Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From mental_floss "The Quick 10: The Scrumdidlyumptious Roald Dahl"

I love Roald Dahl's stories. Only a few days ago I was strongly recommending them to some parents for their own child. But something about Dahl's fantastic creatures and the connections to food made me giggle a bit at the idea of the linked article's publication on 4/20.

I've only ever read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator", and "James and the Giant Peach". The Charlie books were the first time I learned of sequels; and the Vermicious Knids, allegedly mentioned in all three of these books (and at least one other of Dahl's works) were the first fictional characters for which I felt dread. They altered my perception in many ways that I can barely recall and couldn't begin to explain, because I was too young to comprehend what had happened.

All are works of great imagination and fantasy, yet each maintained enough real-world touch-stones that I could easily relate to each one. They were as well, perhaps, something of a bridge to my youthful love of science fiction. I remember dwelling on the workings of the Elevator and the interactions of the 'alien' species working together in the Giant Peach, even when I was away from the books.

As much as I love those three books, oddly, I never went on to read other works by Dahl. Stranger still, as a book dealer, I have yet to cross paths with "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and had never heard of it until it became the latest movie from Wes Anderson. "Matilda", "The Witches", and "The BFG" turn up often enough... why not Fox? I can't answer that, but, the only reason I posted this is because, as I said at the top, I love Roald Dahl's stories. Great for kids, young and old alike. I'm glad someone at mental_floss took the time to remind us of his wonderful tales, even if it came on a somewhat humorous date.