Twits eats. Eventually the wicked pair gets their comeuppance in the form of the revengeful birds and monkeys they have previously treated so badly. The birds are warned to avoid the glue and in turn release the monkeys from their cages. The animals wait for The Twits to be out and set about turning the entire house upside down, ironically using the glue which had previously been used to capture them to glue the entire contents of the house to the ceiling. When the Twits return they believe that it is them who are upside down so decide to stand on their heads in order to be the right way up. In doing this they get themselves stuck on the glue and have to stay like that forever eventually shrinking into nothing, allowing the captured animals to be free.

A story so vividly horrible and nasty should not be this enjoyable and fun, but quite simply it is. Throughout the book I found myself roaring with laughter at the pranks they play on one another, my favourite example is when Mr Twit glues a small slice of wood to the bottom of Mrs Twit’s walking stick every day, eventually leading Mrs Twit to believe that she is shrinking. I can vividly remember being encapsulated by the story as a child. Even then I remember the story ticking all of the right boxes, I laughed at their wickedness toward each another, felt angered at the mistreatment of the animals and elated at the animals successful plan for revenge. As an adult I am acutely aware of the books preposterous story line, however, for a child it acts as a brilliant tool to decipher the difference between right and wrong and is a wonderful example of justice. The Twits are bad people and they do get what they deserve. Due to its encapsulating narrative alongside its brilliantly vivid illustrations by Quentin Blake the book is a classic example of reading for a whole class, ranging from children aged from six to ten. It is exciting, riveting, funny and exceptionally enjoyable, it is a book that will encourage children to read more Dahl books as well as others.


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