Friday, 7 October 2011

retro readers: james and the giant peach

seems that being part of an online reading group is the same as being part of a real-life reading group. I didn't do any reading and then panic read the book at the end in two days.  Luckily it was James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and not The Human Stain by Philip Roth (which I also read in about two days for a reading group).

The Retro Readers Club has been put together by Pip over at Meet Me at Mikes and the idea is to read favourite childhood books and to maybe read them to your children too. I don't have children, so I just read it myself.. I read it before bed, I read it in the bath and then I read it lying on the sofa this afternoon while feeling poorly. All in all a pretty good experience.  Pip chose James and the Giant Peach for the first book of Retro Readers Club....

I read a lot of Dahl's books when I was little and loved them (my favourite was Danny the Champion of the World) but I had never read James and the Giant Peach...  Reading it now I remembered how much I used to enjoy Dahl's books, they are pretty funny and have a great style, and are a little bit dark and naughty too. The illustrations by Quentin Blake are, of coures, genius. The story of JATGP is crazy, there's a giant peach and some giant insects... James burrows through the peach until he gets to the peach pit which has a door and all the giant insects are living inside.  The peach rolls down a hill, floats on the sea for a while, flies over night helped by seagulls (although not helped by cloud men - boo!) and they end up on the top of the Empire State building in New York! I particularly like it when one of the head of the fire department said: 'Snakes and ladders! [.....] 'We are finished now! '. I am going to be using the exclamation 'snakes and ladders' from now on. I also liked at the end that the glow worm became the light inside the torch of the Statue of Liberty, saving the city from having to pay big electric bills.

So it was fun, thanks Pip! am pretty excited to know what is next on the reading list!

oh, also, Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff (just up the road from where I am writing this) and went to school here too.  That mouse he put in a sweetjar? that was in a shop in Llandaff....


  1. I just re-read this too. The kids just celebrated Roald Dahl day at school by dressing up, although sadly I couldn't manage a grasshopper or glow-worm outfit. Boy1 went as George with his marvellous medicine instead.

  2. Oh great review! Imagine if The Beatles had written a song about this book! It's totes got the psychedelic leaning of Lucy In The Sky... but just more peachy! Thanks for being part of Retro Readers, petal! x


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