Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
By Roald Dahl (Author's Website)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780141322711
208 pages




This is my first Roald Dahl book and I must say I love it! Highly imaginative and full of lessons, this book is a gem. I like the little boy Charlie very much and like most children, he is full of curiosity. He is also obedient for he listens to his parents, Mr and Mrs Bucket, and his very old grandparents. His family is poor and the seven of them live in a tiny, worn-down house. It is heartbreaking reading his family situation.

One day, Mr Willy Wonka, a well-known chocolate maker who was missing in action for a long, long time comes back into business. As we know, Mr Wonka makes all sorts of wonderful, out-of-this-world, magical sweets. His chocolate-making secrets, having been copied before by other manufacturers (that’s the reason he closed down and went ‘missing’) he now protects them by hiring a mysterious workforce when he reopens. The workers are never seen to enter or exit from his factory—very strange. The action starts when Mr Wonka launches a competition with an irresistible prize: a visit IN the factory for five children! These children will be able to see how his secret chocolates are made and their adult guardians can come with them. To win, each of them must possess the golden ticket only found in Wonka chocolates! The world, of course, launches into a chocolate-buying frenzy. But Charlie, a chocolate lover, is so poor and could not even afford a decent meal, how could he afford to buy enough chocolates to get a chance to win one of the five golden tickets?

The story gets even better when the five winners—all from different backgrounds and attitudes—get their tour in the factory. Four of them are spoilt brats in their unique ways, and the fifth one is Charlie (of course he got in)! What an experience each of these children and their parents (except Charlie for he brought his grandfather) go through! From the way Mr Wonka talks (as evident in the writing), he is an enthusiastic person. There are lots of exclamation marks punctuating his sentences and italics to emphasis his points. Besides all the intriguing stuff, the children also discover who the workers are. It is interesting to see how the children’s mischief gets them into trouble in the factory.

I love how Roald Dahl weaves the magical story so wonderfully and it was funny reading about the four obnoxious children. More interesting is how each ‘weird’ incidence that happens during the tour is in direct relation to their naughtiness. Watch out for the twist towards the ending, too, because there is more to things than just the factory tour. This is an amazing tale. Now, I must go watch the movie of the same title starring the scrumdiddlyumptious Johnny Depp...

I like the illustrations on the website!

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