Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Reads!

Happy Friday all!

I have another book review for everyone, today I’m going to look at:

Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Man, I love this book.  It fits nicely with all of Dahl’s oeuvre, with the slightly exaggerated world and magical happenings.

Matilda is a young girl of about six.  She was born to an exceptionally stupid family, though she herself is exceptionally smart.  Her father is a shady used car salesman, her mother is a bingo addict, and her brother was, by Dahl’s own description, ‘gormless.’  Matilda is not particularly loved by her family, and they go out of their way to show it.

There is constant verbal abuse, and neglect is very apparent.  Eventually, though, Matilda finds herself in school, with the fabulous Ms. Honey.  Her teacher realizes what a special seed Matilda is, and helps grow her through the book.

There were several themes explored in this book, and as I said earlier, Dahl uses exaggeration to great effect.  Dahl is clearly not a fan of the television, as the Wormwood’s(Matilda’s family) spend all their time in front of it, and are terrible people because of it.  He has a lot to say of those parents who think their child does nothing wrong, and again uses the Wormwoods, in their opposite affliction, to show how bad it truly can be.

It is also a story of how the little guy can overcome odds and nurture to become a better person despite all that is thrown in their path.  In the end, this is a story of an underdog, one that pulls herself up from her own boot straps, and makes a better life for herself and those around her, just by doing what is right, and good.

One final note:  while the movie does adhere fairly well to the story, and is good in its own right, I think the book is superior not only because the explanations are a bit more feasible, but because we do get a bit more of the social commentary, instead of focusing nearly purely on the cool things Matilda can do.

4/5 drinking glass newts

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