Hi, Hey, Hello!
The end may very well be in sight for all these book reviews that I have been cropping up on my blog (I can’t promise that though because currently I am in quite a reading mood and so am doing quite well with this reading thing)…But until then here’s another one.
So, this is the first of two (maybe three, I don’t quite remember) childhood re-reads of this year.
This book and James and the Giant Peach were in my Top 5 books as a kid (I even mentioned that fact in my uni application and look where that got me). Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson were basically my childhood, and so I jumped at the pre-ordering change to have a gorgeous new edition of this book and because I don’t just buy things to look pretty (for the most part…there are a couple of second copies of books that are there because they’re pretty. I’m looking at the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Book Thief…and my second copy of The Night Circus) I knew that I had to actually read it. And so that is what I did in the days I had between the year starting and going back to work.
Now, I’m well aware that Roald Dahl is problematic, I was aware of it in some capacity when I was younger and I’m even more aware of it now. It makes re-reading it all the more difficult in some way I guess because there is more of a disconnect as an adult then there was when I was a kid. Like, on the one hand I can still appreciate the world that he created and all of its giant madness, buuuutttt on the other hand this is a pretty sinister tale when you get down to the root of it. I mean a girl is kidnapped in the middle of the night by a giant and held as some kind of prisoner while the giant’s other giant friends (I use that term very loosely) go around eating people on a nightly basis. It’s pretty fucked and yet that’s it. That’s the story.
It’s still enjoyable enough. It wasn’t a slog to get through, I didn’t finish it wondering why the hell I would ever have loved it. I definitely winced at the racist undertones to certain sections, I fully suspended belief that getting into Buckingham Palace would really be that simple and I still got that slight level of excitement at the fact that the main character shared my name (which, yeah was one of the reasons it was my fave). I passed away a couple of afternoons just lying with this book propped against my thighs and it was an escape. Albeit a problematic one, but one nonetheless.
Some other positives are: the storytelling is great. Dahl knows how to tell a tale and he knows how to tell it well for the most part. His style of writing is right up my street (or at least it was). The BFG himself is amusing. He’s a tryer and overall a voice of reason in amongst all the crazy, which I guess is all relative, but there you go. You know what I find really fascinating about it all though, the way language is used in this. Sometimes it was a bit of a mind bend but it was fascinating all the same because it kind of makes you think about the way that language actually works and how we learn it. And I could get really, really geeky about it all, but I won’t say anymore than the fact that I found it interesting (there’s an essay in there in somewhere I just know it). Sophie is a nice enough character with a great spirit even during the most grim of experiences and the way she tackles problems is definitely something that I have in some capacity applied to my life…not recently or anything. Or maybe it’s just in my head that I have it together like this…
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading this book…or maybe I would. I don’t know, one the one hand, yes I think you should read this book but I feel like it works better when your younger, just because your suspension of disbelief is greater and even if you do question things you just sort of go with it, or at least I did anyway. So yeah, I would and I wouldn’t recommend. That’s nice and clear isn’t it?
Parentheses count: 7. See you tomorrow!
Find me here: