Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Author: Roald Dahl
Image via wikia
If this is not my favorite book, it's definitely in my top 5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the one book I actually made a ritual of re-reading. It was, for many years, a part of Christmas break for me. It is the perfect modernistic fairy tale: vivid characters, playful language, a compelling narrative and everyone gets what they deserve.
On the off chance you haven't read this book, please skip this part. I'm not really spoiling much but I'd hate to undermine the magic for you. My two favorite parts of the book:
1. The two chapter stretch in which Charlie finds the dollar in the street, then the golden ticket in candy bar #2. Dahl built up a very clear sense of Bucket family squalor to the point where even we the readers are more concerned about Charlie starving to death than finding a Wonka ticket. I also love the way the shopkeeper looks out for him once he wins the ticket.
2. While riding down the chocolate river, Wonka scoops up two mugs for Charlie and Grandpa Joe. In a story filled with fantastic wonders, this simple gesture of human compassion really stands out for me.
***END OF SPOILER***
Charlie is the sort of book which inevitably inspires films, candy brands, merchandise, etc. I had already read the book many times before I finally saw the 1971 Gene Wilder movie. I really didn't like the film as it didn't follow the book very well. Dahl disowned the film, thus the change in title. I've grown to appreciate the movie for its own sake but I do feel the 2005 Johnny Depp version was more faithful to the book.
Charlie is also a book that begs to be read allowed. After I finished reading it for myself this past week, my daughter requested I read it to her. It's a re-read for her as well.
Okay, the easier books on my list are finished. Now, the heavy lifting begins...
I hope that you, too, will join the 12 Books in 12 Months challenge. Details are here.
If you'd care to join the challenge, please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please tell me how and where I can follow your posts. Don't be shy about suggesting other categories, either. It is my intention to compile a new list of 12 once this one is completed. My only parameter is that no one should have to buy anything in order to complete the challenge - nothing beyond a library card required.