Top positive review
Classic children's novel that's fun for adults too
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2018
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a story I've known for many years from the two movie versions, particularly the Gene Wilder movie I first saw as a child. It's such a joy to finally read the original book as an adult. Dahl had a sardonic sense of humor and could be quite cruel to some of his child characters. But the book is full of whimsy and imagination. Though we don't get Leslie Bricusse's songs, we do get some very funny ones from the Oompa Loompas themselves. And Dahl's amusingly primitive illustrations are perfect at capturing how he imagined the characters to look as opposed to the Hollywood versions that are so familiar to us by now. A true treasure with some biting satire, pointing the finger at some familiar targets that still ring true today, ranging from binge watching TV to overeating to selfishness, greed and ostentatious displays of wealth. Dahl has fun with each of them, but keeps the story entertaining rather than preachy. And just the names of the characters like Willy Wonka, Veruca Salt, Augustus Bloop and Mike Teevee are amusing in themselves. A short read, but a fun one.