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Search tags: Roald-Dahl
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review 2017-06-23 18:03
I'm conflicted
Grandpa's Great Escape - David Walliams

I am struggling with how to express my feelings about Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams. This is due to the fact that this man might actually be a bigger Roald Dahl fan than myself and his writing definitely reflects that. I don't think that Walliams makes any bones about this but I do think that if you've read Dahl's works it will be difficult not to compare the two which leaves Walliams falling a bit short. (Sorry!) Read on its own merit, it's a great little book which touches on topics which I think are really important in middle grade fiction. Our main character, Jack, has a very special relationship with his grandfather who was a fighter pilot in WWII. Their relationship is a unique one which is further complicated by the fact that his grandpa has Alzheimer's disease and believes he is once again in the midst of the Battle of Britain. Jack's parents are torn about what to do with the old man but Jack is adamant that he continue to spend time with him...until the vicar puts an idea into their heads about the old folks home beyond the moors. In typical Dahl fashion, Walliams fashions a slapstick comedy amidst flashbacks to WWII and serious discussions over elderly care and familial loyalty.

 

What I didn't care for:

  • What felt like blatant ripoffs of Dahl's works as well as his illustrator, Quentin Blake

 

What I legitimately enjoyed:

  • The approach and handling of serious discussions revolving around elderly care and Alzheimer's
  • The glossary at the back which discussed in more detail the topics touched on in the book such as the Royal Air Force, Battle of Britain, etc.

 

I'd love to know what you guys think so please check the book out and leave a comment below. :-)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-06-15 23:48
Granpa, tell me about when you were little
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

What a great biographic piece. Dahl is an excellent story teller, and puts that to use: he doesn't waste pages in the minutia, or get scared of leaving swathes of time undressed, but picks the bits he wants to tell about his early life, because they are important, interesting, colorful, defining. It turns into a very entertaining read.

It paints a picture of a time. I was impressed by his mother courage and strength (and humor, and mettle, and pragmatism... she comes across as one awesome lady), horrified by much of the sadism involved in his education, and somewhat enlightened on the reasons for his often irreverent characters.

I laughed a lot. There is humor inside every part, from the comfort of hindsight, fondness of remembrance, matter-of-fact way harrowing or ridiculous situations are described, or dry irony.

I plain loved it.

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quote 2017-06-15 23:18
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

Boy - Roald Dahl

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-31 16:57
May 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

 

 

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I have been reading this series with huge breaks in between. That means, every time I start a new book from it. I am surprised anew by Dexter’s razor sharp wit and the efforts he puts into seeming “normal”. It is a good way to read this series, if you ask me. You can see both qualities in his character being used to their fullest this way. Look at the following two examples. These are from a part of the book where Dexter is called to the scene of murder of a cop. I love how hard he struggles to appear like the rest of the people and how much he has to work on things that most of us take for granted:

 

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The reason that I didn’t rate this book higher is the fact that Dexter’s monologues never seem to end. This technique works in some places and completely bombs in others.

 

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This was as much fun as I hoped it’d be. Of course, I imagined Tom Hiddleston’s voice to be Loki’s as I read the book. Loki is charming, detestable, and pathetic in turns as he narrates his own story. He also kinda has a point lol For instance, here’s what he had to say about the other deities:

 

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 The humor is threaded into the story well, so it keeps you from actually feeling the horror when horrifying things happen. Life and death don’t really matter when you are immortal-ish. The quote below describes the death of a hunter who dared to defy the Asgardians (who are described as pensioners in it):

 

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I also learned a new word:

 

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Loki’s Image

 

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Boy, this was a painful read! Not because it wasn’t good; quite the opposite. You will find my detailed review here if you’re interested.

 

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This book started off well but became too repetitive after a while. Here are some of the quotes that I liked:

 

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There are some beautiful descriptions, as well. Here is one such passage where the author describes the effect of moonlight on the jungle:

We need daylight and to that extent it is utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile.

I think Bigwig was one character who showed a lot of growth as the story progressed. He went from being just the brawn around the leader to a rabbit who started thinking for himself. One of the many funny exchanges between Bigwig and Hazel is featured below:

 

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Here’s a picture that reminded me of Bigwig:

 

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This one was about Dexter having an affair with a movie star while being married to Rita. I liked two things about this instalment in the series:

 

One, we get to really “see” how much of a sociopath Dexter is. He doesn’t feel sorry for going against his marriage vows. Also, the only reason he goes to save his daughter is that somebody tried to take something away from him.

 

Two, we are shown more about Astor being exactly like Dexter. She doesn’t feel, loves the power she has over a pedophile, and expresses minimal sorrow over Rita’s death.

 

I have also started to worry about Dexter’s youngest now. With Rita gone, what kind of a persin will she grow up into? Did she ever have a chance to be a human being with feelings? Interesting thoughts!

 

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It would be a rare Roald Dahl book written for kids that I wouldn’t enjoy. The Witches wasn’t one of them. I loved how the grandmother dealt with every twist with aplomb. Kinda reminded me of my own grandmother who isn’t with us anymore.

 

I found the part where the little boy is reassured that he won’t outlive his grandmother and says this:

 

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One of the best things about RD’s books is how “real” they seem. The example above seems so natural; grandkids are insanely in love with their grandparents. Another example is something that many of us have felt on one occasion or the other. It is from a scene where the boy watches a doorman whistle:

 

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Oh, and I found an instance of “greased lightning” in the book! Lol

 

https://contentforyoublog.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/how-could-you-let-your-kids-watch-grease-with-its-rude-lyrics.jpg?w=1000

 

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The series came to an end with this book. I must say that this instalment annoyed me a lot. Dexter bumbled around like an idiot through most of it. I kept thinking that the author was going to give us a reason behind Dexter’s stupidity: mass hallucination, flouridation of the public water supply, anything! Didn’t happen. Even so, I am glad I stuck with the series until the end.

 

Two things that I liked:

 

One, mention of a certain cartoon that Astor and Cody were watching, featuring a platypus. I am going to assume it is this one:

 

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and because there would be no Perry without them, these guys:

 

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Two, Dexter’s thoughts when he gets into his lawyer’s Bentley:

 

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This is why I will always be a fan of Dexter’s razor sharp wit!

 

So far so good for the month of May. Here’s what is happening in June:

 

Currently Reading

 

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This book will mark the end of my Work Bingo. I hope it is as good as the first one was!

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text 2017-05-21 18:09
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 176 pages.
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

Lol. Thwaites’s dad deserves a prize for story-telling. One of those plus the sweets shop and we have The Witches and Charlie's germ. And here enters Trunchbull too. Or maybe the Twits (real-life ick!). This is precious.

 

Aaaannd... The other half of the Twits/Trunchbull. Not so precious. Jesus

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