Monday, May 16, 2005
Pouch the Book Club: Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Few writers can match the diversity of Roald Dahl whose works range from the bright literary hues of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda to the witty and darker Tales of the Unexpected.
In his children’s books Dahl always seemed to have meaning and an important message in the goodness of a child in difficult situations we can identify with, wrapped in the magic of Everlasting Gobstoppers and Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker. His adult books have a darker setting, but are actually lighter in core themes, where you don’t feel bad about laughing at a sinister twist. In all his books, he wastes no words, and those he uses have simplicity and honesty.
His two memoirs link the life of the man to the lives of his characters in both those genres. Revolting Rhymes is yet another bridge of those two Roald Dahls. While Boy and Going Solo bring out real-life situations with essence of the lessons we take from Charlie and Matilda, Revolting Rhymes gives us the other recipe: it reignites the songs of the Oompah Loompas with the more adult humor, bringing together a delightful collection of tales.
The animal I really dig
Above all others is a pig,
Pigs are noble. Pigs are clever,
Pigs are courteous. However,
Now and then, to break this rule,
One meets a pig who is a fool.
What, for example, would you say,
If strolling through the woods one day,
Right there in front of you you saw
A pig who’d built his house of STRAW?
The Wolf who saw it licked his lips,
And said, “That pig has had his chips.”
Also recommended are The Umbrella Man and Other Stories (adult), The Witches and the soundtrack of the James and the Giant Peach movie (Disney). The second movie based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is scheduled to open in mid-July, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.