I think there’s a strong chance that Dahl was high while writing this book.
Everything starts rather normal (apart from the mysterious rhinoceros accident that kills James’ parents), but then a peach grows the size of a house, rolls down hills with giant bugs and James inside. Gets into the Ocean, is attacks by sharks, saved by a flock of hundreds of seagulls James use as balloons and finally lands on the needle of the Empire State Building.
It was FUN!
I’m only sorry I didn’t read it 20 years ago, I’m sure the magic would have been enhanced. Favorite moments were the LOL dialogues between the Centipede and the Worm, but felt that the Cloud Men were a bit out of tune with the rest of the book.
Still, by picking it up only now, I could better appreciate Jeremy Irons’ voice reading it The flow of the text and the clever rhymes make it ideal to be read out loud.
As all of Dahl’s children books I’ve read, this is not a simple, sweet story, but a funny, somewhat dark one. After a bit of research I found that the idea of the Giant Peach it related to the time Dahl spent crammed in a plane when he a bombardier in WWII. For one doing that job in a noisy machine, how wonderful the idea of traveling in a soft rosy peach must have been (although it was also crammed).
I still find it surreal that this is one of the most challenged books in the States. Apparently, it has the word “ass” in there…. TWICE! (tss-tss)
PS: When the peach rolls through a “famous chocolate factory”, do you think it’s Willy Wonkas’?